Monday, November 6th, 2017 12:00 PM
CLEVELAND, Ohio - There's a reason dancer Michael Trusnovec has been a with the Paul Taylor Dance Company his entire career, almost 22 years.
It's the same reason the company itself has lasted 63 years, and remains in demand just about everywhere, including here in Cleveland: Taylor's work simply never gets old.
"There's always something new to discover, even in dances we've done hundreds of times," Trusnovec said, by phone from Philadelphia, more › a few days ahead of an appearance on the DanceCleveland series at Playhouse Square Nov. 11. "It's been so easy to stay and do them for a lifetime."
They're easy to watch for a lifetime, too. Among modern dance companies, Taylor's is almost unique in its ability to make and retain converts, to hook even the staunchest of dance holdouts.
Pressed to pinpoint what it is that makes Taylor's work so appealing, so long-lasting, Trusnovec said it's a combination of its physicality and use of space, born out of Taylor's background as a swimmer, and the sheer joy the dancers exude performing it.
"There's a sense that we're not moving through empty air," Trusnovec said. "It's as if we're moving the air around us, moving through some palpable energy.
"It really does feel as good as it looks, and the exuberance from that is always great. We're always drawing them in."
Exuberance. Physicality. Depth. Those have been constants since 1954, when Taylor founded his troupe in New York. But the company, last here in 2013, has not been immune to change or to growth over the years.
The company's Cleveland program is a case in point. Not all that long ago, the company performed Taylor's work exclusively. Now, it's in the habit of commissioning and presenting work by others, including Lily York's "Continuum," a setting of Max Richter's take on Vivalid's "The Four Seasons."
Also on the program here: Taylor's "Arden Court" (which York herself premiered in 1981) and the tango-inspired "Piazzolla Caldera," from 1997.
"I never thought I'd dance anyone else's work, but right now, I'm getting the best of both worlds," Trusnovec said.
He almost got neither. Despite his self-described "voracious" consumption of Taylor's work as a student and laser-like focus on joining the company, his audition for Paul Taylor was not a success. Not initially, anyway.
Then came the call that changed his life, that kept Trusnovec from pursuing a career in film or musical theater. He and a close friend, a fellow Taylor fan, had in fact landed spots in Taylor 2, the company's expansion troupe.
Two years later, he was a member of the main company, performing all over the world and delving deeper into works he'd already known and loved for years.
"We both pushed each other, and then we both got our dream jobs together," Trusnovec said. "I've been a lucky guy."
What: Paul Taylor Dance Company
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11.
Where: Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square, 1501 Euclid Ave., Cleveland.
Tickets: $25-$70. Go to dancecleveland.org or call 216-241-6000.
Zachary Lewis, The Plain Dealer
RELATED COMPANY: Paul Taylor Dance Company
Wednesday, October 4th, 2017 12:00 PM
Three Koresh Dance Company members came in advance of the rest of the troupe Friday to get started on creating three dances that are new, site-specific works inspired by artwork at the Akron Art Museum.
Dancers Joe Cotler, Micah Geyer and Melissa Rector toured the galleries Friday and all came away inspired by sculptures featured in the Haslinger Galleries, which displays late 20th century pop art. They next went to a more › Guzzetta Hall dance studio and quickly began choreographing dances in response to the artwork and gallery spaces that spoke to each of them.
On Thursday, Koresh will offer two free performances of the new works, whose working title is Negotiating Corners, at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. in several of the museum galleries. For each showing, a maximum of 40 guests will carry chairs from a short solo by Andrea Romesser in the lobby to more dance movements upstairs in different gallery rooms.
Thursday's event is the first time that DanceCleveland has partnered with the museum to present a site-specific dance.
Koresh, a contemporary dance company based in Philadelphia, performed a full program at E.J. Thomas Hall on Sunday afternoon to kick off DanceCleveland's mainstage season. The professional dancers are spending the week in residency with the University of Akron dance program.
