Contemporary West Dance Theatre (CWDT), is an acclaimed contemporary dance theatre founded in 2007 by two highly celebrated dancers who joined together to forge a contemporary dance theater like no other. Bernard H. Gaddis and Charmaine Hunter, principal dancers with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Dance Theater of Harlem respectively, set forth with the vision to fuse classical ballet and modern dance aesthetics to cultivate works that cross many cultural societal backgrounds. CWDT is a repertoire company with over 60 ballets including works by legendary American choreographers Alvin Ailey, Ulysses Dove, Elisa Monte, Rennie Harris, as well as by up and coming choreographers Zane Booker, Vernard Gilmore, Hope Boykin, Nicholas Villenue, Thang Dao, Jamal Story and many others.
Contemporary West Dance Theatre has been hailed as the company to watch! –The Review Journal
BERNARD H. GADDIS
Bernard Gaddis’ dance studies began in Philadelphia at the High School for Performing Arts, under the tutelage of Ms. Althea Leslie, Judy Oruska, & David Kloss. He received numerous awards and scholarships while in high school, including a full scholarship to the prestigious Governor’s School for the performing Arts. Mr. Gaddis has also received scholarships to the Pennsylvania Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, Princeton Ballet, & The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Bernard’s first professional dance experience was with The Philadelphia Dance Co. (Philadanco) at the age of fifteen being the youngest male to ever join the co. quickly became a principal dancer in his second year. Mr. Gaddis also became the Founder, Artistic Director & Choreographer of Philadanco’s second performing company D2. The company is in its fourteenth year and is still growing strong. Bernard has received numerous awards for his role as Artistic Director & Choreographer including the prestigious award for Men Making a Difference in the city of Philadelphia presented to him by Senator Chakka Fattah.
After leaving Philadelphia, Bernard traveled to New York City where he became the Principal Dancer with The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater under the artistic directorship of the renowned dancer and choreographer Ms. Judith Jamison. He spent seven years as a principal dancer with the company performing such works as Revelations, Memoria, Episodes, A Hymn for Alvin Ailey, and many other famous ballets. Bernard has traveled throughout the world and has performed for the Queen of England, Nelson Mandela and the former President of the United States Bill Clinton & and has performed in famous theaters such as the Paris Opera House, Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Opera house, The Kennedy Center Theater, The Lincoln Center Theater, The Tivoli Theater Copenhagen, The Bolshoi Theater, among the few. Bernard also Joined the La cast of The Broadway Musical The Lion King as a lead Dancer and chorus singer where he work with renowned director Julie Tamour. Mr., Gaddis was formerly a Principal Dancer & Choreographer for Cirque Du Soleil’s Las Vegas shows Zumanity and Mystere. Bernard has successfully produced directed and choreographed two sold out Benefit concerts (Dance for Life 1 and II) raising money for Women’s Breast Cancer and Children living with HIV and Aids, in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Mr. Gaddis is currently the Event Coordinator and Artistic Director for a Los Angeles based Entertainment co. (Cienega Entertainment Group) Bernard has performed with various companies as a Guest artist, such as Oakland Ballet, Ballet Pacifica, The Koresh Dance co. The Pennsylvania Ballet and the Paris Company Zingaro.
Bernard has had the privilege of having ballets created and remounted on him by renowned choreographers such as Alvin Ailey, Judith Jamison, Talley Beatty, Ulysses’ Dove, Jerome Robins, Donald Mc Kayle, Garth Fagan, Geoffrey Holder, Gene Hill Sagan, Lester Horton, Lynn Taylor Corbett, Brenda Way, Lar Lubovitch, Hans Van Manen, Jawole Willa Jo Pillar, Ronald K. Brown, Milton Myers, Dwight Roden, Katherine Dunham, Billy Wilson, Elisa Monte and Pearl Primus. Bernard has been taught by some of the most famous teachers in the world teachers such as Ms. Marion Cujett, Ms. Delores Brown, Ms. Sandra Fortune, Maurice Bejart, and Katharine Dunham. Jose Mier, Frank Hatchett & Jimmy Truitt. Mr. Gaddis abilities extend into Modeling and Television being a Guest Artist for The young & the Restless, a repeat guest for The Jay Leno Show, The Lady of soul Awards, Home & Garden TV. Arsenio Hall, The Sinbad Show, and featured Artist for The Glaad Awards. His Modeling Credits shows he has worked with some of the top photographers of our time. Jack Mitchell, Howard Schatz, Scott Ashton, Andrew Eccles, Marc Bapitse, Lois Greenfield, Bernard has been in top magazines British GQ, ZINK, Essence, Time, News Week, Dance Magazine, Dancer Magazine, & Vogue. Mr. Gaddis has also had the privilege to be the AGMA union representative for the Alvin AILEY dance theater. His duties were to negotiate The Artist Contracts for the years 1998-2000 also fundraising and grant writing for Philadanco’s Second Co. Mr. Gaddis has also been published for his photography in The International Library of Photography for his photo dancers “Bodies in Motion” Mr. Gaddis is also a Master Teacher in Horton, Ballet, Dunham, & African, and has given Lectures at various Universities and Colleges around the United States.