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GROUNDWORKS DANCE THEATER CAPTIVATES AT CAIN PARK

Roy Berko

(Member, Dance Critics Association)

As the capacity audience was settling in on opening night of Groundworks Dance Theatre’s summer concert in Cain Park’s Alma Theatre, there was a loud electronic sound stage right.  As the eyes shifted in its direction, a lawn mower was pushed on stage.  This was followed by a series of other sounds and actions of everyday occurrences including playing golf, sunbathing, and living in suburbia.

“House Broken, …more…

Cirquesco

Kevin Black Production presents Cirquesco  for three performances only – February 20th, 21st, and 22nd, at the Willow Theatre in Boca Raton’s Sugar Sand Park.   cirquesco is a unique combination of song, dance, acrobatics, and humor, and a perfect example of what the multi-talented and extremely creative producer/director/choreographer brings to the South Florida Theatre scene.  “Cirquesco explores our most treasured emotion… love,” says Black, “…through the journey …more…

PILOBOLIS, Dance Cleveland’s gift to area aficionados

Roy Berko

(Member, Dance Critics Association)

PILOBOLUS is noted for adding both physical and theatrical elements to dance presentations.  They have been credited, in their 44 years of performances, to have added a new way for audiences to look at dance.

Nothing cements the company’s unique style more then what was on display before the start of their recent State Theatre nearly-sold out concert.

Upon entering the auditorium, the audience found the proscenium curtain …more…

Ballroom: South Beach Style

In January The Willow Theatre in Sugar Sand Park will resonate with the fast paced, exciting, and exotic sounds of music unique to South Florida when producer/director/choreographer Kevin Black’s Ballroom:  South Beach Style will run at the Willow for four performances only, from January 9th through January 11th.  Stylish and sexy, full of the Miami beat and heat, the show features intricate ballroom dancing, along with Salsa, Merengue, Rhumba, Mambo, …more…

“The Nutcracker”–orchestra and chorus superb, short version and dancing proficient

“The Nutcracker”—orchestra and chorus superb, short version and dancing proficient

 Roy Berko

(member, Dance Critics Association)

From 1981 until about 2000, Cleveland audiences were enchanted with Dennis Nahat, the then artistic-director of Cleveland Ballet, later the Cleveland San Jose Ballet’ s version of “The Nutcracker.”  Often starring the wunderkinds of the company, Karen Gabay and Raymond Rodriguez, the production was filled creativity, gorgeous costumes and scenery, enveloping story telling, and general wonder.

Since the …more…

Superb Aspen Santa Fe Ballet excites audience at E. J. Thomas Hall

Roy Berko

Member:  Dance Critics Association

Dance Cleveland opened its 59th season in spectacular style with a performance of the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet at E. J. Thomas Hall, on the University of Akron Campus.  The company, which was founded in 1996, has two official schools, one in Aspen, one in Santa Fe, and a year-round Mexican outreach program.

The huge audience, which filled the orchestra section of the auditorium, was enthralled by …more…

Meet Ricky Ubeda, the winner of TV’s “So You Think You Can Dance” who will be performing in Cleveland

Meet Ricky Ubeda, the winner of TV’s “So You Think You Can Dance” who will be performing in Cleveland

Roy Berko

(Member:  Dance Critics Association)

When the tour of “So You Think You Can Dance” comes to the Connor Palace Theatre in Cleveland on October 20, it will expose the local community to the top ten contestants and some of the other dancers who got the attention of the judges.

Since its premiere in …more…

Cespedes choreography highlight of Cleveland Foundation Centennial Meeting

Cleveland Foundation Centennial Meeting highlighted by Céspedes choreography and Colin Powell speech

 

Roy Berko 

In the last century, the Cleveland Foundation, the first community foundation in the world, has given $1.78 billion dollars in grants to enrich the lives of young and old through working for sustaining a vibrant local economy, developing human potential, reimagining Cleveland, pioneering housing options, and preserving the arts.  What better way is there to celebrate these achievements …more…

Odysseo by Cavalia

I caught the local premiere of Cavalia at Marymoor Park last night. If you see only one show this year, make it this one. In addition to the astonishing stagecraft of this show–which includes 80,000 gallons of water–the simple relationship of humans and horses is celebrated. The audience’s eyes were as flooded as the stage.

