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March 15, 2022

DANCECleveland & Playhouse Square Present Pam Tanowitz Dance & Pianist Simone Dinnerstein in ‘New Work for Goldberg Variations’

DANCECleveland & Playhouse Square Present Pam Tanowitz Dance & Pianist Simone Dinnerstein in ‘New Work for Goldberg Variations’

The company performs New Work For Goldberg Variations

CLEVELAND – Described by The New York Times as “the most sublime new dance since Merce Cunningham’s,” Pam Tanowitz Dance will return to Playhouse Square’s Mimi Ohio Theatre on March 19th at 7:30 p.m. for a remarkable performance of the evening-length New Work for Goldberg Variations, featuring world-renowned pianist Simone Dinnerstein.

Tickets are available now at or by calling 216-241-6000. Tickets range from $25 – $65. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Playhouse Square box office. Groups of five or more can call DANCECleveland at 216-991-9000 for more information about discounted group tickets. In addition to the performance, there will be a pre-show chat in the theatre at 6:45 p.m. and a moderated Q&A session following the show.

Sarah Sumbrum, Artistic Director of DANCECleveland, reflects on the performance: “We were so sad to postpone Pam Tanowitz Dance’s performance last season, but we are thrilled to see the magnificent work here in Cleveland this year! One of my favorite aspects of the piece is the fact that the piano and pianist‘s movement herself are so deeply intertwined with the choreography of the work. Rather than simply being a prop on stage in the corner, the piano is featured as a focal point in the middle of the stage with dancers interwoven, sometimes even sitting on the piano bench with Dinnerstain or mimicking her gestures. Pam Tanowitz is a brilliant choreographer and we are so proud to bring this work to Playhouse Square.”

New Work for Goldberg Variations is a unique work that shifts between encoded gestures and virtuosic dancing, and demonstrates the rich emotional world lying beneath the poised surface of Johann Sebastian Bach’s musical architecture. Dinnerstein, one of the foremost Bach interpreters of her generation, brings her nuanced understanding of the demanding score to Tanowitz’s witty and unflinchingly post-modern abstractions of classical and popular dance forms.

Talking about the work in an ICA Boston YouTube video, Tanowitz said there is “no linear narrative to the work,” and that using the Goldberg Variations music “was a risk” because it is so iconic. That risk has paid off as the work has been well received by audiences and critics alike.

Founded in 2000, New York-based Pam Tanowitz Dance has gained high regard from dance audiences and reviewers across the country. The company has been commissioned by The Joyce Theater, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Vail Dance Festival, and many other leading arts institutions, and has received numerous honors and fellowships from organizations ranging from the Bessie Awards, The Guggenheim Foundation, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts and Princeton University, among others. The quick-witted and smart choreographer was also named a 2020 Doris Duke Artist. Tanowitz redefines traditional dance through careful examination, subtly questioning those who came before her yet never yielding to perceptions stuck in the past. She has set work on the world’s most respected companies including The Martha Graham Dance Company, The Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet, among others.

Tanowitz’s combination of intentional unpredictability, whimsical complexity, and natural drama evokes master dance makers from Merce Cunningham to George Balanchine through the clever weaving of movement, music, and space. Her “sublime dance theater of the highest caliber” avoids narrative while audiences are instead “taken, poetically, through planes of existence” (The New York Times). A graduate of The Ohio State University, Tanowitz returns to Ohio often, choreographing and working with local dance companies here and visiting friends. DANCECleveland last presented Pam Tanowitz Dance in 2017 in Body of Work, Dialogues on Dance at Playhouse Square as part of their summer series.

Born and raised in New York City, pianist Simone Dinnerstein first gained wide public attention in 2007 through her recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Both deeply rooted in the score and profoundly idiosyncratic, The New York Times, called Dinnerstein “a unique voice in the forest of Bach interpretation.” The Washington Post has called her “an artist of strikingly original ideas and irrefutable integrity.” She has played with orchestras ranging from the New York Philharmonic to the Melbourne Symphony and has performed in venues from Carnegie Hall to the Seoul Arts Center. Her ten albums have all topped the Billboard classical charts.

In that same ICA Boston YouTube video Dinnerstein, who performs onstage with the dancers, said she gets bad motion sickness and cannot look at the dancers while playing for fear of throwing up.

“To be this close to dancers is quite something,” said Dinnerstein. “The stage shakes…I feel the breeze of them moving around me…sometimes they are creating rhythms that are separate from the rhythms I am playing and yet they create really interesting cross-rhythms with what I am doing.”

For more information on Pam Tanowitz Dance, visit:

For more information about Simone Dinnerstein, visit:

For more information about DANCECleveland, visit:

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