The main performance will be filmed inside the Dayton Art Institute’s Rose Auditorium, but to heighten the digital experience, Blayr choreographed “I Want You” on location at the Balsley House in the Oregon District. Featuring company members Devin Baker, Robert Pulido, Elizabeth Ramsey, Matthew J. Talley and Countess V. Winfrey, the routine will capture the look and feel of a music video.
Qarrianne Blayr and Devin Baker are among the troupe of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company dancers exploring the significance of storytelling in the organization’s presentation of “Body Talk” Oct. 15 and 16 in the Mathile Theatre of the Schuster Center. CONTRIBUTED
“It’s a very groovy, intimate, clever, and artistic routine,” she said. “As for the song itself, ‘I Want You’ is groovy and sexy on top but underneath it says ‘I want you but I want you to want me too.’ It’s a straightforward (message) which could speak to romance, community or even an organization. DCDC wants to be here for Dayton but we want Dayton to want us to be here as well.”
In addition to Blayr, choreographers include the aforementioned Baker, Ramsey, Pulido and Winfrey. Adherence to guidelines have been particularly productive.
“The blessing and the challenge for this show is that it contains new choreography,” Blayr said. “We are able to build in the distance instead of retrofitting protocols into pieces which have already been done before, especially in terms of partnering.”
Organizers acknowledge the concert’s title encourages thoughtful introspection just as Gaye intended nearly 50 years ago. Self-awareness is key as the troupe moves forward in spite of obstacles that have made this year unprecedented.
“It’s a challenging time,” Blayr said. “It’s not easy to try to come up with different ways to present work in the caliber you know you can do. But if everybody seeks to give their best artistic work, their best community development idea, at least the African-American community and the DCDC community can continue growing and thriving, especially if we ask how we can pivot with the times.”
HOW TO WATCH
What: “What’s Going On?”
When: Sunday, Nov. 22 at 4 p.m. (one-time only Live Watch Party immediately followed by Lights Up, an online conversation with dance artists, creative team and community guests) or Sunday, Nov. 29 available all day beginning at midnight (does not include the live post-show conversation).
Tickets: (937) 228-3630 or visit daytonlive.org
More info: Visit dcdc.org or visit DCDC on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram