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The mission of the Nanette Bearden Contemporary Dance Theatre (NBCDT), an intergenerational and multidisciplinary company, is to present innovative performances using established and emerging dance artists, nurture creative self-expression in young people and develop new audiences in diverse communities.

The Nanette Bearden Contemporary Dance Theatre was founded in 1976 by Nanette Bearden to provide a much-needed venue for dancers and choreographers who had few places to create and perform.
The Company won recognition for its programs offering minority dancers and choreographers the opportunity to develop their talents in a creative environment. Its repertoire featured works of emerging African-American choreographers, such as Gary DeLoatch, Rick Odums, Walter Rutledge, Otis Sallid, Bill Scott and Marla Bingham, as well as renowned dance artists such as Talley Beatty, Fred Benjamin, Louis Johnson, George Faison and Dianne McIntyre.

The NBCDT was disbanded after Nanette Bearden passed away in 1996. In 2004 her sister, Sheila Rohan, also a noted dancer, choreographer and instructor, revived the Company with an exciting work-in-progress entitled "On The Block (after Bearden)".

The piece, choreographed by Associate Artistic Director Walter Rutledge, was inspired by Nanette's husband Romare Bearden's famous work, The Block, a six-panel collage celebrating a Harlem neighborhood.

The Block


About the Company
The artists comprising the NBCDT, ranging in age and technique, have expertise in dance, theater, spoken word and music. Using dance as the primary medium, these art forms are incorporated together to create performances that appeal to a broad audience.

A primary focus of the NBCDT is developing a school to train young students in multidisciplinary techniques, including dance, acting, art, music and technical theater. An after-school educational component, including mentoring, tutoring and health education, is planned for the future.

Current Programs

· Outreach Program
Brings the art of dance to underserved audiences who do not normally have access to this art form, NBCDT offers dance performances, exercise & wellness classes and dance theater workshops to schools, community centers, hospitals, churches and cultural facilities.

· Dance School
Provides professional training to students of all ages, classes include Ballet, Modern Dance, Ethnic Dance, Jazz, Hip Hop, as well as Theater Arts, Technical Theater, Art Appreciation and Music Theory.

· Dance Concert Series
The NBCDT currently offers a work-in-progress, "On The Block (after Bearden)", to schools, colleges and theaters across the United States. Accompanying the performance are technique classes, lecture demonstrations, and dance theater workshops.

· Theater Presentations
As part of its endeavor to bring meaningful art into the community, the NBCDT sponsors and presents plays, readings and spoken word performances, with a focus on works by artists of color.
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