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Donald Rosenberg  |  May 15, 2011

2011-12 Season Packed with Varied Enticements

Two dance companies will make their local debuts and an array of dance styles is set to inhabit Northeast Ohio stages during DanceCleveland's 2011-12 season -- its 55th.

Six companies from the United States and abroad will perform at Blossom Music Center, E.J. Thomas Hall in Akron and the Ohio and State theaters in PlayhouseSquare under the auspices of the Cleveland presenting organization.

To accommodate dance-goers young and older, DanceCleveland is adding matinees to three of the engagements.

The series will begin with the third annual Blossom collaboration of the Joffrey Ballet, which is based in Chicago, and the Cleveland Orchestra, led by Tito Munoz.

The performances Saturday, Aug. 20, and Sunday, Aug. 21, will include George Balanchine's "Stravinsky Violin Concerto" and "Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux," and Christopher Wheeldon's "After the Rain," set to music by Arvo P rt. DanceCleveland subscribers may add Joffrey performances to their season subscriptions.

Momix, the popular company of dancer-illusionists directed by Moses Pendleton, will appear Saturday, Oct. 1, at Thomas Hall in the fifth year of a collaboration between the hall, DanceCleveland and the University of Akron. The company will perform Pendleton's "Botanica," a full-length work about the seasons with costumes, projections and props by award-winning designer Michael Curry.

New York-based Aszure Barton and Artists will make their Cleveland debut Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Ohio Theatre with a program featuring Canadian-born artistic director Barton's "Busk," a look at street performers set to Gypsy and choral music.

Another acclaimed debuting troupe, Israel's Inbal Pinto & Avshalom Pollak Dance Company, will appear Saturday, Jan. 28, and Sunday, Jan. 29, at the Ohio Theatre.

The company's 12 dancer-actors will perform "Oyster," a full-length work combining Fellini-esque imagery and the influence of Pina Bausch in a narrative blend of ballet, contemporary dance, mime and acrobatics. The score is a stew of genres and styles, from opera ("I Pagliacci") and tango (Piazzolla) to Harry James, Yma Sumac and Tuvan throat singers.

Ballet Memphis, a 19-member company celebrating its 25th season, will give performances Saturday, March 10, and Sunday, March 11, at the Ohio Theatre. On the program will be Trey McIntyre's "In Dreams," set to music by Roy Orbison; Jane Comfort's "S'epanouir,"with music by Kirk Whalum; Steven McMahon's "Being Here," danced to Beethoven's Violin Concerto; and Julia Adams' "Curtain of Green," based on the story by Eudora Welty.

The season will end Friday, May 4, through Sunday, May 6, with three performances at the State Theatre by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which next season welcomes a new artistic director, Robert Battle. The company last performed in Cleveland in 2009.


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