It’s a shame that Dance Alloy Theater member Gretchen Moore had to be the one to post a DAT update on her Facebook page. As she wrote, “The merger with Kelly-Strayhorn Theater is complete & DAT is turning into a pick-up company. No money due to our managing director not applying for any grants. Without the K-S we would no longer exist. Basically I lost my income, but I will be performing with & serving as a rehearsal director for AWCDE (August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble) & doing side work for DAT/K-S. K-S is excited about the merger & is looking forward to utilizing DAT’s studios.”
I don’t think anyone denies that this merger has wonderful possibilities for both groups, but it has been handled badly from a community standpoint. To allow Pittsburgh’s oldest modern dance company essentially to vaporize without any explanation is a disservice to its audiences, supporters and, in particular, the dancers: Jasmine Hearn, Raymond Interior, Maribeth Maxa, Michael Walsh and Gretchen.
So folks, apparently there will be no fall season (and possibly more) for the venerable DAT. In the meantime, the Kelly-Strayhorn is managing the Alloy school and has issued the following statement: “The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater and Dance Alloy have formed a partnership. Both boards have approved a merger resolution that they’re in final discussions.”
This seems to be a step further than I noted on my May 24 post on CrossCurrents where they had formed a “negotiation committee.” But in light of the oncoming season, the committee could have provided some indication as to whether the company could possibly continue. And if it does come back, will “pick-up” mean no salary or medical care?
There is one thing for sure. We will be deprived of five dancers who had formed a tight artistic connection in a very short time.
Definitely this Off Stage article means “off stage.”