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The Nanette Bearden Contemporary Dance Theater was a select collective of professional dance artists brought together during the late 1970's by the late Nanette Rohan Bearden, arts philanthropist and wife of internationally acclaimed, collage artist Romare Bearden. The company was incorporated as a not for profit organization designed to create an outlet for talented dancers, choreographers and theater artists.

programs included a college tour lecture series; elementary and junior high school lecture demonstration series and after school dance workshops for high school students.
Ms. Bearden funded the training of many dance artists and the experimental works of choreographers of color who were unknown but gained recognition by working and developing their craft at the Bearden studio.

Some of the choreographers included Louis Johnson, Talley Beatty, John Jones, Gary DeLoatch, Rick Odums, Fred Benjamin, Otis Sallid, Roumel Reaux, Bill Chaison, Marla Bingham, Dianne McIntyre, Walter Raines, Keith Lee, Bill Scott, Chiquita Ross, Alfred Dove, Walter Rutledge, Kabby Mitchell, Elbert Watson, Abdel Salaam, Frank Hatchett, George Faison and Vendetta Matthea.

Company tours included the United States, Africa (Command Performance), Haiti, Europe and the Caribbean. The company repetory included A and S, Clown's Carnival, Shells, Ritual, Moses the Law Giver, Star Struck, Desert Hush, Olympiad, Last Dance, For Stan, Bachianus, Song For My Love, On Thelma Hill-The Place, Mourner's Bench, Good Morning Heartache, Every Now and Then, Lobo, Free Falling, Passage, Sweet Bitter Love, Moon Zoon, Connotation Brazil, Monk In Wonderland, My Old Piano, Takin' It To the Streets, Madman, Threshold of Hope, Spheres, Bitter Cup Heals, PSD, Black Coffee, Conquistador, Hour Of Power, Galactica, He's So Shy and Suite Otis.

Former company members (from the late 70's-early 80's) include Sheila Rohan, Gary DeLoatch, Marlena Bernoui, Donna Ingram, Derek Williams, Steven Fant, Brenda Garrett, Nancy Suzanne, Lisa Niemi, Cheryl Norvell, Rick Odums, Roumel Reaux, Stanley Harrison, Gina Ellis, Chiquita Ross, Sharon Wong, Vendetta Matthea, Avon Testamark, Khandi Alexander, Ruthanna Graves, Cheryl Scott, Kay Wright, Aisha Coley, Marcia James, Marla Bingham, Rae Ross, April Berry, Siri Sat Nam Singh, Cynthia Lane, Arlena Rolant, Reginald Browne, Audrey Jones, Vernon Bulluck, Kevin Kelly, Nina Clare, Allysia Sneed, John Young, Stephanie Pope, Alfred Dove, Ricky Davenport, Cisco Brutton, Sam Smalls, Eddie Jordan, Karen Henry, Vanessa Bell, Michael Franks, Broderick Wilson, Bruce Hawkins, Carolyn King, Abdel Salaam, Lisa Dockery, Michelle Saranne, Kim Snow, Stanley Dalton, Alfred Gallman, Gregory Hinton, Danita Rideout, Karen Joy Mobley, Quincella Swinigan, Eugene Niles, Carol Straker, Gary Gibbs, Clayton Strange, Carl Hardy, Miriam Bacot, Karen Thornton, John Jones, Jim Boone, Ronnell Seay, Sharon Wong, Eartha Robinson, Ralf Hamilton, Neal Whitehead, Lynnard Williams, Robin Williams, Lucretia Williams, Cedric Mickles, Enrique DeJesus, Karen Joy Mobley, Adrienne Armstrong, Brian Barnes, D'Juan Dinzey, Deanna Dinzey, Jocelyn Diaz, El Tahara Ibrahim, Althea Canada, Christopher Hemmans, Lamont Greene, Desiree Pina and Greta Martin.

The company was directed artistically by Gary De Loatch, Rick Odums, Roumel Reaux and Walter Rutledge. The company rehearsal directors were Gina Ellis, Sheila Rohan and Bruce Hawkins. Company stage managers included Saundra Ross, Marvin Watkins, Steve Jones and Donald Moss. The company Wardrobe Mistress was Sajda Mussawir Ladner. School faculty included Philip Filiato, Gary De Loatch, Rick Odums, Roumel Reaux, Sheila Rohan, Bruce Hawkins and Christopher Hemmans. Featured singers and performers included Gary Gibbs, Mary Lou Williams and Brother John Sellers.

Information compiled with the assistance of Sheila Rohan, Bruce Hawkins and Chiquita Ross.
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