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May 29, 2024

DANCECleveland Announces 2024-2025 Performance Series

DANCECleveland Announces 2024-2025 Performance Series


Celebrating 68 Years of Modern and Contemporary Dance

Subscriptions packages on sale May 29 Individual performance tickets on sale starting June 24


CLEVELAND (May 29, 2024) – DANCECleveland proudly announces their 2024-2025 Performance Series, celebrating 68 years of bringing modern and contemporary dance to the audiences of Northeast Ohio. The series includes six inspiring performances that will ignite audience members’ senses and open their minds to what contemporary dance can be. With modern dance pioneers alongside new choreographic voices, the season includes audience favorites and as well as emerging artists making their Ohio debuts. Events begin July 27 with DANCECleveland’s annual Community Dance Day.

This season, DANCECleveland embraces its recently updated mission “to be a national model for how a presenting organization serves its community, leveraging the world’s best modern and contemporary dance to inspire and educate audiences, local dancers, and community members.” In addition to performances, the season features opportunities for local dancers to take free master classes with visiting artists as well as activities throughout Northeast Ohio including educational residencies at local universities, workshops at local senior centers and public schools, artist talks, pre- and post-show activities, and more.

The season features some of the most talented modern and contemporary dance companies from around the world. Performances will showcase the technical abilities of the dancers alongside the creativity and evolution of choreography within modern and contemporary dance today. The season begins with Community Dance Day and the return of ODC/Dance at Playhouse Square on July 27. This day includes free movement classes for all ages and abilities in a wide variety of styles. The Mainstage season at Playhouse Square features Hélène Simoneau Danse November 9 in the Mimi Ohio Theatre, as well as the iconic Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater January 31 and February 1, and Twyla Tharp Dance March 8, both in the KeyBank State Theatre. Audience members can also enjoy the addition of two smaller, more intimate theatre experiences with performances of Lloyd Knight’s The Drama February 15 and 16 in the Westfield Studio Theatre, and Raphael Xavier’s Skiff April 12 and 13 at Cuyahoga Community College’s Metro Campus.

Sarah Sumbrum, Artistic Director of DANCECleveland, reflects, “This season includes some of modern dance’s most iconic dance companies as well as the opportunity for some newer choreographic voices to make their Ohio debuts. I believe it’s the job of a dance presenter to showcase both the pioneers of modern dance but also give our audiences exposure to new artists and approaches to the form. Each season, we aim to create that perfect balance so that there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you like the impressive formations, high energy, and performance value of big stage performances or the more intimate experience of seeing dance close up in a smaller venue, this season has something for everyone.”

Sumbrum continues; “The field of dance has experienced so many hardships especially during and after the pandemic, and we are proud to be in a forward-looking place where we feel able to confidently bring incredible dance experiences to Northeast Ohio and remain an important stop on the road for many touring companies, serving a vital role in the ecosystem of modern dance companies in our country. I know this season is going to be incredible!”

Executive Director Theresa Remick adds, “The performance series has been a hallmark of DANCECleveland for decades, but equally important as we embrace our new mission are the activities that ensure all members of our community have the opportunity to experience and embrace dance. We are thrilled to be working with a stellar group of artists who will help us contribute to the vibrancy of Northeast Ohio, both on and off stage.”

DANCECleveland’s 2024-2025 performance season at a glance:

  • Community Dance Day and the Northeast Ohio Student Showcase, Saturday, July 27, 2024 Classes: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Showcase Performance: 3:00 pm Across the playhouse Square District.
  • ODC/Dance, Saturday, July 27, 2024, at 7:30 pm in the Allen Theatre at Playhouse Square.
  • Hélène Simoneau Danse Saturday, November 9, 2024, at 7:30 pm in the Mimi Ohio Theatre at Playhouse Square. Co-Presented with Tri-C Performing Arts.
  • Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Friday, January 31, 2025, at 7:30 pm, Saturday, February 1, 2025, at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm in the KeyBank State Theatre at Playhouse Square. Presented in collaboration with Playhouse Square.
  • Lloyd Knight, The Drama, Saturday, February 15, 2025, at 7:30 pm and Sunday, February 16, 2025, at 2:00 pm in the Westfield Studio Theatre in Idea Center at Playhouse Square.
  • Twyla Tharp Dance, Saturday, March 8, 2025, at 7:30 pm in the KeyBank State Theatre at Playhouse Square. Co-Presented with Playhouse Square.
  • Raphael Xavier, Skiff, Saturday, April 12, 2025, at 7:30 pm, Sunday, April 13, 2025, at 2:00 pm in The John P. Murphy Foundation Theatre at Cuyahoga Community College, Co-Presented with Tri-C Performing Arts


SUBSCRIPTIONS AND TICKETS: Season subscriptions packages, starting at $185 are on sale starting May 29, 2024, at www.dancecleveland.org. Call 216-991-9000 or visit www.dancecleveland.org to order. Individual performance tickets starting at $10 will be available starting June 24, 2024. Discounted group tickets for groups of 10 or more are also available.


