Ohio moves

DanceThursday, March 22

click to enlarge Dayton Contemporary Dance Company - Andy Snow
Andy Snow
Dayton Contemporary Dance Company

The origins of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company can be traced back to the segregated days of 1940s Dayton, Ohio, where a group of African-American women asked Dayton Ballet founders Josephine and Hermene Schwarz to train their daughters in the art of dance. African-American children weren't allowed to take dance classes at established schools, so the Schwarz sisters agreed to teach them at a community center on Dayton's West Side. Jeraldyne Blunden was among the first group of trainees, her 8-year-old self moving on to achieve greatness. She studied with several esteemed masters, took over teaching duties at the community center by the age of 19, and in the mid-1960s, after recognizing the need for her students to have performing opportunities, Blunden established DCDC. Though she passed away in 1999, her legacy lives on through her culturally diverse modern dance company, its programs firmly rooted in the African-American experience and combining elements of jazz, ballet, modern dance and hip-hop. DCDC's Ruth Eckerd Hall presentation of Color-ography: The Jacob Lawrence Project features a program inspired by the paintings of Jacob Lawrence, best known for his 20th-century narrative series, "The Migration of the Negro." Thurs., March 22, 8 p.m., 1111 N. McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater, $25-$35, 727-791-7400, dcdc.org.

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