Here Comes Dissonance Dance Theatre

By Shawn Short, Founder/Producing Director, Dissonance Dance Theatre

Photo Credit: Jared Traver
Photo Credit: Jared Traver

Dissonance Dance Theatre consists of eight members and four apprentices with a second company (DDT II), comprised of six dancers. With ballet at the core of nearly every work, the company blends “classic” modern styles such as Horton, Graham, Limon with nuances of jazz, and hip hop to create a fresh contemporary ballet aesthetic. Known for theatrical presence and exceptional artistry, Dissonance evokes emotional experiences in the audiences they touch. Their cutting-edge repertoire features works that are socially and visually appealing to audiences while remaining true to their mission – challenging audience’s assumptions about the human experience through dance.

Dissonance Dance Theatre is the professional dance company of Ngoma Center for Dance (Ngoma), a 501(c)3 Washington, DC based, Africanistic, educational organization that celebrates diversity and best practices by developing its students through dance training, performance, literacy, authorship, and entrepreneurship. Ngoma was founded in 2012. Because of the strong following and outstanding reputation of Dissonance Dance Theatre, it was decided to bring Dissonance under the governance of Ngoma as its professional company and premiere performance group by the board of directors. Furthering its foretelling of the Black experience, Dissonance Dance Theatre presents new dance works around the Black LGBT experience this month.

We are all so separated; male, female, transgender, etc. Our stories go unheard. This year, I have the resources to aid in positive visibility of the Black LGBT experience. The dancers, gay and straight, were quite supportive of the vision and were happy to assist in the creative process with their talent. We all need to do our part to bring ALL facets of the African-American community together.

Adding to the contemporary cultural dialogue of the Black LGBT experience, Dissonance Dance Theatre presents an evening of dance theatre titled Black to Silver: A Black Age Continuum (Side B), that examines and explores interpersonal relationships, identity and love within the African-American LGBT community. Featuring local Black LGBT singer Moshe Adams. For Mature Audiences 18+. Saturday, April 13, 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 14, 7:00 p.m. at The Jack Guidone Theater, 5207 Wisconsin Avenue NW. Tickets start at $18. For more information, visit or see the cinematic trailer (contains adult language).