Kentucky State University presents the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company performing “Young, Gifted and Black,” set for Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Bradford Hall Auditorium.

The event is free and open to the public.

The performance will conclude DCDC’s three-day residency on KSU’s campus. DCDC will hold a master class on Sept. 8 at 11 a.m. in the Bradford Hall Little Theater. The dance company will also do a special performance for area public schools in Bradford Hall at 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 9, along with an 11:30 a.m. sneak-peak performance at the Carl M. Hill Student Center Courtyard.


“We’re excited about the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company’s visit to KSU’s campus,” said Dr. Vernell Bennett, vice president for student affairs. “We have invited area dance organizations and schools, who will benefit from this extraordinary event. This is a very rich cultural event for the campus community and for the Frankfort community.”

DCDC, rooted in the African-American experience, is a culturally diverse contemporary dance company. DCDC is one of five premier African-American contemporary dance companies in the United States and one of a few performing arts organizations of international reputation located outside a major urban area.

In 1973, DCDC became the first African-American dance company to gain membership as a performing company in the Northeast Regional Ballet Association. It also was one of six American companies (and the only one not based in New York) chosen in 1994 to participate in the Biennial de la Danse in Lyon, France. In 2003, DCDC toured 27 cities performing The Flight Project, which featured five dance works commemorating the Wright Brothers centennial of powered flight.

The Dayton, Ohio, dance company was featured in the 2001 Emmy-winning PBS Great Performances documentary Free to Dance and in the 2007 PBS special Dance in America: Dancing in the Light. Also in 2007, DCDC toured 22 cities performing the dance production colôr-ógr?phy, which comprised four works based on the paintings and inspirations of the famous African-American painter Jacob Lawrence.

DCDC artistic director Debbie Blunden-Diggs is the daughter of the late Jeraldyne Blunden, who founded the dance company in 1968. Blunden-Diggs joined DCDC at 12 years old and won national recognition for her choreography by age 17. The Young Choreographers Showcase selected her first piece, “Variations in Blue,” for inclusion in the National Choreographic Plan, which made the dance available to companies across the country. Blunden-Diggs is also the executive director of Jeraldyne’s School of the Dance, the cornerstone of DCDC, and works closely with the pre-professional company DCDC2.