Contemporary ballet and modern masterworks highlight DANCECleveland’s 2013-14 Season

BalletX kicks off the new DanceCleveland season Oct. 5. Photo by Alex Anderizliaev.
BalletX kicks off the new DANCECleveland season Oct. 5. Photo by Alex Anderizliaev.

CLEVELAND – DANCECleveland will celebrate its 58th year by introducing two contemporary ballet companies and a fresh newcomer in the dance world to northeast Ohio, while celebrating the return of legendary modern companies headed by world acclaimed masters of their choreographic craft.

Opening the season in October is BalletX, Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet company, featuring a roster of world-class choreographers. Paul Taylor Dance Company, one of the few indisputably great dance companies in the world, will return to delight audiences in November. In January Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, a New York City based company that explores the infinite possibilities of movement and multimedia, will make its Cleveland debut. In March, Trisha Brown Dance Company will present the work of its legendary founder and artistic director for over 40 years.  The season’s close in April will feature Jessica Lang Dance, a young New York City company, whose founder is praised as a master of visual composition.

In addition, DANCECleveland subscribers will have an opportunity to purchase tickets for The Joffrey Ballet with The Cleveland Orchestra featuring the Rite of Spring at Blossom Music Center August 17-18 at 8 p.m.

“We’re looking forward to an exciting year of masterworks and new, fresh approaches to dance,” says Pam Young, executive director of DANCECleveland.  “Ballet lovers will have two opportunities to see how this art form is evolving in the 21st century, and long time devotees of modern dance will delight in the work of two of the great choreographers of our generation. Finally, because we always look for something brand new on the dance scene, we’ll introduce an emerging company that is already creating a buzz in the dance world.”

BalletX will perform in Akron at E.J. Thomas Hall October 5 at 8 p.m., co-presented by the University of Akron and E.J. Thomas Hall. Founded in 2005 by award-winning artistic directors Christine Cox and Matthew Neenan, BalletX is firmly rooted in rigorous ballet technique while performing contemporary pieces that challenge its dancers with the innovative possibilities in the 21st century. Since its inception, the company has acquired a repertory of works by renowned artists including Jorma Elo, Jodie Gates, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Edwaard Liang, Adam Hougland, Helen Pickett, Matthew Neenan and Darrell Grand Moultrie, among others. Recognized worldwide for its unique repertory, BalletX participates in a growing number of national and international tours, including the Joyce Theater in New York City, Festival de Ballet in Colombia, Ballet EXPO in South Korea, Vail International Dance Festival in Colorado and Cerriots Center in California, among others.

“Clever and sometimes humorous choreography, dramatic lighting and gorgeous bodies hit all the right notes.”  — The Philadelphia Inquirer


Paul Taylor Dance Company comes to the Ohio Theatre at Playhouse Square on November 9 at 8 p.m.  Paul Taylor, the last living member of the pantheon that created America’s indigenous art of modern dance, continues to win public and critical acclaim for the vibrancy, relevance and power of his creations. His dances are renowned for their movement invention, athleticism, cultural commentary and intricate musicality. Since his origins as a dance maker in 1954, Taylor offers cogent observations on life’s complexities while tackling some of society’s thorniest issues. He has set works to an eclectic mix that includes medieval masses, Renaissance dances, baroque concertos, classical symphonies, and scores by Debussy, Cage, Feldman and Ligeti, ragtime, tango, Tin Pan Alley and barbershop quartets. From the Acropolis in Athens, Greece to the loading dock of a factory in Pella, Iowa, the Paul Taylor Dance Company performs works in venues of every size and description around the world.

“The American spirit soars whenever Taylor’s dancers dance.” —  San Francisco Chronicle.

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet will make its northeast Ohio debut January 25 & 26 at the Ohio Theatre.One of the most exciting new American companies to emerge in the last decade, Cedar Lake is distinguished by its exceptionally talented corps of 16 dancers and its emphasis on commissioning new works by the some of the world’s most sought-after choreographers. Founded by Nancy Laurie and under the artistic direction of Benoit-Swan Puffer, the company dances to a wide spectrum of repertory from such choreographers as Alexander Ekman, Hofesh Shechter, Crystal Pite, Jacopo Godani, Ohad Naharin and Regina van Berkel, among others. Through their daring athletic movement and integration of ballet into contemporary and popular forms, the dancers of Cedar Lake take audiences on a choreographic journey that explores the infinite possibilities of movement and multimedia.

“The company has polish, seriously talented dancers, and a commitment to the “contemporary” in its name.“  —  The New Yorker

Trisha Brown Dance Company
Trisha Brown Dance Company

Trisha Brown Dance Company will present the work of its legendary artistic director at the Ohio Theatre on March 8 at 8 p.m. as part of the company’s three-year tour showcasing Trisha Brown’s major stage works for one final time in the proscenium format. Brown retired from making new works in early 2012 and now has the title of Founding Artistic Director. Since Brown first performed with her troupe in 1970, the repertory has grown from solos and small group pieces to major evening-length works and collaborations with renowned visual artists. Brown has created over 100 dance works since 1961 and was the first woman choreographer to receive the coveted MacArthur Foundation Fellowship “Genius Award.”  She was a recipient of the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award and served on the National Council on the Arts.  Brown has also received a “Bessie” Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the prestigious Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize.

“Trisha Brown is one of the most important American artists, not just of her time but also beyond.” — The New York Times

Jessica Lang Dance, which closes the season on April 12 at 8 p.m. at the Ohio Theatre, made its full company debut in 2012 at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, but its founder has a long list of commissioned works spanning 14 years. A former member of Twyla Tharp’s company, THARP!, Lang is known for her artfully crafted, emotionally engaging work and striking set and costume pieces.   She has created 75 dances for such distinguished companies as Joffrey Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Ballet San Jose and Pennsylvania Ballet, among others. Lang has also received commissions from the Dallas Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum for its Works and Process series.  Her company has garnered significant attention and acclaim at such venues as The Joyce Theater Foundation’s 9/11 commemorative event, New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival, New York’s Fashion Week and University of Richmond’s Modlin Center for the Arts.

“Incredibly fresh and alive.” — The Times (London)

SUBSCRIPTIONS:  Season subscriptions, starting at $116, are now on sale at Call 216-991-9000 or visit to purchase season tickets or request a brochure. Single tickets will go on sale August 11.

For more information on the dance companies, visit:

For more information on DANCECleveland’s presenting partners, visit: or

DANCECleveland, a Cleveland, Ohio based non-profit, is one of a handful of presenters nationally that is dedicated solely to the presentation of modern and contemporary dance.  The centerpiece of the organization’s programming is its annual performance series. The performances are surrounded by an array of educational outreach events including artist-run master classes, residency programs, student matinees, pre-performance lectures and post-performance Q&A sessions, designed both to break artistic boundaries and provide community access to the dance aesthetic and dance luminaries that DANCECleveland brings to Northeast Ohio.  

DANCECleveland is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.


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