About the Artists:

Hailed by The New York Times for their "expressive and technically complex work," San Francisco-based ODC/Dance returns to its Ohio roots for an evening of repertoire sure to heat up summer and bring a smile to your face. The versatile and technically superb dancers of ODC/Dance will showcase multiple different pieces featuring everything ranging from balletic beauty to jazzy moves and even a bit of tap dance! Founded by Artistic Director Brenda Way in 1971, ODC/Dance made the jump from Ohio’s Oberlin College to San Francisco in 1976 and transformed into a groundbreaking contemporary dance company that now travels across the globe to critical acclaim. Way, who trained under legendary choreographer George Balanchine, creates smart, exuberant and fearless works that push the boundaries of dance. You won’t want to miss this summer performance! https://odc.dance/

"There's nothing ordinary about San Francisco's ODC/Dance."- San Francisco Chronicle


Hélène Simoneau Danse makes their Ohio debut in Cleveland with a beautiful program featuring three contemporary dance works that highlight the creative movement & innovative partnering that Simoneau has become recognized for while exploring themes of identity, sexuality, romance, and the world around us. A beautiful and organic piece on the program, Delicate Power, examines the different ways we yield, share, or exert power. The work subverts expectations of power by asking: What does power look like without the need for dominance? How is power embodied when innate and not hard-fought? Simoneau, a French-Canadian choreographer, has been commissioned by Oregon Ballet Theatre, The Juilliard School, Charlotte Ballet, Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, BalletX, the Ailey School, the American Dance Festival, and others. She was recently a Choreography Fellow at New York City Center and received a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Simoneau was one of the first artists to participate in NCCAkron’s Dancing Lab program in 2017 and returned in March 2024 for a creative residency as part of their 21st Century Dance Practices program in addition to a Body of Work: Dialogues on Dance showing for DANCECleveland audiences. https://hsdanse.org/

"a Choreographer-on-the-rise" with a style that is both "athletic and smooth"– Dance Magazine


A crowd pleaser for Northeast Ohio audiences since DANCECleveland’s early years, the legendary Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns for their triennial Cleveland engagement! "Beautiful, extraordinary and superb" only begin to describe the accolades for this remarkable company. When the curtain first went up on the Company's debut performance at the 92nd Street Y in 1958, it was evident that Alvin Ailey was a powerful dance maker. Now, the company continues to enthrall audiences around the world with their high-energy dancing, stunning movement and kinetic storytelling. Regarded as one of the most significant modern dance companies of today, they've performed for an estimated 25 million people at theaters in 48 states and 71 countries on six continents – as well as millions more through television broadcasts, film screenings, and online platforms. In 2008, a U.S. Congressional resolution designated the Company as "a vital American cultural ambassador to the world" that celebrates the uniqueness of the African American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance heritage.

The company's most beloved work, Revelations, will be performed in Cleveland along with a mix of repertoire that will highlight the dancers' breadth of ability, artistry and superb technique that is sure to be awe inspiring. https://www.alvinailey.org/

“Nothing prepares you for the totality of Alvin Ailey: the aural, visual, physical, spiritual beauty” —The New York Times


Created by dancer Lloyd Knight, choreographer Jack Ferver, and filmmaker Jeremy Jacob, The Drama highlights the life of Martha Graham Dance Company Principal Dancer Lloyd Knight in this intimate and personal solo work inspired by two important women in his life: his mother and Martha Graham. Brought together through research in the Martha Graham archive facilitated through a fellowship at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts’ Jerome Robbins Dance Division and Works & Process LaunchPAD, this brand-new work lays bare what it takes both physically and psychologically to pursue a life in dance and touches on Knight’s upbringing and what drew him to Graham from an early age. Exploring ideas around femininity, iconic roles within the Martha Graham Company, and more, The Drama utilizes movement, sound, video, and projection in an evening-length work sure to give audiences a unique inside look into the life of a Martha Graham principal dancer. https://www.dancemagazine.com/lloyd-knight/

DANCECleveland is thrilled to be a co-commissioner of The Drama.

