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The Plain Dealer  |  March 01, 2017

Jessica Lang Dance returns to DanceCleveland series with world premiere (video previews)

LEVELAND, Ohio - No need to attend Jessica Lang Dance unprepared. Beyond simple program notes, the New York-based troupe en route to Cleveland Saturday has provided detailed video previews of its entire program.

Well, almost the entire program. One of the five works slated for the Ohio Theatre, "Her Road," is impossible to preview, as it's a world premiere. Yes, a world premiere. For that one, written commentary will have to suffice.


Jessica Lang Dance

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 4.

Where: Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square, 1511 Euclid Ave., Cleveland.

Tickets: $25-$65. Go to or call 216-241-6000.

First off: a little about Jessica Lang Dance in general. This is the not the company's Cleveland debut. In fact, the nine-member troupe was here less than three years ago, just three years after its founding, in April 2014. Here's what I said about that performance.

Jessica Lang Dance pools resources of video, costumes and choreography for unforgettable evening

As for the program itself, know that it consists of five works. Three of them originated at Jessica Lang Dance. The other two were choreographed by Lang for other companies, before she founded her own troupe.

Start with the oldest work: "The Calling" (previewed below). This 4-minute work from 2006 was commissioned by Alvin Ailey II and calls for once dancer in an elaborate dress. It's set to music by the vocal ensemble Trio Mediaeval.

Next oldest is "Solo Bach" (previewed below). This brief work for one dancer hails from 2008 and was commissioned by Global Dance Theater. As its title implies, it's set to a work for solo violin by Bach.

The next two offerings are each barely one year old. Both "Thousand Yard Stare" and "Sweet Silent Thought" were created in 2016.

Below is the video preview of "Thousand Yard Stare," a setting of Beethoven involving all nine dancers and lasting some 20 minutes. Key to an appreciation is knowing that it's based on the stories of military veterans.

"Sweet Silent Thought," by contrast, calls for four dancers - two men and two women - and lasts 10 minutes. It's set to music by Jakub Ciupinski, a New York-based Polish composer, and pays tribute to the sonnets of Shakespeare.

Last but far from least is "Her Road," the world premiere. This one, too, calls for four dancers and relies on the music of Beethoven. It, though, deals in the visual art of Georgia O'Keeffe.

Sadly, of course, there's no video as of yet. Maybe there'll be a camera at the performance Saturday.

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