Odysseo by Cavalia is a 30-million dollar ode to horses and humans created by Normand Latourelle, …more…

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE to perform at State Theatre as part of national tour

 

Roy Berko

(Member:  Dance Critics Association)

 

Since its premiere in 2005, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, has been a television sensation.  Created by Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe, the show, which is an eleven-time Primetime Emmy Award winner, has sparked the nation’s interest in dance and produced some top-ranked performers.  Many have gone on to professional careers, including a number presently appearing in Broadway’s NEWSIES.

 

A panel, in a process similar to …more…

GROUNDWORKS 8/13 @ Cain Park, fall previews

GROUNDWORKS at Cain Park; future dance programs

Roy Berko

(Member, Dance Critics Association)

Dance has long been perceived as an art entertainment for the wealthy, educated and performance trained.  Terms such as “fifth position,” “adagio,” “camber,” “shag,” and “pirouette” are foreign to most people.   Dance styles such as hip hop, Tango, jazz, Samba, and Broadway may be terms that have been heard, but not known as a specific type of dance.  This combination …more…

Cleveland Orchestra superb, Joffrey Ballet disappoints

What happens when The Cleveland Orchestra, considered to be one of the world’s great ensemble of musical performers, couples with the Joffrey Ballet, hailed as “America’s Ballet Company of Firsts?” After their well-received five sold-out performance of THE NUTCRACER last winter at PlayhouseSquare, and their past linking at Blossom, the very large opening night audience was filled with high expectations.

The orchestra, under the baton of Tito Muñoz, held up its …more…

Verb Ballets presents uneven evening of dance; dance previews

Roy Berko

(Member, Dance Critics Association)

Verb Ballets’ SUMMER SERIES, recently danced on the stage of the Evans Amphitheatre at Cain Park, was a mélange of dance styles.  Salsa, traditional ballet, and contemporary dance forms were features of the evening.

MOZEL TOV MI AMIGOS, choreographed by Hollywood’s Daryl Gray, opened the program.  Supposedly intertwining the influences of Jewish and South American cultures, it featured the music of Larry Harlow, known for fusing jazz …more…

Summer 2013 Theater and Dance Calendar

Roy Berko

(Member, American Theatre Critics Association and Cleveland Critics Circle)

The Cleveland area has a full schedule of summer theatre entertainment.   Here are some of the upcoming stagings:

PORTHOUSE THEATRE  Kent State University’s summer theatre, performed on the grounds of Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, will present SOUTH PACIFIC, June 13-29, WORKING, July 4-20, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, July 25-August 11.  Curtain time is 8 PM Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2 …more…

BITTERSWEET EVENING FOR INLET DANCE

Roy Berko

(Member, Dance Critics Association)

Inlet Dance, Bill Wade’s innovative company, had a bittersweet experience in its latest concert, which was part of Cleveland Public Theatre’s DANCEWORKS ’13.

The program, which featured a world premiere, was mainly composed of dances from the group’s repertoire.  This was intentionally done, as this program brought to a close the dance career of Justin Stentz, one of the area’s best, if not the very best, male …more…

Mark Morris Dance…a contrast of two acts

Roy Berko

(Member, Dance Critics Association)

An interesting audience reaction greeted the two acts of the recent Mark Morris Dance Company’s near sold-out performance at the Palace Theatre.  Overheard comments at intermission of the performance cosponsored by Dance Cleveland, PlayhouseSquare, and Cleveland State University, were statements such as, “That was great.”  “I never knew dance could be such fun.”  “Morris is really creative.”  Unfortunately, after the second act there was general silence …more…

Verb Ballets at Breen–a fusion of Asian and Western choreography

Roy Berko

(Member, Dance Critics Association)

Cleveland has no professional ballet company, but there is an abundance of local modern and contemporary dance troupes.   One of these, Verb Ballets, which recently announced that it was becoming the resident dance company at the Breen Center on the campus of St. Ignatius High School, presented EXPLORE DISCOVER, an evening of original works, to an appreciative sold out house.

