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April 10, 2015

DANCECleveland Announces Ambitious 60th Anniversary Season Featuring Eight Dance Companies in Seven Theaters

DANCECleveland Announces Ambitious 60th Anniversary Season

Featuring Eight Dance Companies in Seven Theaters

2015-16 programs include renowned dance makers and

emerging talents poised for national prominence

CLEVELAND (April 6, 2015) When DANCECleveland opens its 60th anniversary season in July, it will launch the most ambitious season in the venerable organization's history bringing eight dance companies to northeast Ohio to celebrate its history and embrace its future.

In addition to DANCECleveland's traditional Mainstage or Connoisseur series, ticket buyers can also purchase additional tickets for two Celebration performances and two New Moves performances.

Connoisseur companies will include Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal, which opens the season with a Sunday matinee at 3 p.m. on October 4 at E.J. Thomas Hall in Akron. On Saturday, November 7 at 8 p.m., San Francisco-based Oberlin Dance Company, founded in 1972 in Oberlin, OH, will come to the Ohio Theatre in Playhouse Square. Perennial crowd favorite MOMIX will return to the Connor Palace Theatre at 8 p.m. on January 23, and MalPaso: A Cuban Dance Project will make its Ohio debut at 8 p.m. on February 27 at the Ohio Theatre.

The Celebration performances, which subscribers can add to their season ticket packages, will open and close the season. Parsons Dance will perform at Cain Park in Cleveland Heights at 8 p.m. on July 25, and the beloved Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will give three performances at the State Theatre April 29 and 30 at 8 p.m. and May 1 at 3 p.m.

Finally, DANCECleveland will introduce two New York City-based newcomers to the national scene in its New Moves series featuring Camille A. Brown & Dancers at 8 p.m. November 14 at the Hanna Theatre and Dorrance Dance at 8 p.m. at Cleveland Public Theater on April 7, 8 and 9. Performances in the New Moves series can be added on to season ticket purchases.

Pam Young, Executive Director of DANCECleveland, says that for the 60th anniversary season they wanted to do something special for the city that has been such a loyal supporter of the organization over the decades.

"It's extraordinary that Cleveland embraced modern dance at a time when it was considered radical by many in the dance world, and over the years we've continued to have the loyal support of a broad base of dance lovers and audiences willing to take a chance on something new. This season is very reflective of the type of programming that we're committed to, from audience favorites to seasoned choreographers who continue to delight us with their extraordinary talents, to the next generation of dance makers who are just beginning to make their mark on national stages."

Parsons Dance will appear at Cain Park as part of the Celebration performances. Because the date coincides with the National Day of Dance, DANCECleveland is orchestrating festive activities surrounding the performance, including a wine tasting and an opportunity for attendees of all ages to learn choreography that will be video recorded and sent to the Dizzy Feet Foundation (which supports, improves, and increases access to dance education in the United States) and to So You Think You Can Dance, the popular televised dance competition. David Parsons, who was a principal dancer in the Paul Taylor Dance Co. from 1978 to 1987, founded his own company in 1987. DANCECleveland has presented the company in each decade since that time. Parsons is praised by The New York Times as "one of the great movers of modern dance," and The Toronto Star describes the company's style as "sexy athleticism [with] joyous movement." Parsons Dance has toured on six continents and has been seen on PBS, Bravo, A&E and the Discovery Channel.

"[Parsons is] one of modern dance's great living dance makers." (New York Magazine)

Since its founding in 1972 Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal (BJM), has been known for its energy and spirit of exploration. In tune with the times, the company works with some of the most prestigious figures in the world of dance and contemporary ballet. Under the direction of Artistic Director Louis Robitaille, BJM is committed to expressing each dancer's individual personality, giving the company a distinctive style that is accessible to audiences and speaks to both dance lovers and those who are new to the art form. Prior to the performance in Akron, the company will conduct a week-long residency at The University of Akron, teaching classes and sharing open rehearsals. This is the ninth year that DANCECleveland and The University of Akron have worked in partnership on this residency program.

"These exquisite dancers set the standard for contemporary ballet." (Backtrack)

San Francisco-based Oberlin Dance Company (ODC) will return to its roots when it performs in Cleveland in November. Founded in Oberlin, OH in 1971 as the Oberlin Dance Collective, the company moved to San Francisco in 1976 where it was the first modern dance company in America to build its own home facility which now is one of the most active centers for dance on the West Coast. In Cleveland, the troupe will perform "Boulders and Bones," accompanied by live music by cellist Zo Keating and featuring video and multimedia elements. The evening-length piece took inspiration from the process of the Scottish land sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. Led by Brenda Way, who formed the Oberlin College group, ODC has a repertory of over 120 works including commissions for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and San Francisco and Oakland Ballets, Los Angeles and Santa Fe Operas, Walker Art Center and the Festival des Etolies, among others. The company's touring roster has included the Kennedy Center, Spoleto Festival, Jacob's Pillow and the Joyce Theater, as well as Europe, Australia, Southeast Asia and regions across the former Soviet Union.

