From America's majestic West to a kibbutz in Israel to the Carnival spectacle of Brazil, DANCECleveland's 59th season will continue a tradition of bringing companies noted for unique artistic voices and distinctive styles to stages in northeast Ohio. The 2014-15 season will feature five dance companies from around the globe, each known for innovative choreography and extraordinary dancers.
Opening the season in October is Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
, hailed for its bold vision, accomplished choreographers and virtuoso dancers. In November, the world renowned Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company
will demonstrate Israeli dance at its best. In January, the wildly popular Pilobolus
will delight audiences with its witty and gravity-defying works. A newcomer to northeast Ohio, Compagnie Käfig
from France features Brazilian dancers who will captivate audiences in March with two heart-stopping works combining samba, hip-hop and capoeira dance styles. In April, Restless Creature will make its debut, featuring former New York City ballerina Wendy Whelan
who joins forces with four top modern choreographers for a memorable evening of new dance works.
In addition, DANCECleveland subscribers will have an opportunity to purchase tickets for an additional production featuring popular radio personality Ira Glass and dancers Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass
in "Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host" on Saturday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Palace Theatre. DANCECleveland is participating in this presentation by Playhouse Square.
"Every year we look forward to the challenge of planning a season that gives audiences a taste of the dance world's infinite variety, and this year is no exception," says Pam Young, executive director of DANCECleveland. "From audience favorite Pilobolus and two ballet-based programs, to one of Israel's finest dance companies and a Brazilian dance sensation, our new season is filled with innovation and excitement. While our dedicated dance lovers have favorites that they return to see, it's frequently the newcomers to our stage that surprise and delight everyone."Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (ASFB)
will give a matinee performance at the University of Akron's E.J. Thomas Hall on Sunday, October 5 at 3 p.m., co-presented by the University of Akron's E.J. Thomas Hall and dance program. Known for its riveting dancers and the distinctive voices of established and emerging choreographers, ASFB has advanced to the vanguard in its field and forged a strong national reputation. When the company began in 1996, founders Tom Mossbrucker and Jean-Philippe Malaty tapped the creative choreographic scene in Europe where classical ballet was breaking from its boundaries. The divide between ballet and modern dance was dissolving and ASFB's model was at the forefront of this trend. Today the company continues to innovate and reap accolades nationally and internationally, appearing at the American Dance Festival, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Joyce Theater, The Kennedy Center, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and Wolf Trap. Internationally the company has performed in Brazil, Canada, France, Greece, Guatemala, Israel, Italy and Russia.
The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet performance will be part of a week of educational programming by the company with students from the University of Akron's School of Dance and Dance Institute, as well as local community dance students. This programming builds on the momentum of DANCECleveland's seven-year relationship with the Akron community that helps build dance audiences and spur economic opportunities."Stark, sleek, and chock-full of moves that skirt the edges of contemporary movement."
–The Boston GlobeKibbutz Contemporary Dance Company (KCDC)
, one of Israel's most prominent dance companies, will perform at the Ohio Theatre on Saturday, November 8 at 8 p.m and Sunday, November 9 at 3 p.m. The troupe is widely identified with the work of Artistic Director Rami Be'er, whose exclusive and unique choreographic character has become the company's trademark both in Israel and abroad. With its technically strong and physically eclectic cast of dancers and its dynamic sensibility, KCDC characterizes Israeli dance at its best, and it performs regularly in the most respected theaters and at leading festivals around the world. The company was established in 1970 in Kibbutz Ga'aton, situated in the Western Galilee of northern Israel, by the late Yehudit Arnon, who laid the foundation for today's thriving International Dance Village which continues to evolve into a first-class center for dance."A troupe that belongs to the world elite"
– Weimar Festival, GermanyPilobolus
, the witty company that has captured hearts around the world, will perform at the State Theatre on Saturday, January 31 at 8 p.m. Pilobolus' movement is at the cusp of acrobatics and dance, with extraordinary feats of partnering, frequent biological imagery and intense theatricality. Since its beginnings, the company has continually broken new ground with playful topsy-turvy entanglements that require extreme strength, flexibility and athleticism.
Founded by a group of Dartmouth College students in 1971, Pilobolus continually forms diverse collaborations that break down barriers between disciplines and challenge the way we think about dance. The company, which has traveled to more than 64 countries over the last 42 years, has received a number of prestigious honors, including the Berlin Critic's Prize, a Primetime Emmy Award for outstanding achievement in cultural programming, the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for lifetime achievement in choreography, and a TED Fellowship for performing a TED Talk in 2005. In recent years, it has become an international entertainment brand with commercials (Mobil, Ford, and Toyota), music videos (nominated for a 2012 Grammy Award), and appearances on the 79th Annual Academy Awards, Oprah Winfrey, Conan O'Brien, and even the NFL Network, for which it received a Sports Emmy nomination."It's as if we're being given a fleeting glimpse of the inner workings of the universe."
– The New York TimesCompagnie Käfig
will make its Ohio debut on Saturday, March 7 at 8 p.m. at the Ohio Theatre. Since their first performance in the U.S. in 2002, this innovative French hip-hop ensemble, directed by choreographer Mourad Merzouki, has become an international phenomenon, selling out performances and garnering rave reviews worldwide. After an encounter with eleven young dancers from the shantytowns of Brazil, Merzouki began creating works for them that would bring a true artistic dimension to hip-hop and expand the form. The Cleveland program will include "Correria," created in 2010, and "Agwa" from 2008, heart-stopping works that mix complex hip-hop with capoeira, samba, electronic music and bossa nova to showcase the young Brazilians' astonishing acrobatic skills, dazzling virtuosity and passion for dance."The eleven dancers commit themselves totally, energetically, joyfully. Absolutely irresistible!"
—Le FigaroRestless Creature
, featuring celebrated ballerina Wendy Whelan
, will close the season on Saturday, April 25 at 8 p.m. at the Ohio Theatre. For over 25 years, Wendy Whelan has captivated audiences of the New York City Ballet with her elegant yet thrilling movement and her exacting, intelligent approach to performing. Restless Creature is a collaboration with four young choreographers to create a suite of duets that will be performed by Wendy and each of the choreographers in turn. The program will include "Ego et Tu" with Alejandro Cerudo; "Waltz Epoca" with Joshua Beamish; "the Serpent and the Smoke" with Kyle Abraham; and "First Fall" with Brian Brooks. The performance is being co-presented with Playhouse Square."It's hard to think of another woman who could dance these pieces, by four different choreographers, half so strikingly. Everything about her is riveting, interesting, unusual, intelligent."
—Alastair Macaulay, The New York TimesSUBSCRIPTIONS: Season subscriptions, starting at $128, are now on sale at www.dancecleveland.org. Call 216-991-9000 or visit www.dancecleveland.org to purchase single or season tickets or request a brochure.
For more information on the dance companies and video, visit:
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet:
Wendy Whelan/Restless Creature
Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company:
For more information on DANCECleveland's presenting partners, visit:
www.ejthomashall.com, www.uakron.edu 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.
Photo © & courtesy of Nisian Hughes