The goal of the site-specific work is to blend the influence of visual art and contemporary dance movement. Geyer said it wasn't surprising that all three of the choreographers chose sculptures as their inspiration: "It's almost like a real moment in time,'' he said of the human figures that inspired each of them.
Geyer created his dance in response to a colorful, headless Gentleman Walking a Tightrope in the corner of one of the galleries, an imbalanced-looking 2006 work by Yinka Shonibare. He worked on a duet with Cotler that starts out with them doing crawling, hunched movement as well as some mirrored movements to the song The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack.
Geyer was looking forward to having audiences sit in a semicircle around a wood sculpture called rzeski at the opposite side of the gallery from the tightrope piece, with his duet being performed in between.
He and Cotler, who have worked together for nine years, were building the dance quickly as Rector, who was creating a trio, worked on her plans next to a piano in the studio. Rector, an original member of the company founded in 1991, was inspired by the 1970 sculpture Girl Sitting Against a Wall II, which sculptor George Segal made from wrapping plaster-soaked bandages around a living model.
Finally, Cotler demonstrated a solo phrase from his dance, which will be a trio inspired by the statue The World and the Woman, a 1992 glazed ceramic piece by Viola Frey. Cotler called the dance "improvish,'' inspired by the museum setting he had just seen.
In another fun partnership this week, Chill Ice Cream has created a flavor in honor of the company's founder and artistic director, Ronen "Roni" Koresh, called Rocky Roni, made with chocolate ice cream, honey roasted almonds, marshmallows and caramel. The Akron shop is at 30 N. High St. downtown.
Arts writer Kerry Clawson may be reached at 330-996-3527 or email@example.com. Follow her at @KerryClawsonABJ or http://www.facebook.com/kclawsonabj.
Kerry Clawson, The Akron Beacon Journal
RELATED COMPANY: Koresh Dance Company
Wednesday, September 27th, 2017 12:00 PM
For one performance only at 3 p.m. Oct. 1 at The University of Akron's EJ Thomas Hall, the Koresh Dance Company will present a mixed repertoire program filled with the best of founder and artistic director Ronan (Roni) Koresh's contemporary choreography.
Koresh, an Israeli-born choreographer, founded the company 1991. Known for its engaging performance and technically superb dancers, the Koresh Dance Company performs critically acclaimed works at its biannual Philadelphia more › seasons, as well as in touring performances.
The Akron performance, presented by DANCECleveland in collaboration with The University of Akron's Dance Program, will feature works that infuse modern Israeli dance with striking physicality and lush modern dance aesthetic. A pre-performance discussion with Koresh will take place at 2:15 p.m. and a question-and-answer session will immediately follow the performance.
The afternoon will lead off with "Deconstructing Mozart," a collaborative initiative that dares to deconstruct Mozart's 23rd piano concerto. It is driven by Koresh's choreography, multimedia artist Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky, and Stephen Levitin aka Apple-Juice Kid, who is a music producer and eight-time beat battle champion.
This piece will share the stage with Koresh's riveting signature work, "Bolero," fun moments from "The Heart," and a glimpse at his latest National Endowment for the Arts funded work, "Matters of the Heart."
The Koresh Dance Company will remain at The University of Akron for a weeklong residency designed to give dance students a chance to learn and work alongside the Koresh dancers.
There also will be educational outreach events for nonstudents ages 16 and older, including a free advanced-level master class at 11 a.m. Sept. 30, led by Koresh assistant artistic director Melissa Rector. A reservation is required by emailing Alison@dancecleveland.org.
While in Akron, the company will create and perform a site-specific dance piece Oct. 5 at the Akron Art Museum, 1 S. High St. in Akron. This event will be free and open to the public.