"Each sequence is strong yet delicate, and everything feels, looks and sounds new." (Dance Magazine)

Camille A. Brown & Dancers, part of the New Moves series, will perform a new work "Black Girl: Linguistic Play" which focuses on the ideal of beauty and its impact on African American women of all generations. It was commissioned by DANCECleveland through a 2014 Joyce Award from The Joyce Foundation. Known for high theatricality and virtuosic musicality, the company's work explores real life situations. Brown leads her dancers through dazzling excavations of ancestral stories, both timeless and traditional, as well as contemporary issues. Theater, poetry, visual art and music of all genres merge to inject each performance with energy and urgency. A Bessie Award and Princess Grace Award winner, Brown is a prolific choreographer. A graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts, she was a member of Ronald K. Brown's Evidence, A Dance Company for seven years and was a guest artist with Rennie Harris' Pure Movement, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

"The exuberance on display (is) a joy to behold . . . incredibly inventive and energetic dancers." (Belfast Telegraph)

Audience favorite MOMIX is a company of dance-illusionists known for presenting work of exceptional inventiveness and physical beauty. With nothing more than light, shadow, props and the human body, MOMIX has wowed audiences worldwide for more than 30 years. For the Mainstage performance in Cleveland, MOMIX will present a new work, "Alchemia," an enchanting, phantasmagorical multimedia spectacle full of invention, beauty, sensuality and humor which explores the elements of earth, air, fire and water. With performances on PBS's "Dance in America" series, France's Antenne II, and Italian RAI television, the company's repertory has been broadcast to 55 countries. The company was featured on Canadian television with Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony in the Rhombus Media film of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition", winner of an International Emmy for Best Performing Arts Special. MOMIX was also featured in one of the first IMAX films in 3-D, "IMAGINE," which premiered at the Taejon Expo 93 and was subsequently released at IMAX theaters world-wide. In 2004, "White Widow", co-choreographed by Artistic Directors Moses Pendleton and Cynthia Quinn, was featured in Robert Altman's movie, "The Company."

"One cannot help but stare, eternally transfixed, while watching a performance by the dance-illusionist company MOMIX." (The Morning Call)

MalPaso: A Cuban Dance Project, a company founded in 2012 in Havana, collaborates with top international choreographers while nurturing new voices in Cuban choreography. The Joyce Theater in New York City has worked with the company to help it expand its repertory and some of that work will be performed in Cleveland. The program includes "24 Hours and a Dog" by resident choreographer Osnel Delgado with music performed live by Grammy Award- winning pianist and composer Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble; Ronald K. Brown's "Why You Follow"; and Trey McIntyre's "Under Fire." The young company, which is touring throughout the U.S., has 10 dancers including former members of DanzaContemporanea de Cuba.

"A strong performance and improving relations between the U.S. and Cuba bode well for the future of Malpaso." (Wall Street Journal)

Dorrance Dance, the second company in the New Moves series, honors tap dance's uniquely beautiful history in a new and dynamically compelling context pushing it rhythmically, aesthetically and conceptually. Founder/Artistic Director Michelle Dorrance has racked up impressive accolades for her work, including an Alpert Award, Jacob's Pillow Dance Award, the Princess Grace Award and a Bessie. Her choreography, which has been featured on stages throughout the world, uses street, club and experimental dance forms. With Dorrance Dance, tap dance, American's most long-standing indigenous jazz vernacular, is here to receive its due.

"Michell Dorrance is not only a dynamo in tap shoes but a compelling, imaginative choreographer as well. She and her company perform works that stretch the boundaries of tap." (The Boston Globe)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, presented by Playhouse Square in partnership with DANCECleveland, is the second in the Celebration series and available as an add-on to subscription packages. When Alvin Ailey founded his company two years after DANCECleveland came into being, this visionary choreographer sought to bring African American cultural expression and the American modern dance tradition to the world. From a now-fabled performance in March of 1958 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was born. That performance changed perceptions about American dance. Throughout its history, the company has performed in 48 states and 71 countries on six continents. Ailey created 79 ballets over his lifetime but insisted the company was not exclusively for his choreography.

"The overwhelming feeling in the theater was one of gratitude for the dancers, for the faithful audiences and for Mr. Ailey's gift to New York City." (The Dance Enthusiast)

SUBSCRIPTIONS: Season subscriptions, starting at $116, are now on sale at www.dancecleveland.org. Call 216-991-9000 or visit www.dancecleveland.org to purchase season tickets or request a brochure. Single tickets will go on sale August 18.

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