Dallas Black Dance Theatre announced this morning that it’s hired Dallas native Bridget L. Moore to be its new artistic director. Moore, who graduated She will be the third leader for DBDT — following the quick exit of April Berry in 2015. Berry officially started in September 2014 to offer stability and continue the legacy of DBDT founder Ann Williams, but within less than a year, she was out, and Williams was back running the company that has had no other leader for its 40 years. Berry may have been a case of an outsider not fitting in — it’s also common for the second person to run a long-established company to run into entrenched practices and people.
But Moore, although she has not performed or choreographed with DBDT, she did graduate from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and has also taught there. She earned her MFA in dance in from New York University, toured professionally with Ronald K. Brown’s Evidence company and is currently teaching at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea.
She will start at DBDT on Feb. 1.
The full release:
DALLAS BLACK DANCE THEATRE SELECTS NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
INTERNATIONAL CHOREOGRAPHER AND DALLAS NATIVE BRIDGET L. MOORE
Dallas, TX – The Board of Directors of Dallas Black Dance Theatre (DBDT) is pleased to announce it has selected international choreographer and Dallas native Bridget L. Moore as its new artistic director. Ms. Moore will start her new position with the 40-year old dance institution on February 1, 2017.
Ms. Moore has a long history with Dallas Black Dance Theatre and the Dallas performing arts community. She graduated from Arts Magnet High School, now Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (BTWHSPVA) in 1989 and attended The Ohio State University, graduating with a BFA in Dance, with a concentration in Choreography in 1993. Ms. Moore went on to earn a MFA in Dance from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts in 2006. Ms. Moore toured professionally with Ronald K. Brown’s EVIDENCE, A Dance Company, in New York City. She later returned to Dallas to teach at her alma mater BTWHSPVA.
For the past three years, Ms. Moore served as a dance professor at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea, while crisscrossing the globe choreographing new works for dance companies. In May of 2016, a group of Ms. Moore’s students were featured as guest artists in DBDT’s Spring Celebration, performing the world premiere of BOUND.
Ms. Moore takes over the artistic direction of DBDT from Founder Ann Williams, who is currently the artistic advisor. Ms. Williams founded the company in 1976. Since that time it has grown to be the 10th largest minority arts organization in America, the fourth largest black dance company in the nation and the oldest continuously operating professional dance company in the City of Dallas. Dallas Black Dance Theatre is a resident company of the AT&T Performing Arts Center at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre located in the Dallas Art District. During its 40-year history, DBDT has performed on five continents, in 15 countries and 31 states, including two Olympic Cultural events. Over the years, more than 4 million arts patrons and 2.6 million students, have experienced the dance company’s performances and educational outreach programs. DBDT serves more than 100,000 people annually, including more than 20,000 youth in grades K-12 in Dallas-Fort Worth area schools.
DBDT Board Chairman Gilbert Gerst states, “Following a year-long search, we are excited that Ms. Moore will take the artistic helm of DBDT, and we are confident that she will help Dallas Black Dance Theatre reach our highest purpose, mission and vision.”
DBDT Founder Ann Williams says, “Bridget is a dynamic leader who brings great experience and commitment to the art of dance. Her passion for choreographic development and her artistic knowledge will serve us well as we enter into this new era. I look forward to her effectively leading this organization.”
“The vitality of the arts is driven by collective experiences and communities and preserves it as part of culture. As a native of Dallas, I look forward to returning to America as the new Artistic Director of Dallas Black Dance Theatre,” says Bridget L. Moore. “I am excited about being a part of an organization that has contributed 40 years of excellence in the field of dance. It is my aim to honor the legacy of Dallas Black Dance Theatre and continue to move forward the vision of Mrs. Ann Williams.”
This position brings Ms. Moore full circle, who credits Dallas Black Dance Theatre with kindling her interest in dance as a career. “Dallas Black Dance Theatre came to my elementary school through an arts and education program. The dancers from the company taught classes once a week for a short period,” explains Ms. Moore. “At the time, I didn’t know much about dance as an art form, but I understood how to move my body and I loved to dance. I had the opportunity to attend performances by the company through the same program, and I believe the exposure sparked my curiosity.”
Dallas Black Dance Theatre Founder Ann Williams nominated Ms. Moore for the Princess Grace Foundation Choreography Fellowship Award. “I went through the application process and received a choreography fellowship from the Princess Grace Foundation in 2012. It was an honor to be acknowledged with this prestigious award, but it was equally an honor to work with a critically acclaimed company such as Dallas Black Dance Theatre,” says Ms. Moore.
Ms. Moore’s first work for Dallas Black Dance Theatre was entitled, Southern Recollection: For Romare Bearden. Subsequently, she created another dance, entitled Unearthed, for DBDT during the Cultural Awareness series in February 2016.
Chairman Gerst adds, “We are thrilled that Ms. Moore will be coming to Dallas Black Dance Theatre and we look forward to working with her and welcoming her back home to Dallas.”
About Dallas Black Dance Theatre
Founded in 1976 by Ann Williams, Dallas Black Dance Theatre (DBDT) is the 10th largest minority arts organization in America, the fourth largest black dance company in the nation and the oldest continuously operating professional dance company in the City of Dallas. 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.
Located in a historic facility at the eastern end of the thriving downtown Dallas Arts District, Dallas Black Dance Theatre is a nationally and internationally recognized professional modern dance company. DBDT engages the cross-cultural community through contemporary modern dance presented from the African American experience. Dallas Black Dance Theatre is a resident company member of the AT&T Performing Arts Center – Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre located in Dallas’s Art District.
During its 40-year history, Dallas Black Dance Theatre has performed on five continents, in 15 countries and 31 states, including two Olympic Cultural events. Over the years, more than 4 million arts patrons and 2.6 million students, grades K-12, have experienced the dance company’s performances and educational outreach programs. DBDT serves more than 100,000 people annually, including more than 20,000 youth in grades K-12 in Dallas-Fort Worth area schools. DBDT offers community outreach services through workshops, lecture/demonstrations, master-classes, residences, mini-performances and student matinees that are designed level-specific for elementary, middle, high school and university students. Another 40,000 youth and adults are reached through local, national and international festivals, tours, special performances at universities, social service agencies, professional and corporate organizations, civic events and community venues.
Dallas Black Dance Theatre is comprised of five performing companies and its training Academy. Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s professional company, DBDT, consists of 12 full-time professional dancers performing a mixed repertory of modern, jazz, African and spiritual works by national and international choreographers. DBDT: Encore! (formerly DBDT II) features eight artists of rising excellence from across the nation that support DBDT’s growing local and regional educational outreach