The Cleveland Jewish News
RELATED COMPANY: Koresh Dance Company
Friday, September 8th, 2017 12:00 PM
DANCECleveland Brings Koresh Dance Company to The University of Akron's EJ Thomas Hall October 1, for Matinee Performance
"The expression and performance proved fresh, urgent and deeply persuasive" -L.A. Times
DANCECleveland Brings Koresh Dance Company to The University of Akron's EJ Thomas Hall October 1, for Matinee Performance
Performing a mixed repertoire program filled with the best of Ronan Koresh's contemporary choreography
CLEVELAND (September 8, 2017) – Described as a "A rich, multicultural blend of intensity, physicality" by the Alabama Dance Festival, Koresh Dance Company will return to northeast Ohio for more › one performance only on Sunday, October 1, at 3:00 at The University of Akron's EJ Thomas Hall. The mixed repertory performance is presented by DANCECleveland in collaboration with The University of Akron's Dance Program and will feature some of Koresh Dance Company's most exciting works.
Tickets are available now at www.DANCECleveland.org or by calling 330-972-7570. Tickets range from $25 - $45. Until September 29, tickets can also be purchased in person at The Akron Civic Theatre box office, located at 182 S. Main Street, Akron, OH 44308. Groups of five or more can call DANCECleveland at 216-991-9000 for more information about discounted group tickets.
The performance at The University of Akron's E.J. Thomas Hall will feature a dynamic mix of contemporary dance works that infuse modern Israeli dance with striking physicality and lush modern dance aesthetic. The afternoon will lead off with Deconstructing Mozart, a collaborative initiative driven by Artistic Director Roni Koresh and multi-media artist Paul D. Miller, a.k.a. DJ Spooky and Steven Levitin aka Apple-Juice Kid. This masterpiece which dares to deconstruct Mozart's 23rd piano concerto, will share the stage with Koresh's acclaimed Bolero, fun moments from The Heart, and a glimpse at Koresh's latest NEA funded work Matters of the Heart. Moments of tenderness and grace alternate with humor and brash force on this program of highlights. The program takes a musical and emotional journey as classical favorites are interwoven with world and industrial music.
The performance will be surrounded by an array of educational outreach events including; a free advanced level master class on Saturday, September 30, at 11:00 a.m. at The University of Akron's Guzzetta Hall, led by Koresh Assistant Artistic Director, Melissa Rector and designed for dancers ages 16 and up. (RSVP required by emailing Alison@dancecleveland.org), a pre-performance discussion with Ronan Koresh on Sunday, October 1, in the theatre at 2:15 pm and a post-performance Q&A session immediately after the performance, allowing audience members the chance to ask the dancers questions and engage more deeply with the company.
Koresh Dance Company will remain at The University of Akron for a week-long residency designed for The University of Akron dance students, giving them the chance to learn and work alongside the Koresh dancers. While in Akron the company will create and perform a site specific dance piece at The Akron Art Museum on Thursday evening, October 5. This event will be free and open to the public.
The Artistic Director and heartbeat of Koresh Dance Company, Ronen (Roni) Koresh, is a choreographer, teacher and collaborator whose unique blend of ballet, modern and jazz leaves audiences dazzled by the raw passion that is infused into his choreography. He formed Koresh Dance Company in 1991 and quickly established an international reputation for highly technical and emotionally charged work. Roni was born and raised in Israel and began his dance education as a folk dancer in the Yemenite tradition and was first taught by his mother. Two of Roni's earliest teachers in Israel were Alida Gera and Micha Deri. At 17, he moved on to more comprehensive study with Nira Paz and Moshe Romano and then became a member of Martha Graham's Batsheva 2 Dance Company. In 1983, following a three year enlistment in the Israeli army during which he was able to continue his dance training, Roni immigrated to the United States to pursue a career in dance beyond Israel. He trained at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City and in 1984, he began performing with Shimon Braun's acclaimed Waves Jazz Dance Company in Philadelphia. Since forming the company, Roni has created a vast repertoire of over 40 works. The company tours extensively, both nationally and internationally, performing Roni's work and the work of guest choreographers including Donald Byrd (Spectrum Dance Theater), Ohad Naharin (Batsheva Dance Company), Robert Battle (Battleworks/Alvin Ailey), Itzik Galili (Galili Dance) and Paul Selwyn Norton.
