If you are in the area of Wright State University on Thursday, please join us for the final event in our month-long celebration of Paul Laurence Dunbar. The Dayton Contemporary Dance Company will be performing a special tribute, “Lyric Fire,” offering yet another new way to experience Dunbar and celebrate his life and literary works. The event is in the Apollo Room in the WSU Student Union, and it is free and open to the public — even the parking is free!
In 1949, Josephine Schwarz, founder of The Dayton Ballet, established classes at the Linden Community Center in response to a need for dance education among Dayton’s urban youth. Jeraldyne Blunden, a nation Daytonian, was named to serve as the director of the community center dance school in 1960. Through years of training and community performances, a small group of exceptionally talented dancers emerged with the discipline and commitment needed to create a professional dance company. In 1968, Jeraldyne Blunden founded the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company.
Under Blunden’s artistic direction, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company became a significant force in American modern dance. Having studied professionally with modern dance experts, such as Martha Graham, Jose Limon and James Truitte, and having performed with Dayton Theatre Dance Company (now The Dayton Ballet), Karumu Dancers (Cleveland, OH), Antioch Summer Theatre and the Connecticut Dance Theatre Workshop, Jeraldyne Blunden played an integral role in the dance field, contributing to the development and performance of contemporary dance on a regional, national and international scale. Her artistic vision and knowledge of dance served the dance world primarily through the mission and achievements of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company.
As a modern dance company rooted in the African American experience, DCDC’s mission is to deliver contemporary dance of the highest quality to the broadest possible audience. DCDC reaches the audience with local performances, through national and international touring, and through the company’s education programs in the Miami Valley. Throughout its history, the company has continually worked to build its collection of dances by the most significant modern dance creators and holds the largest collection in the world of classic works by African American choreographers.
Special Collections and Archives is proud to be the home of the DCDC historical collection, so if you’d like even more information or to see what kinds of materials we have, you can view the complete finding aid here.