PRESS RELEASE: Contemporary Dance Theater returns to the Emery to celebrate 40 years
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March 27, 2013
CINCINNATI, OHIO — Cincinnati’s Contemporary Dance Theater (CDT) was founded in 1972 by Jefferson James, who continues at the helm of the organization today. Ms. James: “I arrived in Cincinnati from New York City wanting to dance. There wasn’t contemporary dance here at the time, so I started something, and it grew far beyond what I expected. I was just always doing the next thing, taking the next step.”
From then until the mid-1990s, CDT created and performed contemporary dance work as an ensemble of performers in Cincinnati. Some of its dancers later moved on to great fame, including Peggy Lyman who later became a soloist for the Martha Graham Dance Company. Others became leaders and educators in modern dance who continue to shape the dance landscape in and outside of Cincinnati (for example, Connie Bergstein Dow, who is the author of two children’s dance books; and Judith Mikita and Renee McCafferty, who teach at area universities).
The performing company dissolved in the mid-1990s to embark on a different direction. CDT had already begun presenting other artists’ work in Cincinnati. This naturally led to its primary role today, which is to “present” or contract national artists to perform their works in Cincinnati at the Aronoff Center for the Arts and to produce performances by local and regional artists, as well (both at the Aronoff and at Contemporary Dance Theater’s home in College Hill).
In both of its major roles, Ms. James says about Contemporary Dance Theater that “at its heart is dance, the passion for movement, the passion to explore new things, new artists, to bring them to Cincinnati, to share.” It was this passion that brought Elizabeth Collins (whose late husband Richard Collins served as the Artistic Director of the Cincinnati Ballet from 1989-1992) to become an avid and dedicated supporter and Board Member of Contemporary Dance Theater.
Ms. Collins on CDT’s mission: “It’s beautiful: presenting and producing dance and performing arts that are diverse and socially-relevant. It is accessible and offers something to everyone in the community.”
Ms. Collins is organizing a celebration of Contemporary Dance Theater’s 40 seasons in a return to the historic Emery Theatre in Cincinnati’s Over the Rhine district. CDT, when it operated as a performing group, performed in the Emery over thirty years ago. The Requiem Project, directed by Tara Lindsey Gordon and Tina Manchise, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, working to revive The Emery Theatre. The theatre’s nostalgic, unfinished, and grand setting is fitting for a celebration that looks at the last 40 years as an unfinished and continuing story, as Contemporary Dance Theater celebrates its history and fundraises for its future.
The fundraiser-celebration, the FORTY40 Gala, takes place on Saturday, April 13, 2013 from 7pm-10pm at the Emery Theatre located at 1112 Walnut St, Cincinnati, OH 45202. Admission is $40 and available online at cdt-dance.org/4040. Guests will take the stage as they enjoy live music by Grammy Award winning Billy Larkin, retrospective videos and displays, free valet parking, a buffet of delectable delights, complimentary adult beverages, and a silent auction.
More information about Contemporary Dance Theater, its FORTY40 Campaign, and its 40th Season are available at cdt-dance.org.
This press release and others are available online at cdt-dance.org/press.
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