DBDT in Nycole Ray's Above & Below. Photo by Sharen Bradford—The Dancing Image, Courtesy DBDT.

DBDT Wraps Up Its 40th-Anniversary Season and Welcomes a New Director

Finding the right person to take the mantle of a 40-year-old American dance institution is no easy feat. But when Dallas-native choreographer Bridget L. Moore agreed to succeed Dallas Black Dance Theatre's founding artistic director, Ann Williams, the company knew it was a perfect fit.


For Moore this is a homecoming. It was DBDT that introduced her to dance as a youngster when the company's arts-in-education program visited her elementary school. Although she lived and worked in Seoul, South Korea, from 2014 to 2017, she maintained a creative relationship with DBDT, which supported her in facilitating connections with dancers from Korea and the U.S. Last year Korean dancers performed in Moore's work as guest artists for DBDT's Spring Celebration Series, and in January she presented a piece featuring both Korean and American dancers at the DBDT-hosted International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance.


"It is my aim to honor the legacy, hard work and efforts that have been put into making Dallas Black Dance Theatre what it is today," she says. Exactly how do you move the oldest continuously operating professional dance company in Dallas forward? Moore has a very clear vision: "Through innovative programming, delivering new contemporary dance works and devising initiatives that attract new audiences." —Theresa Ruth Howard

40 Years Strong

Dallas Black Dance Theatre concludes its 40th-anniversary season May 19–21 with its spring performance series at AT&T Performing Arts Center's Wyly Theatre. A work by Ballet Austin artistic director Stephen Mills is the centerpiece of the season finale, which also features Twyla Tharp's Sinatra Suite and guest artists from Ballet Austin. —Courtney Escoyne


DBDT in Matthew Rushing's TRIBUTE. Photo by Sharen Bradford—The Dancing Image, Courtesy DBDT.

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Stark Photo Productions, Courtesy Harlequin

Why Your Barre Can Make or Break Your At-Home Dance Training

Throughout the pandemic, Shelby Williams, of Royal Ballet of Flanders (aka "Biscuit Ballerina"), has been sharing videos that capture the pitfalls of dancers working from home: slipping on linoleum, kicking over lamps and even taking windows apart at the "barre." "Dancers aren't known to be graceful all of the time," says Mandy Blackmon, PT, DPT, OSC, CMTPT, head physical therapist/medical director for Atlanta Ballet. "They tend to fall and trip."

Many dancers have tried to make their home spaces as safe as possible for class and rehearsal by setting up a piece of marley, like Harlequin's Dance Mat, to work on. But there's another element needed for taking thorough ballet classes at home: a portable barre.

"Using a barre is kinda Ballet 101," says 16-year-old Haley Dale, a student in her second year at American Ballet Theatre's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. She'd bought a portable barre from Harlequin to use at her parents' home in Northern Virginia even before the pandemic hit. "Before I got it, honestly I would stay away from doing barre work at home. Now I'm able to do it all the time."

Blackmon bought her 15-year-old stepdaughter a freestanding Professional Series Ballet Barre from Harlequin early on in quarantine. "I was worried about her injuring herself without one," she admits.

What exactly makes Harlequin's barres an at-home must-have, and hanging on to a chair or countertop so risky? Here are five major differences dancers will notice right away.

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December 2020