EXPLORE DISCOVER featured the creations of Taiwanese …more…

Not one, but two NUTCRACKERS danced the same weekend in downtown Cleveland

Roy Berko

(Member, Dance Critics Association)

It’s that time of year.  Local theatres are staging all sorts of holiday fare.  Tiny Tims, Scrooges, elfs and Santas are traipsing their way across the boards.  And true to form, THE NUTCRACKER is marching and dancing.

Since Cleveland no longer has a professional ballet company, venues bring in the holiday necessity from other sources.  The same weekend, The Moscow Ballet presented its 20th anniversary GREAT RUSSIAN …more…

A look behind the scenes at Inlet Dance’s marvelous evening of dance

Roy Berko

(Member, Dance Critics Association)

Every once in a while a reviewer has the opportunity to not only see an enthralling dance performance, but to experience it from the inside.  I accomplished both when I not only saw Inlet Dance’s recent evening of dance, but sat in on a rehearsal.

Inlet Dance Theatre’s sold out November 16 performance at the Hanna …more…

A look behind the scenes at Inlet Dance’s marvelous evening of dance

Roy Berko

(Member, Dance Critics Association)

Every once in a while a reviewer has the opportunity to not only see an enthralling dance performance, but to experience it from the inside.  I accomplished both when I not only saw Inlet Dance’s recent evening of dance, but sat in on a rehearsal.

Inlet Dance Theatre’s sold out November 16 performance at the Hanna …more…

GROUNDWORKS is superb in Allen premiere

GROUNDWORKS is superb in Allen premiere

Roy Berko

(Member, Dance Critics Association)

This is the 14th season of GROUNDWORKS, the Cleveland area small dance company which has proven to be a local treasure since its inception.  In its short history the company has commissioned 19 premieres by nationally and internationally acclaimed choreographers, as well as 26 new works by its founder and Artistic Director, David Shimotakahara, and 8 by former dancer and now …more…

Verb Ballets’ EXPLORE DISCOVER (9/22/12)

Verb Ballets opens Fall season with EXPLORE DISCOVER

Roy Berko

(Member, Dance Critics Association)

This season Verb Ballets, Cleveland’s largest contemporary dance company, is mainly featuring a single choreographer at each program.  This concept continues the company’s goal of supporting and fostering emerging talent.  Programs will highlight the works of Antonio Brown, Chung-Fu Chang and Richard Dickinson.

It is appropriate that the first evening of EXPLORE DISCOVER showcases the work of local dancer and …more…

GROUNDWORKS program varied and interesting

Sold out GROUNDWORKS program varied and interesting

Roy Berko

(Member, Dance Critics Association)

With the ever increasing popularity of reality television shows like SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE and DANCING WITH THE STARS, the interest in dance is expanding.  Local evidence was the large enthusiastic audience at Doug Elkin’s ‘FRÄULEIN MARIA, recently presented by DanceCleveland at the Hanna Theatre and the sold out Cain Park run of the Groundworks DanceTheater’s at Cain …more…

FRAULEIN MAIRA danced by Doug Elkins and Friends

Doug Elkins and Friends delight in ‘THE SOUND OF MUSIC’ take-off

Roy Berko

(Member, Dance Critics Association)

As evidenced by ‘FRÄULEIN MARIA,’ his take-off of the musical THE SOUND OF MUSIC, which was recently presented by DanceCleveland at the Hanna Theatre, Doug Elkins may well be the crown prince of comic dance choreography.
THE SOUND OF MUSIC is a stage musical based loosely on the von Trapp family who escaped Europe at the onset …more…

It Gets Better

IT GETS BETTER in Cincinnati

The Cincinnati Mens Choir is bringing It Gets Better to town for only two days! This in depth, thought provoking look at LGBT bullying is based on Testimony by Stephen Schwartz. With popular songs by Katy Perry, Mariah Carrey, and Lady Gaga as well as actual narrative from the It Gets Better Project, this show is meant to inspire and bring hope to LGBT youth. Performances are this weekend only, June 23 and 24 at the Mayerson Theatre at the School for Performing Arts in Over the Rhine. ...more...