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Shawn Short, Producing Artistic Director

Buscando La Melodia

March 19, 2017 at 8pm

African drums form the "rolling bass" to Latin rhythms in DDT's, one-night only performance that culturally bridges contemporary ballet, jazz, and Afro-modern dance with sultry and spicy jazz music of Black and Latin decent composers. Buscando La Melodia presents a perspective of contemporary ballet born to express the multitude of dance expressions through a multi-cultural lens.

The program is divided into two sections: Indigenous/Africa Calls, and Stories Meet Spice. Part A of program is designed around the sound of a people, with Part B driven by the musical sound of Akeiko, Fruko Y Sus Tesos, Dizzy Gillspie, Chano Pozo, Ledisi, and South America inspiration encapsulated by Ennio Morricone played by Yo Yo Ma.

An individual project funded in part by the DC Commission of the Arts and Humanities.

As an African-American, I'm drawn to the sound of the drum. This project has shaped in many ways, with me focusing on various artists, styles, sounds, and musical regions. The one through line - no matter what- was the drum. I realized that a bit of Africa lives in me like others across the Americas. The amount of stories to tell are too great for one concert alone. We celebrate a small segment of the Americas (Black, Hispanic and Latino) through the life force of people of color. Ashe.
- Shawn Short. Founder/Producing Artistic Director


$15, $18 Online, $25 Door


Jack Guidone Theater
Joy of Motion Dance Center
5207 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20015


  • Walk Down The Hall
  • Bitter Blood
  • I Remember Me
  • Gira
  • The Life
  • Lose Yourself
  • Beauty Only Knocks Once
  • Feeling Orange
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Walk Down The Hall

World Premiere

Choreography by Shawn Short

Dancers search for a way out of their current state, while building community and relationships. Walk Down The Hall blends the Afro beat sound of Akeiko with contemporary dance.

Bitter Blood

World Premiere

Choreography by Shawn Short

An ensemble of men find brotherhood and each other. Bitter Blood examines the anxiety felt by Black men during daily travel. It is with themselves that they find solace and community.

I Remember Me

Choreography by Shawn Short

A young woman surrenders to her challenges and creates a beautiful statement. Performed to the passionate singer Angelique Kidjo, I Remember Me embodies strength, passion, and purpose.


Choreography by Shawn Short

Brazilian choreographer Rafel Gomes's Gira brings home the sound and movement of Candomblé.

The Life

World Premiere

Choreography by Shawn Short

Three "working girls" in prison adorn contemporary pointe work in The Life. "Working girls" endure many challenges on the street. The Life examines a scenario of three young women — women who realize that change is needed to see freedom again.

Beauty Only Knocks Once

World Premiere

Choreography by Shawn Short

A pas du deux filled with tenderness and thoughtful touches marry to Gabriel's Oboe/The Mission in Beauty Only Knocks Once.

Feeling Orange

Choreography by Shawn Short

Ledisi's spicy score brings the African-American and Spanish experience together in Feeling Orange.


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We started in 2007 and have performed around the country. Read Our Story