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Zachary Lewis, The Plain Dealer  |  March 10, 2019

DanceCleveland plans blend of modern greats, Ohio debuts for 2019-20 season

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Think of the new DanceCleveland season not as a string of discrete events but as a carefully curated journey, a months-long survey of the art.

Attend anywhere from two to all six performances and the presenters guarantee you’ll see enough to start connecting dots and trusting your own judgement.

“You’ll see a very broad cross-section of dance and movement,” said Pamela Young, director of DanceCleveland. “You’ll come away beginning to form your own opinions about what you like and don’t like.”

The 2019-20 season, announced Saturday, kicks off July 27 with Philadephia’s BalletX and a series of free, public activities celebrating National Dance Day. Among those activities: free community dance classes, a student dance showcase, a silent disco, and a “mega barre.”

All that, in turn, is part of the “American Dance Festival in Cleveland” (or “ADF in CLE”), a two-week celebration presented in collaboration with the Durham, North Carolina-based American Dance Festival. That festival concludes Aug. 10 with an encore performance by Cuba’s Malpaso, in the intimate Allen Theatre at Playhouse Square.

“We want everybody to feel that energy and experience [Malpaso] that way,” Young said.

None of this, incidentally, should be confused with the Dance/USA 2019 Annual Conference, which also happens to be taking place in Cleveland. That event, a gathering of dance professionals from all over the world, takes place June 12-15 at Playhouse Square, Cleveland State University, and the Cleveland Public Library.

The main DanceCleveland season begins in the fall, with an Oct. 12 appearance at the University of Akron by Parsons Dance, the veteran modern troupe. Likely to be on the program then: the classic “Caught,” a magical solo defined by flashing lights.

The three remaining acts all constitute Ohio debuts: the Canadian street troupe RUBBERBANDance (Nov. 9); Cie Herve Koubi, an athletic troupe from Algeria and Burkina Faso (Feb. 15); and New York’s Stephan Petronio Dance, a modern group planning to perform a selection of works by Petronio’s chief influences.

And those are just the performances. Throughout the season, DanceCleveland also plans to present a series of dialogues with choreographers and dancers, in an effort to shed light on the creative process and the new meanings of dance in the 21st century.

“We’re trying to create a better understanding,” Young said. “We think a lot of people in our audience are curious.”

DANCE CLEVELAND’S 2019-20 SEASON All performances at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 27

Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square

BalletX (and National Dance Day activities)

Saturday, Aug. 10

Allen Theatre, Playhouse Square


Saturday, Oct. 12

E.J. Thomas Hall, University of Akron

Parsons Dance

Saturday, Nov. 9

Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square


Saturday, Feb. 15

Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square

Cie Herve Koubi

Saturday, March 14

Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square

Stephen Petronio Dance

Saturday, April

Ohio Theatre, PLayhouse Square


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