By ANDREA C. TURNER
Dance aficionados have unique opportunities now, and throughout spring, to witness some of the most luscious local and the awe-inspiring national dance companies perform. Dance lovers can see traditional masterpieces, as well as exquisite new works.
For the first time, Cleveland Ballet has been granted the rights to perform one of the most celebrated ballets in the history of dance, “Serenade,” created by iconic Russian choreographer George Balanchine. This signature work of New York City Ballet’s repertory has been added to Cleveland Ballet’s repertoire, marking it the first ballet the company will perform with the newly formed Cleveland Ballet Orchestra. The program also includes “Symphony of Life,” an artistic story told by the critically acclaimed choreographer, Ilia Zhivoi, with a beautiful musical score from world-renowned Israeli composer Anna Segal. It’s the first commissioned score for the Cleveland Ballet, performed by 24 musicians making up a quaint but powerful live orchestra. Conductor Caleb Young and musical advisor Alexandra Preucil bring to life Segal’s music while dancers imbue their own artistry with Zhivoi’s choreography. Performance dates are Friday, April 21, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 22, at 7 p.m. at Connor Palace.
Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT) presents DanceWorks 2023, an annual showcase of contemporary dance. This year’s event will be presented in two parts with the first running February 23 through March 11, with part two running in the spring.
Three weekends of performances will take place in Cleveland Public Theatre’s Gordon Square Theatre, located at 6415 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, in the heart of the Gordon Square neighborhood. On the bill are:
MadJax Dance Company presents “Release” from February 23-25, on Week 1. Inlet Dance Theatre Company presents “Experiences: Lived and Imagined” from March 2-4, for Week 2. Reflections Dance Theater presents “Silver Lining” from March 9-11, for Week 3. DanceWorks Part Two runs April 20 through May 13, and will feature Morrisondance, Verb Ballets, Mojuba Dance Collective and Shri Kalaa Mandir. Details will be announced at a later date at cptonline.org.
GroundWorks Dance Theater’s Executive Artistic Director David Shimotakahara’s presents “Transcendence,” a dance film that’s now an immersive art installation at 78th Street Studios. Inspired by composer Olivier Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time,” the free installation can be viewed through February 24, at 78th Street Studios, RAMP East space, 300 W 78th Street, Cleveland. GroundWorks Spring 2023 Performance Series includes a captivating World Premiere work by renowned choreographer Sidra Bell, the first black female choreographer commissioned by New York City Ballet. Also premiering is a new work by GroundWorks’ resident choreographer Antonio Brown. Performances are April 14-15, at 7:30 p.m. at the Knight Stage at Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S. Main St., Akron, and April 28-29, at 7:30 p.m. at LatinUs Blackbox Theaterat Pivot Center for Art, Dance and Expression, 2937 W 25th Street,
Presented by DANCECleveland & Tri-C Performing Arts, the lush, transcendent, and captivating Alonzo King LINES Ballet performs March 11, at 7:30 p.m. and March 12, at 3 p.m. at Mimi Ohio Theatre. For more than 40 years, LINES Ballet has captivated nearly two million audience members from across the world with their magical mixture of contemporary choreography with classic ballet aesthetic, inspired by the vision and brilliance of Artistic Director Alonzo King. The San Francisco-based company collaborates with noted composers, musicians, and visual artists to produce dance works that draw deeply on rooted cultural traditions, presenting classical ballet with new expressive potential and exploring what unites us as human beings: empathy, joy, and the ability to transcend. The company will perform a mixed repertoire sure to awe audiences with technically superb, yet fluid, movement of its dancers.
Timeless, dramatic and nuanced, the Limón Company has been at the vanguard of American modern dance since its inception, and is considered one of the greatest dance companies of all time. Founded in 1946 by pioneers José Limón and Doris Humphrey, the company was responsible for the creation, growth and support of modern dance in the United States, and will celebrate its 75th anniversary with works that reflect on the company’s history and look forward to its next iteration. The program includes a new work exploring the resilience of the human spirit, “Only One Will Rise,” choreographed by Burkina Faso choreographer Olivier Tarpaga, whose early life experiences echo those of Limón’s. Performance date is April 22, at 7:30 p.m. at the Mimi Ohio Theatre. The performance closes out DANCECleveland’s 2022-23 season.
VerbBallets “Ohio Contemporary Ballet” performs February 18, at 7:30p.m. at The Breen Center for the Performing Arts. The evening will highlight a range of talent with the re-staging of former Joffrey Ballet Co-Artistic Director Gerald Arpino’s, “Celebration.” The work is staged as part of the Centennial to honor what would have been the American choreographer’s and co-founder of Joffrey Ballet’s 100th birthday. Dancers will also perform a new commission by Levi Marsman, formerly of Ailey II, who has created a new ballet utilizing his expressive unique style. The evening will also showcase Verb’s Associate Artistic Director, Richard Dickinson’s “Four Last Songs” from 2013.