When dancer Davis Hobdy returned to our neighborhood in 1990 after attending college, he learned that professional performance opportunities were scarce.
So he performed as an extra with Ballet Dallas (which later folded) and Dancers Unlimited, and for a year, he was a regular member of the Dance Consortium (which also folded).
The answer to job stability, Hobdy decided, was to form his own company.
Pieces, which he founded in 1992, is celebrating its fifth season. Three performances are scheduled this month at Sammons Center for the Arts, 3630 Harry Hines, at 8 p.m. Dec. 20 and at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 21.
“I wanted to make sure that Dallas professionals had the opportunity to work and rehearse,” Hobdy says.
Unlike most dance companies, Pieces doesn’t focus on one particular style to the exclusion of others. Instead, it does “concert dance,” which Hobdy describes as a mixture of styles within a program. Ballet, jazz and modern dance fill most of the company’s repertoire, but it also has been invited to perform liturgical, or sacred, pieces for churches.
For almost everyone in the company, which includes 11 professional dancers, participation in Pieces is a part-time job.
Despite difficulty in raising funds, Pieces is evolving and growing, says Hobdy.
“We started our first year with three performances, and by our third year had 15 shows,” Hobdy says.
Many of the shows are presented at schools and recreation centers, he says.
Pieces currently rehearses at Danse En L’air, a studio at 9205 Skillman, but Hobdy says his long-term goals include acquiring a studio and opening a school for young dance students.
Just 10 years ago, Hobdy was one of Dallas’ up-and-coming teenage dancers. He is a 1986 graduate of the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (also known as the Arts Magnet), where he was nationally ranked in jazz dance. He later studied ballet and modern dance at the North Carolina School of the Arts and UT-Austin.
Since returning home, he has taught in area dance studios, choreographed Hockaday School performances, instructed teen and child actors on dance and movement for the Dallas Theater Center, and led senior citizen ballet classes at the Baylor Fitness Center.
Tickets to Pieces’ December performances are $10 per person, with discounts available for students and senior citizens. Admission is free to individuals who bring a bag of potbellied pig food for the Adopt a Pig program sponsored by the Metroplex Association of Potbellied Pig Enthusiasts. For reservations, call 972-601-9832.
News & Notes
Cowboys on the Big Screen: Football fans can catch the Dallas Cowboys this month at the Lakewood Theatre, 1825 Abrams Parkway, which will air games on its 20-foot-tall, 30-foot-wide movie screen. Admission is free, a complimentary buffet will be provided, and bar service will be available. The Cowboys play the Arizona Cardinals at 3 p.m. Dec. 8, the New England Patriots at noon Dec. 15 and the Washington Redskins at 3 p.m. Dec. 22. Doors open an hour before the game. Call 827-LAKE.
Neighborhood Resident Releases Song: Lakewood resident Vincent DeTiberlis, president of Solitaire Music Inc., released his first single, “Day You Went Away,” last month. The song is written, produced and arranged by DeTiberlis and performed by Solitaire recording artist Jennifer Walker. A portion of the single’s proceeds will be donated to the Cathedral of Hope. DeTiberlis has been writing songs since age 12 and launched his music company in 1990. He signed Walker to his label last spring after she recorded a fund-raising album with him for Skyline High School. Walker, who has been touted as an up-and-coming star, also released her debut CD “From My Heart” last month. Call 823-2926 for information.
Mixed Media Drawings: Neighborhood resident and Advocate cartoonist Brad McMillan holds an informal showing of his limited edition prints, mixed media drawings and paintings at his home studio, 902 N. Buckner, from 1-5 p.m. Dec. 7-8. Call 320-1055.