Thanks to the economic havoc wreaked on the local dance scene years ago, the primary dance season in town has become spring — when Cleveland Public Theatre's Dance Works series debuts — and summer, when Tremont's Arts in August and other festivals return. But Dance Cleveland's efforts to bring some of the country's most prominent companies through town and the entrepreneurial efforts of our many small companies combine to keep dance on the fall calendar.
Joan Meggitt's company was busy last weekend, with performances at PlayhouseSquare's Dance Showcase, Tremont's Arts and Cultural Festival and Cleveland Public Theatre's Pandemonium. They get a little break before their next Cleveland performance, a program called Home Front (Nov. 20-21) at Tremont's Pilgrim Congregational Church. The program includes new choreography by Meggitt, Marissa Glorioso and Jenita McGowan, as well as works from the company's repertory.
Cleveland is a frequent stop for top dance companies, thanks to Dance Cleveland, which begins its season with an American dance icon, the Paul Taylor Company. Founder Taylor performed with the Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham and George Balanchine companies before forming his own troupe to build on their modern tradition. PTDC comes to EJ Thomas Hall Saturday, October 3. Then it's Doug Elkins's dance treatment of The Sound of Music, "Fraulein Maria." Elkins conceived the piece while watching the classic movie musical with his young son, adding references to movements from major modern choreographers and producing a winking but still respectful send-up of the ever-popular musical. It's November 20-21 at PlayhouseSquare's Hanna Theatre.
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David Shimotakahara's company continues to create new work with musicians and choreographers from around the country, and this weekend completes a two-weekend run of another such piece: the world premiere of "Valence," with movement by Groundworks artistic associate Amy Miller and music by Oberlin professor Peter Swendsen. Also on the program are KT Niehoff's "Tipping Point" and Shimotakahara's "Open Seating." They're at the Akron Ice House at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday.
INLET DANCE THEATRE
The season's first production for the growing company is an hour-long, family-friendly concert followed by a meet-the-dancers reception. It's October 3 at the Church of the Savior in Cleveland Heights.
After performances at Ingenuity in July and as part of Cleveland Public Theatre's Pandemonium last weekend, MegLouise Dance sets out with the musical duo Cloud Nine to produce their own show Friday, October 2, in the Galleria at Erieview.
St. Ignatius High School's new Breen Center for the Performing Arts is the venue for Verb Ballets' first production of the season (Oct. 10). It features works new to the company by major 20th-century American choreographers Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham and Terence Greene, plus works from Verb's repertory by George Balanchine, Ulysses Dove and Ohio Ballet founder the late Heinz Poll.