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Now celebrating its 20th season, GroundWorks DanceTheater is known for the quality and innovation of its programs. It is imagination you can see. Critically celebrated as an “artistically significant” ensemble, GroundWorks explores the nuances of the human experience through unique and adventurous choreography. This exciting, eclectic work brings audiences face-to-face with fresh, fascinating performances of passion, intellect and humor.
Fundamental to GroundWorks is the fostering of new choreography and challenging preconceptions about dance, for which founding artistic director David Shimotakahara provides the vision. Beginning in 1998, from its Northeast Ohio base, this group of outstanding artists has introduced dance lovers and neophytes alike to an experience that is unconventional, yet deeply human and resonating. Sometimes performing in unusual settings and often featuring live musicians onstage, GroundWorks enriches its work with subtle layers of meaning that deepen the impact and enjoyment for the audience. This desire to push the boundaries is also evident in Shimotakahara’s bold initiative: To constantly seek collaboration and input from ground-breaking choreographers of the highest caliber and to make certain that the repertoire of the company is constantly evolving.
Groundworks Dance Theatre
Inlet Dance Theatre is one of the region’s most exciting professional contemporary dance companies. Founded in 2001 by Founder and Executive/Artistic Director Bill Wade, Inlet embodies his longstanding belief that dance viewing, training and performing experiences serve as tools to bring about personal growth and development. Inlet’s collaborative artistic staff build the company’s solid reputation for uplifting individuals and engaging new audiences via performances and education programming.
Inlet Dance Theatre’s impact has grown locally to internationally. The company’s concerts, event services, Inflow and Outflow education programs began as local initiatives and now reach regional, national and international markets. Inlet performs annually at Cleveland Public Theatre's DanceWorks Series, Playhouse Square, Cain Park Evans Amphitheater, among other local venues and conducts regional touring. Inlet has participated in numerous international artistic exchanges through The Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion program and a two week residency exchange to Easter Island (made possible by the Ohio Arts Council, The Ohio Arts Foundation, Playhouse Square’s Education Department, the State Department and the American Embassy in Santiago, Chile). Inlet’s education programming includes teaching dance classes for all ages at The Music Settlement, attracting students from all over the country to our Summer Dance Intensive and our year-long Trainee program, and conducting residencies throughout Ohio as part of the Ohio Arts Council’s Arts Learning Residency Program.
In contrast to an industry where people are often used to further dance, Inlet Dance Theatre is committed to using dance to further people. Discover for yourself what makes Inlet unique.
Inlet Dance Theatre
Neos Dance Theatre Company History
With new office homes at The University of Akron and Oberlin’s New Union Center for the Arts and a highly valued performance and education presence throughout Northeast Ohio — especially in Ashland, Cuyahoga, Hancock, Lorain, Richland and Summit counties — Neos has gained a reputation for artistic excellence, adventurous programming, and passionate community collaborations.
In March 2016, Neos received a significant and highly competitive arts challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. With Knight’s support, Neos’ dance.r.evolution will expand and engage audiences, by bringing together its classically trained choreographers with local urban dancers, graffiti artists and urban/pop musicians to learn from each other. After a yearlong creative process, the group will blend their different styles to produce a performance throughout the Akron community.
In July 2017, Neos received support from the Nord Family Foundation to expand into Lorain County with existing and new programs. The official opening of Neos Center for Dance commenced in September under the direction of DeMarcus Akeem Suggs. Additional awards have enabled Neos to expand education and performance programs into Ashland in March, 2018 and 2019.
Neos Dance Theatre
Verb Ballets One of Northeast Ohio’s most respected dance companies, Verb Ballets has gained a reputation for artistic excellence and exemplary community engagement since its founding as The Cleveland Repertory Project in 1987. Under the current leadership of Dr. Margaret Carlson, former principal dancer for Cleveland Ballet, Verb is recognized for performing dance works of the highest caliber and as a catalyst to promote learning, nurture wellness, and encourage dialogue about the dance art form. 2017 marked Verb Ballets’ 30th Anniversary Season.
As a contemporary ballet company, works by choreographers such as Adam Houghland, Antonio Brown, Tommie Waheed Evans, Charles Anderson and company dancer Michael Escovedo work regularly with the company. In addition, Verb houses 10 of the 13 Heinz Poll works allowed to survive him. He was the founder of the former Ohio Ballet. Each year, company dancers are given opportunities to grow their choreographic skills in performances at the Cleveland Public Theatre. In 2017, Verb formed an alliance with the Cuban ballet company Prodanza and through the cultural exchange process, Verb dancers are learning and performing ballets from the Cuban repertoire.
In 2018, Verb completed the buildout of its new 6,000 square foot home located in Shaker Hts on the border of the Lee-Harvard neighborhood. Planning is underway for the further development of educational activities to benefit the community.
To insure our work is accessible to all we produce free performances in public spaces, at community events and gatherings, and provide dance experiences and participatory activities for families, children and the elderly in schools, libraries, community centers, museums and senior living centers, including our Moving Connections senior movement program, popular WiggleWords literacy program for young children, school matinees of children’s ballets, technique workshops for teens with professional ambitions, and now classes in our home studio where community members, rekindle or discover their love of dance. Our activities reach almost 25,000 individuals each year.