Cleveland, OH – PlayhouseSquare presents its 10th annual Dance Showcase on Friday, September 7 at 7 p.m. in the Palace Theatre. Featuring seven of Northeast Ohio’s finest professional dance companies, the performance highlights a wide array of dance styles from ballet to contemporary to classical Indian dance.
The companies performing are Antaeus Dance, Dance/Theater Collective, Double-Edge Dance, Inlet Dance Theatre, Neos Dance Theatre, Shri Kalaa Mandir, and Verb Ballets. A selection committee reviewed all of the submissions received and chose these seven companies for their quality and diversity. The committee was comprised of Laura Burkhart, Director of Programming and Marketing for the New Orleans Ballet Association; Linda Jackson, Assistant Director of Community Engagement & Education at PlayhouseSquare and former dancer, instructor and artistic associate with the Cleveland San Jose Ballet; and Paul Organisak, Vice President of Programming, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Executive Director, Pittsburgh Dance Council.
At the close of the show, guests will be treated to a special performance of the Grand Pas De Deux from Act II of The Nutcracker by members of The Joffrey Ballet. The Cleveland Orchestra will bring The Joffrey Ballet’s complete silver anniversary production of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker to PlayhouseSquare for five holiday performances (November 29 – December 2).
As a not-for-profit organization, PlayhouseSquare relies on charitable giving to present the Dance Showcase and similar experiences to the community. “Our donors and sponsors make it possible for us to present the Dance Showcase with no charge for admission, which makes it a wonderful opportunity for everyone, especially those new to dance, to enjoy this beautiful art form,” said Linda Jackson.
Those wishing to learn more about the various styles of dance are invited to visit the “Appreciating Dance” page on the PlayhouseSquare website, which can be found at playhousesquare.org/danceedu.
More information about the Dance Showcase is available at playhousesquare.org/community. There is no charge for admission and tickets are not required.
Dance Showcase Repertoire
Antaeus Dance, best known for its complex and compelling evening-length danceworks, takes a different approach with “Ladies Errant.” This irreverent and energetic duet features two friends who lead, follow and even mislead one another. Their friendly competition includes fast footwork, frantic hand gestures and devious antics. The choreography by Joan Meggitt and Beth Salemi Spzak reflects the sly wit and dynamic phrasing of Astor Piazzolla’s music.
“Waltz of the Coffee Clutch,” presented by Dance/Theater Collective, is a light-hearted look at four ladies’ idiosyncratic interactions as they pass the time waiting and wandering. Choreographed by Lynn Deering, this humorous quartet is performed to Tin Hat Trio’s “Waltz of the Skyscraper.”
Choreographed by Kora Radella and presented by Double-Edge Dance, Boomerang is a duet of vigor and fragility, like a ceaseless tug-o-war in which rope is frayed and worn thin by the performers’ ongoing, mutual intensity. The rope never breaks, however, as they exert control over the tides of their physicality to maintain the connection whereby they fuel and support one another. The two intermittently calm their inner storms.
Created in response to an international exchange program with artists from Easter Island (Rapa Nui), Inlet Dance Theatre presents an excerpt from Te Pito o te Henua (Center of the World) , which uses the company’s unique aesthetic and brand of modern dance to reference Rapa Nui cultural icons, environmental images such as the ocean and lava caves, and focus on global themes of community, identity and gender roles. This work was created, in part, through the PlayhouseSquare Launch artist residency program and is choreographed by Bill Wade in collaboration with the cast.
Neos Dance Theatre presents “Various Principals,” which premiered in Akron, Ohio in 2011 at the Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival. The Verschiedene Canones by Johan Sebastian Bach are understood as the beginnings of “theme and variations.” As choreographer Robert Wesner explored the principal phrases of each movement, he found a somber, isolated feeling of introspection and exploration that influenced the work tremendously. Throughout the 13 movements of the work, a principal couple relates, separates and observes their relationship, who they think they are and how they perceive themselves.
Shri Kalaa Mandir presents “Kaleidoscope.” Patterns of rhythmic footwork and stylized choreographed movements from the Indian classical dance form Bharathanatyam weave kaleidoscopic formations for a musical melody. Sculptural poses and intricate movements of hand and feet exhibit the beauty of pure movement. The choreographer, Sujatha Srinivasan, will perform a solo work entitled “Awaiting,” in which a young, shy girl deeply in love fantasizes and yearns for her lover to stroll by her street, pause at her doorstep and exchange words of love. She desires for her affection to be acknowledged. Exploring the emotional landscape, and mental state of a woman in love, this piece speaks of the universal need to be loved.
Verb Ballet presents an excerpt of “Continuum,” choreographed by Antonio Brown. An intense work of nonstop action, all things begin and end at the same place. All motion is a continuum.
PlayhouseSquare understands its vital role as an educator in our community, and is committed to providing arts learning opportunities of the highest quality to enrich the lives of students, families, teachers and adults. The Dance Showcase is a program of PlayhouseSquare’s Community Engagement & Education Department, which is unique in the performing arts industry for the variety of programs it offers, the partnerships it initiates and the access it provides students, educators and aspiring artists to performing arts professionals. Since its inception in 1998, the Community Engagement & Education Department has offered thousands of events, workshops, classes and more, most with minimal or no fees, to people of all ages from all areas of Northeast Ohio. The generous support of individual and corporate donors and foundations makes it all possible.
About The Joffrey Ballet
Classically trained to the highest standards, The Joffrey Ballet expresses an unique, inclusive perspective on dance, proudly reflecting the diversity of America with its company and audiences and repertoire which includes major story ballets, reconstructions of masterpieces and contemporary works. Founded by visionary teacher Robert Joffrey in 1956, guided by celebrated choreographer Gerald Arpino from 1988 until 2007, The Joffrey Ballet continues to thrive under internationally renowned Artistic Director Ashley C. Wheater and Executive Director Christopher Clinton Conway.
PlayhouseSquare is a not-for-profit performing arts center whose mission is presenting and producing a wide variety of quality performing arts, advancing arts education and creating a destination that is a superior location for entertainment, business and residential living, thereby strengthening the economic vitality of the region.
PlayhouseSquare receives public support with local tax dollars from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, to preserve and enrich our region’s artistic and cultural heritage, and state tax dollars from the Ohio Arts Council to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.