Dallas — Xavier Mack began his dance training with Divine Dance Institute in Capitol Heights, Maryland. He went on to attend the University of Maryland-Baltimore County where he earned a BA in Modern Language and Linguistics. Mack’s says his dance journey with the Dallas Black Dance Theatre (DBDT) organization started at one of the company’s summer intensives.
“I met Nycole Ray, the director of DBDT: Encore!, when I attended DBDT’s 2016 summer intensive,” Mack says. “From there, we stayed in contact while I was completing my college studies. Mrs. Ray offered me a contract upon graduation.”
Mack spent one season with DBDT: Encore! before he was asked to join DBDT in 2018. When asked about the move from DBDT: Encore! to DBDT Mack says the transition wasn’t a difficult one. He explains, “The standard of excellence is high for both companies. The warm environment of the established DBDT dancers also helped make my transition painless.”
Mack also credits DBDT Artistic Director Melissa M. Young for creating an environment where the dancers feel comfortable taking risks, which, in the long run, helps them become better artists and individuals. “Since being under Melissa’s leadership, I am better at managing my goals, instead of letting my goals manage me. She often reminds us to take things one step at a time (literally and figuratively), one hour at a time, and one day at a time.”
Mack adds, “With the advice of this peaceful approach I’ve noticed that I have been able to meet more of my personal marks.”
For this year’s Dallas Dances, DBDT will be presenting Darrell Grand Moultrie’s Execution of a Sentiment set to music by Ezio Bosso. The company premiered the piece at its 2019 Spring Celebration Series. Talking about the concept of the work Mack says that the piece does not have a general feeling. Instead it has many different feelings sprinkled throughout its three sections.
“There are moments of somber stillness. Then, there are contrasting moments buzzing with intensity. In fact, the mission of the movements is to physicalize emotions that are normally communicated verbally.”
As far as what he feels when performing the work, Mack says, “I feel electrically charged. Especially during the third section. There is something about the dramatic music and the dazzling work of my beautiful team that gets me going!”
DBDT will be performing Execution of a Sentiment as part of Dallas Dances’ Saturday program at Moody Performance Hall.
» TheaterJones has tickets for both nights of Dallas Dances to give away. To be considered for them, see the contest we currently have going on our Facebook page (see the first post).
» Dallas Dances, presented by the Dance Council of North Texas, is 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, and 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2 at Moody Performance Hall. Each day has different programs. Follow our 2019 Dallas Dances special section for more features and reviews.
Below is a list of companies and performers:
- Saturday: Ballet Dallas, Ballet Ensemble of Texas, Ballet Frontier of Texas, B. Moore Dance, Bruce Wood Dance, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Elite Classical Coaching, Hailey von Schlehenried, Natyanjali Kuchipudi Dance School, RIFF (tap dance), Texas Ballet Theater
- Sunday: Academy Dance Company, Brandi Coleman Dance, Chamberlain Performing Arts, Dallas Ballet Company, Dallas Youth Repertory Project, DBDT: Encore!, LakeCities Ballet, 6 o'Clock Dance Theatre, Texas Ballet Theater School, Tejas Dance, Zion Dance