The Dallas Black Dance Theatre performs

Kesha Williams
November 19, 2007

The Lyceum Committee at Elizabeth City State University welcomes the Dallas Black Dance Theatre as guest performers at 7 p.m. on November 30 in the auditorium of the Mickey L. Burnim Fine Arts Center. Dallas Black Dance Theatre (DBDT) celebrates its 31st season as the oldest, continuously operating professional dance company in Dallas. The ensemble, a contemporary modern dance company, consists of 12 professional, full-time dancers performing a mixed repertory of modern, jazz, ethnic and spiritual works by nationally and internationally known choreographers. Over the course of its history, DBDT has performed for 1.5 million arts patrons worldwide (40,000 of which were children). Founded in 1976 by Ann Williams, the mission of Dallas Black Dance Theatre is to create and produce contemporary modern dance at its highest level of artistic excellence through performances and educational programs that bridge cultures and reach diverse communities. With an ever-expanding national and global audience, the company employs a diverse, multi-ethnic troupe of dancers performing for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Williams received her early dance training under Barbara Hollis (a member of the Katherine Dunham Dance Company), Edith James, Doris Humphrey, and Charles Weidman. She received additional training under Alvin Ailey and Arthur Mitchell. Ms. Williams is a graduate of Prairie View A&M University and earned a Master of Arts Degree in Dance and Related Arts from Texas Woman's University. She holds a certificate in Arts Management from Texas A&M University and received an honorary degree, Doctor of Humanities, from Northwood University. The public is welcome to see this rare performance in Elizabeth City by an internationally acclaimed dance company for a $5 entry. ECSU students will be admitted free with a current university ID. For more information, please call Ms. Barbaina Houston -Black, 252-335-3279. ECSU provides the Lyceum Series performance for free or low cost for the community's cultural enrichment. Additional information about the Dallas Black Dance Theatre appears on the university web site, under the Campus News category. The Company: Janine N. Beckles (3rd Season) Beckles, a native of New York City, has two degrees from Southern Methodist University, a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and a B.A. in Sociology. She started her professional training at the Dance Theatre of Harlem. She attended LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts and was a National Foundation of The Arts award recipient in 2000. During her high school and college years, she was on a fellowship scholarship at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. Beckles has worked with Troy Powell, Hope Boykin and performed Memoria, Hymn, and Divining. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Maria Day (2nd Season) A native of the Philippines, Day is a December 2006 graduate of Texas Woman's University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a minor in Marketing. She is a former member of LaWanda Hunter's In Flight Dance Theatre, Dallas Dance Company and Dallas Black Dance Theatre II. Katricia Eaglin (3rd Season) A native of Dallas, Texas, Eaglin received her BFA from the University of North Texas while minoring in Business Foundations. She is a former member of Dallas Black Dance Theatre II, serving as an original member in 2000. She is currently a student at Dallas Theological Seminary. Eaglin was the Founder and Director of Freedom Dance Ensemble, and is an instructor of African dance and Liturgical/Praise Dance at Dallas Black Dance Academy. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Richard A. Freeman, Jr. (3rd Season) A native of Washington D.C., Freeman began his formal training with D.C.Y.E. under the direction of Carol Foster and the Washington Ballet. He received additional training from Duke Ellington School of the Arts as well as Virginia Commonwealth University. Freeman has worked with choreographers such as Mike Malone, Christopher Huggins, Charles Augins, and Debbie Allen. Peter Gaona (1st Season) Gaona is a native of Chicago, Ill. who began his training at the Joel Hall Dance Center and has studied at the Deeply Rooted Center of Cultural Enrichment, and the Ailey School. Gaona has danced with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Thodos Dance Chicago, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, The Joel Hall Dancers, and the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble. Kevin E. Jackson (4th Season) At age 17, Jackson began his dance training at the B.O.C.E.S. Cultural Arts Center of Syosset, NY. Since then, he has trained at the Fordham/Ailey B.F.A. program, Martha Graham School and the Koresh Dance Center. His professional career consists of the Martha Graham Repertory Ensemble, Ailey II apprentice and Oakland Ballet; and he has worked with Judith Jamison, Carman DeLavallade, Aubrey Lynch, Troy Powell, Christopher Huggins, Milton Myers, Alonzo King, Elisa Monte and Donald McKayle. Michael Jackson, Jr. (2nd Season) A native of New Orleans, La, Mr. Jackson began his dance training at Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C. under the direction of Charles Augins. In 2005, Mr. Jackson joined Dance Theatre of Harlem Dancing Through Barriers Ensemble. He has worked with many noted choreographers such as Adrian Bolton, Christopher Huggins, Charles Augins, Arthur Mitchell, Katherine Smith and more. Rashan K. Jackson (3rd Season) A native of Philadelphia, Pa., began his formal dance training at the Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco), and was a member of Philadanco II. Other training includes the University of the Arts, The Ailey School and Pennsylvania Ballet. Jackson has performed with the Bermuda Dance Company, Eleone Dance Theatre, Lula Washington Dance Theatre, Donald Byrd/The Group, and Washington Reflections Dance Company. Alicia Lundgren (1st Season) Lundgren began her dance training at the Ann Davlin School of Dance under the direction of Mary Lyons. She studied with Evelyn Thomas, artistic director of Nuba Dance Theatre and Reginald Ray-Savage, artistic director of Savage Jazz Dance Company. After receiving her BFA from The Ailey/Fordham BFA Program in Dance in 2005, she toured internationally with Ailey II for two years under the direction of Sylvia Waters. Ms. Lundgren has performed works by choreographers Nathan Trice, Pascal Rioult, Paul Taylor, Jose Limón, Troy Powell, Kevin Wynn, and Dwana Adiaha Smallwood. Alicia Pegues (4th Season) A Dallas native, is a graduate of The University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Modern Pedagogy. She has toured South America with the Modern Repertory Dance Theatre and is a former member of DBDT II. Alicia attended the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center on scholarship. Alicia is working on her Master's of Fine Arts at Texas Woman's University. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Nycole Ray (10th Season) A native of Detroit, Mich., Ray graduated from The California Institute of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Additional dance training includes the California State Summer School of the Arts, Wayne State University and as an exchange student at the London Contemporary Dance School. Ms. Ray has performed with the Lula Washington Dance Theater, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II and her choreography has been featured in the US and abroad. She is currently a Master of Fine Arts candidate and Graduate Teaching Assistant at Texas Woman's University. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Revised text highlighting the dance company appears courtesy of Dallas Black Dance Theatre.