Founded in 1968 by the late Jeraldyne Blunden, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC) is the oldest modern dance company in Ohio. DCDC serves as a cultural ambassador to Dayton, the state of Ohio, the Midwest, and the nation. The company holds the world’s largest archive of classic African American dance works and one of the largest of any kind among contemporary dance companies worldwide. Noteworthy choreographers who have worked with the company include Alvin Ailey, Talley Beatty, Donald Byrd, Bill T. Jones, José Limón, Donald McKayle, Ray Mercer, Bebe Miller, Doug Varone, and Kevin Ward.
DCDC tours locally, nationally and internationally, including Bermuda, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Poland, Russia, and South Korea. In August 2012, the company performed at the grand opening of University of Dayton’s China Institute at the Suzhou Industrial Park in Jiangsu Province, China.
DCDC was a co-recipient of the 2016 Bessie Award (The New York Dance and Performance Awards) for Outstanding Revival for performing Donald McKayle’s 1959 masterwork “Rainbow Round My Shoulder.” Ray Mercer’s 2017 commissioned work, “This I Know For Sure…,” has been selected as one the best examples of new American contemporary dance being shared with international presenters in Pitchbook: Volume IV, a publication by American Dance Abroad.
Most recently the company represented the U.S. with its tour in Kazakhstan and Russia in May 2018 as part of the 2017–2018 season of DanceMotion USA, a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. Brooklyn Academy of Music produces the program to facilitate cultural exchange while showcasing the best in contemporary American dance abroad.
The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, under the leadership of Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman, is honored to be a part of DCDC’s 50th anniversary celebration. Join DCDC and the DPO for a night of celebration of dance and community in the performing arts in Dayton!