“Lloyd Knight illuminates the stage at Graham and beyond!” – Dance Magazine


Twyla Tharp Dance celebrates the company’s 60th anniversary with a program featuring Tharp’s Olivier-nominated Diabelli Variations, set to a live piano performance of Beethoven’s masterpiece, and a new dance set to a reimagining of Philip Glass’s iconic Aguas da Amazonia. Showcasing Tharp’s uncanny and witty use of music to create work of startling originality and beauty, the two dances once again ensure Tharp’s place as one of the great artists of our time.

The first and only choreographer to take on the intensely demanding and demonically complex Diabelli Variations, Tharp makes visible the elegant humor and depth of the composer’s layered genius. With each section of the Beethoven, unique in mood and texture, Tharp responds to the music with choreography that is tender, teasing, transcendent and sometimes cheeky. She pushes the abilities of her energetic and technically superb dancers who shift effortlessly from ballet to jazz, to modern, with unexpected bits of street dance mixed in. Almost two centuries later in years and spirit is Philip Glass’s Aguas da Amazonia, arranged and recorded by members of Third Coast Percussion in close collaboration with Tharp, and performed on a unique collection of custom-designed percussion instruments.

This groundbreaking evening is not to be missed and is sure to dazzle audiences with stellar dancing and phenomenal musicianship. Don’t miss the special opportunity to see this iconic modern dance company in Cleveland for the first time in 23 years! https://www.twylatharp.org

“The choreographer Twyla Tharp has been a classicist, a modernist, a postmodernist — often at the same time — and maybe now and then a feminist and a Romantic, too. She also has a strong streak of the clown: tough, solemn-deadpan, with crazy timing, making a joke of how impossible things can be.” — The New York Times


Challenging the range of what hip-hop dance can be, Raphael Xavier will conclude our 2024-2025 Season at Cuyahoga Community College with a performance titled Skiff. The hour-long work features Xavier and guest artists, including some of Northeast Ohio’s own dancers, in a unique piece that explores the aging body, race, privilege, and power while encouraging conversations of identity, legacy and lineage.

A 53-year-old breaker and choreographer, Xavier contextualizes the work through the lens of Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, the classic novel about a fisherman’s relentless battle with a giant marlin. With original text and spoken word interwoven with Hemingway’s text, Xavier draws parallels between the fisherman’s search and his own journey to build a dance career utilizing the artform of Breaking. In addition to the novel, Skiff also draws inspiration from 19th century American painter Winslow Homer’s “The Gulf Stream,” the iconic painting of a Black man in a small, rudderless fishing boat engulfed by a restless sea as sharks circle below.

Xavier has been awarded numerous accolades including a 2013 Pew Fellowship, a MacDowell Fellow in 2014, a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship for Choreography among others. https://www.raphaelxavier.org/

“...Xavier captivated his audience with the impassioned lyrical delivery of a hip-hop artist.” - The Broad Street Review

About Community Dance Day and the Northeast Ohio Student Showcase
A fun-filled day of dance for the whole family to enjoy! Community members can take part in one or more classes and select from over a dozen free classes for all ages and abilities in dance styles including Contemporary, Ballet, African Drum & Dance, Hip Hop, Flamenco, Jazz, Stepping, Pilates and more. Community Dance Day is a wonderful time to try out the art form of dance and its many styles and to celebrate movement together. No prior dance experience is required. Community members can sign up for one dance experience or take class all day long, then enjoy a showcase performance by some of Northeast Ohio’s most talented dance students in Playhouse Square’s Allen Theatre. Tickets and registration are free, but prior registration is encouraged. Applications are currently open for youth dance schools and groups to apply to be part of the Northeast Ohio Student Showcase.

More information and link to register are found at: https://www.dancecleveland.org/events/2024/07/27/danceclevelands-northeast-ohio-student-showcase-apply-now

About DANCECleveland: DANCECleveland, a Cleveland, Ohio-based nonprofit, is one of only a handful of presenters in the nation dedicated solely to the presentation of modern and contemporary dance. The centerpiece of the organization’s programming is its annual performance series. Performances are surrounded by an array of educational outreach events including artist-run classes, residency programs, student matinees, pre-performance lectures and post-performance Q&A sessions, designed both to break artistic boundaries and provide community access to the dance aesthetic and dance luminaries that DANCECleveland brings to Northeast Ohio. Learn more at http://www.dancecleveland.org.


ELECTRONIC PHOTOS AVAILABLE FROM SARAH SUMBRUM AT 216-991-9000 OR EMAIL: sarah@dancecleveland.org.

For more information on DANCECleveland’s presenting partners, visit:
playhousesquare.org
tri-c.edu


DANCECleveland is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.


The Ohio Arts Council helped fund DANCECleveland with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

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