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April 16, 2002


LA CROSSE, Wis.—"Every dancer in the company is cutting edge," says Pat Aahhus of the Evansville Courier & Press about the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, which is coming to Viterbo University’s Fine Arts Center Main Theatre on Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m.

Rooted in African American experience, this modern dance company easily breaks down the wall between performers and spectators and invites audience members into its fold.  With swirls of dancers in colorful costumes, explosive music, and intense but fluid moves, the company interprets modern dance and ballet into the stories of humanity—making dance a living art that’s easily understood.

With a repertory that boasts dances from established choreographers like Alvin Ailey and Talley Beatty, the company also performs work from up and coming choreographers like Bebe Miller and Shapiro and Smith.

The Dayton Contemporary Dance Company was founded in 1968 by Ohio native Jeraldyne Blunden.  Her unexpected death in 1999 led to Kevin Ward becoming her successor.  The company is one of the oldest modern dance companies in Ohio and one of the largest companies of its kind between Chicago and New York City.

In 1988, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company was one of four dance companies chosen by the American Dance Festival to participate in that festival’s Black Tradition in American Modern Dance.  The project involved the reconstruction of classic dance works by African-American choreographers and led to an extensive touring schedule.  Since the late ’80s, the company has toured to almost every state and traveled internationally to Russia, Germany, France, Poland, Korea, Bermuda, and Canada.

This event is sponsored by Marshall Field’s and supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin.  This is a Heartland Arts Fund program.  The Heartland Arts Fund is a collaborative venture of Mid-America Arts Alliance, Arts Midwest, their member state arts agencies (Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin) with primary funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, and support from private contributors.

Tickets are $24 for the second balcony.  For more information contact the Viterbo Box Office at 796-3100 or email at

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