The Blackest Berry: Dancing African Diasporas

Event Type
Event Description


Experience the breadth and connectivity of Black culture, kinship, and heritage through one day of incredible performances:

The Blackest Berry: Dancing African Diasporas
Athenaeum Center for Thought & Culture
May 6, 2023, 7:00pm

Internationally-renowned Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC) returns to Chicago, sharing many articulations of Black life through music and dance. Presented at the Athenaeum Center for Thought & Culture, this one-day only performance expresses the joys and sorrows - and everything in between - of Black histories and traditions through movement as crafted by some of the most prominent choreographic voices of our time. 

Newly commissioned, HOME/An Untitled Portrait, by Guggenheim Fellow, Tommie-Waheed Evans, investigates the intersection of desire, longing, and loneliness through the lens of queer embodiment within Black spiritual spaces. Using the music of Kendrick Lamar as the soundscape, this work is the convergence of choreographic, sonic, and visual practice. Celebrating triumph over adversity, Princess Grace Honoraria recipient, Crystal Michelle, illustrates the road to freedom in American Mo’ with the help of Duke Ellington’s Three Black Kings, composed in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Kathy Smith pays homage to the strength and courage of Mike Malone’s (1943-2006) movement legacy with Strong Like We, an energetic and vibrant look into our past. Set to the vibrant rhythms of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Children of the Passage, choreographed by Ronald K. Brown and Donald McKayle, draws from the traditional marching jazz bands of New Orleans with the grind and groove of contemporary jazz and soul music, in celebration of cultural rituals of yesterday and today!

Artistic Director Debbie Blunden-Diggs remarked, “The Blackest Berry celebrates joy wrapped in a blanket of Blackness, expressing a rich heritage of storytelling that will inspire all.”

Tickets are $35-$60 (groups of 10+ eligible to receive 20% discount on ticket price) and can be purchased at or by calling the box office at (312) 820-6250. You can learn more about DCDC at


Running Time
2 hours 15 min
Dance Styles
African American
Modern / Contemporary


Athenaeum Center

2936 N Southport Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657
(312) 820-6250