For more information on Koresh Dance Company, http://www.koreshdance.org/
For more information about DANCECleveland, visit: http://www.dancecleveland.org/
For more information about The University of Akron, visit: https://www.uakron.edu/
ELECTRONIC PHOTOS AVAILABLE FROM SARAH HRICKO AT 216-991-9000 OR EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About DANCECleveland: DANCECleveland, a Cleveland, Ohio based non-profit, is one of a handful of presenters in the nation 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.
Funding for this performance is provided by:
Mary S. & David C. Corbin Foundation
DANCECleveland's 2017-2018 Season is generously supported by:
DANCECleveland is also generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.
The Ohio Arts Council helped fund DANCECleveland with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.
Char & Chuck Fowler Family Foundation The George Gund Foundation
George W. Codrington Foundation
Thursday, July 20th, 2017 12:00 PM
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Jeter for joy, dance fans. The dog days of summer are about to get a whole lot more interesting.
No longer does the term "off season" apply to dance in Northeast Ohio. After the launch this month of a new week-long Summer Dance Festival by DanceCleveland, late July and early August will boast the cultural bounty of October and November.
"Cleveland feels like a festival town, and we've been more › intrigued by this thought for a long time," said Pam Young, executive director of DanceCleveland.
"We don't always have a way of making dance more relevant. This lets us begin to broaden our perspective on what dancer-makers are doing. It's a way of building a different knowledge base."
As Young suggests, the new Summer Dance Festival, a collaboration with the prestigious, North Carolina-based American Dance Festival, isn't exclusively for dance insiders.
Certain elements, such as master-classes and workshops, cater to professionals and serious amateurs, but the highest-profile programming targets newcomers and the culturally curious.
"It's much smaller than what we do, but I don't think it's any less potent," said Jodee Nimerichter, executive director of the two-month-long ADF. "It's a delicious little flavor of what we do."
With three main-stage performances over the course of a week at Playhouse Square, DanceCleveland and its partners aim to attract a wider-than-usual range of viewers and participants, above and beyond their traditional audiences. In lieu of esoteric artists and work, the festival features popular forms including sculptural, hip-hop, and athletic dance.
Up first is the widely beloved Pilobolus, performing its signature multimedia experience "Shadowland," followed by "breaking" and hip-hop pioneer Raphael Xavier and contemporary choreographer Brian Brooks.
"[Our] goal is always to show the spectrum of what's going on in the field," Nimerichter said. "It's hard for anyone not to find something that they like. There are a lot of entry points."
And those are just the ticketed events. In addition to the concerts, the festival also includes private workshops with guest artists at Cleveland State University and a slew of free public activities in celebration of National Dance Day (Saturday, July 29).
Break out those dancing shoes. Time to get moving.
Only part of the National Dance Day party in Cleveland entails sitting: a free showcase of local dance schools and the performance by Pilobolus.
The rest requires active participation. Look for an outdoor barre exercise class, a rehearsal and performance of a routine for the show "So You Think You Can Dance," and an outdoor silent disco, in which participants dance to different music wearing headphones.
"Audiences love that participatory opportunity, instead of just sitting and watching," Nimerichter said, noting that when it comes to dance festivals and participatory events in particular, "Everyone has to pitch in."
So far, it seems, everyone is doing just that. Launching a six-day celebration of dance can be difficult, especially in smaller city at a time when arts funding is far from stable, but Young said the road to Cleveland's Summer Dance Festival was relatively smooth.
From her initial broaching of the subject with Nimerichter three years ago to her search for venues with Playhouse Square and assistance from Cleveland State University, Young said she encountered few, if any, real obstacles.
"We didn't run into any walls," Young said. "Everyone we approached made it feel like a better and better idea."
Now, with any luck, that momentum will carry over to the festival itself.
Young isn't prepared yet to declare the Summer Dance Festival a permanent addition to the scene. Only to say that her vision extends well beyond 2017.
"I'm sure we'll know something at the end of this festival, and maybe we'll have to fine-tune," she said. "But we've jumped into this like it's going to be an annual thing. We've put a lot of eggs into this one basket."
The Plain Dealer
RELATED COMPANY: American Dance Festival in CLE Pass