When you look at the cultural fabric of Dallas, you see a fair amount of artistic trailblazing: the DMA, for example, taking museum/community interaction to the next level this year; or gallery owners who have defied odds and set up wonderful outposts and spurred an arts revival. But few artists have left a mark on both Dallas and the national cultural landscape the way that Ann Williams has. The founder of the Dallas Black Dance Theater created her company from scratch and nurtured it through a time when art wasn’t at the forefront of Dallas consciousness. She’ll retire this spring after 38 years of leadership. It’s fitting, then, that the International Association of Blacks in Dance has come to Dallas this year for its annual conference — it speaks to Williams’ legacy within the dance community and it also broadens the audience for some of the company’s final performances under her mentorship. McFarlin Auditorium, 6405 Boaz Ave., hosts performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday as part of the conference. Thursday night’s event spotlights young dancers in youth performing arts companies from across the world. Friday’s pieces will be performed by companies that are semiprofessional. Saturday features a show filled with dancers from professional black dance companies. Dallas Black Dance Theater artists will be joined by dancers from Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Lula Washington Dance, Philadanco! — The Philadelphia Dance Co., and more. Tickets range $42.50 to $67.50. Buy them at attpac.org.
Jan. 16-18, 2014