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Performance times and schedule 

Saturday, June 10

Brooke Wesner


2:00 - 2:30 PM
-  Jonathon Gangi @ Chill Ice cream!
News Flash...fill out our Lose Your Marbles Survey for a chance to win a raffle prize. Survey online  or paper survey from ticket booth

3:30 - 4:15 - Jonathan Gangi, Classical Guitar
4:20 - 5:05 - Timbre Cierpke, harpist and songwriter, Main Stage

 ****A Special 2nd appearance at Chill Ice Cream 

5:00- 5:20 Jonathan Gangi at Chill - a second appearance!*****

PERFORMANCE #2 ~ 5:20 – 6:10
• Holly Handman-Lopez - Tarry the Night
• Robin Prichard - The Art of Making Dances (Not About Ferguson)
• Verb Ballets - 3:00am (2014).Choreography: Andrew Carroll
   Music: Satin Birds by Abel Koreniowski, Lighting Design: John Ebert
   Costume Design: Janet Bolick
• Ashley Pavy - Barakat بركات
PERFORMANCE #3 ~ 6:20 - 7:00
• Kaustavi - Radhike. Choreographer: Kaustavi Sarkar
   Musicians: Brian (drums), Hans Utter (sitar), and Kaustavi Sarkar (vocal)
• Fenn and Co. - Playing House. Choreography: Mary-Elizabeth Fenn
   Music by Artur Was and Dakotah Cornelius
• Holly Handman-Lopez - Eleven Years In 
   Choreography: Holly Handman-Lopez & Bobby Wesner, Music: Mike Wall
• Neos Dance Theatre - Nothing In Particular
PERFORMANCE #4 ~ 7:15 – 8:00
• Terk Lewis Waters - Paradise, originally 
• Duane Gosa of Ballet Trockadero - Paquita (Variation) 
   Music by: Ludwig Minkus, Choreography after: Petipa
• Verb Ballets - Ne Me Quitte Pas (2013). Choreography: Daniel 
   Precup, Music: Jacques Brel, Lighting Design: John Ebert
   Original Costume Design: Jenna Johnson
   Costume Reconstruction: Janet Bolick
• Joseph Morrissey featuring Neos Dance Theatre - Good Night, Day     
    World Premiere

PERFORMANCE #5 ~ 8:15 – 9:15
• Inlet Dance Theatre  - 10 (2013/14)    Choreography: Bill Wade in 
   collaboration with the original cast of Joshua    
   Music: Commissioned score by Sean Ellis Hussey, 
   Costuming: Kristin Wade 
• Groundworks Dance Theatre - CHROMATIC 
   Choreography: David Shimotakahara, Music: Conlon Nancarrow, 
    Lighting: Dennis Dugan, Costumes: Janet Bolick
• Ma’Sue Productions - Body Memories
• Duane Gosa of Trockadero - Dying Swan. 
   Music by: Camille Saint-Saens Choreography after: Michel Fokine

   Vote online @ , live link or paper ballot 
   from ticket booth

Closing Remarks immediately following


program subject to changes


*Survey is second part of the Best in Show link


Stay Tuned for Additional Acts! 

GroundWorks DanceTheater 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.

Artistic director David Shimotakahara founded GroundWorks in 1998, determined to challenge preconceptions about dance. 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. From performing in unusual settings to 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.


Additionally, GroundWorks is committed to enriching the community through inspiring education outreach programs for which it has been recognized with funding from the Ohio Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.


By never settling, by stretching even its own definition of what’s possible in dance, the company, now in its 18th season, continues to grow and attract new audiences.




Choreography:  David Shimotakahara

Music: Conlon Nancarrow

Lighting: Dennis Dugan

Costumes: Janet Bolick


From Shimotakahara: While researching music for Chromatic, I came across Conlon Nancarrow’s work by accident. I was immediately taken by its idiosyncratic qualities and unique sound. His experimentation composing on player piano rolls as a way of layering complex rhythmic and tempo changes, gives his work a certain driven, automated quality. But also in Nancarrow’s music you hear all types of social dance forms — tango and dance hall of rhythms and themes.  I was inspired by this juxtaposition, a mash up of influences from which something very human and almost whimsical emerges.

Cinderbox 2.0

Direction & Choreography: Julia Rhoads


Created in collaboration with the Ensemble:

Kara Brody

Michel Rodriguez Cintra

Elizabeth Luse

Rodolfo Sanchez

Aaron R. White

Meghann Wilkinson



Lighting Design: Kevin Rechner

Original Music: Michael Caskey

Video Design: John Boesche

Costume Design: Jeff Hancock, Lucky Plush Productions

Original Text: Julia Rhoads & the Ensemble

Additional Music: Queen, Yes




Cinderbox 2.0 explores the comedy and anxiety in our media’s voyeuristic approach to “reality” through a fragmented narrative, incisive commentary, and a performance that blurs the distinctions between observer and observed, personal and presentational, and scripted and off-the-cuff. The choreography is built upon incremental gestures that accumulate and dissolve in unexpected ways for a performance that is vulnerable, oddly familiar, and wonderfully surprising.



LUCKY PLUSH PRODUCTIONS is a Chicago-based dance theater company led by founder and Artistic Director Julia Rhoads. Lucky Plush is committed to provoking and supporting an immediacy of presence – a palpable liveness – shared by performers in real-time with audiences. A unique hybrid of high-level dance and theater, Lucky Plush’s work is recognized for its layered choreography, moving content, surprising humor, and socially relevant storytelling.


Since 2000, Lucky Plush has created 30 original dance-theater works including 14 evening-length productions. In addition to regularly performing in Chicago, the company has presented work in over 40 US cities from Maine to Hawaii, and its international partners span from New Zealand to Cuba. Presenting venues include Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (MA), Spoleto Festival/USA (SC), Portland Ovations (ME), ODC (CA), Maui Arts and Cultural Center (HI), Skirball Center (NYC), and NC State LIVE (NC), among others. Commissioning presenters include Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at University of Illinois, The Yard (MA), Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (MD), Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (VT), and Links Hall Chicago.


Lucky Plush is the first and only dance company to receive the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, a recognition of the company’s exceptional creativity and impact. Lucky Plush has also received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, NEFA’s National Dance Project, National Performance Network, Illinois Arts Council, Metlife Foundation, and the Lester and Hope Abelson Fund. Press features include Boston Globe’s “10 Best Dance Performances of 2013,” Chicago Public Radio’s “Best of 2011," and Time Out Chicago’s “The Decade’s 10 Best Original Dance Works” and cover story “5 reasons to love dance in Chicago,” among others.


Lucky Plush is also recognized for its innovative arts management practices. The company’s leadership received a Fractured Atlas Arts Entrepreneurship Award for initiating Creative Partners, a fundraising model that provides a shared development staff for Lucky Plush and two other nationally-recognized companies: Eighth Blackbird, a multiple Grammy Award-winning contemporary music ensemble; and Blair Thomas & Co., Chicago’s source for intimate and handmade puppet theater.


Exclusive touring representation by David Lieberman/Artists Representatives.

Facebook: Lucky Plush Productions

Twitter: @LuckyPlush

Instagram: @luckyplush #TeamPlush




JULIA RHOADS (Creator/Director/Choreographer) is the founding Artistic Director of Lucky Plush Productions, and has created over 25 works with the company, several of which have toured extensively throughout the US and internationally. Julia’s independent choreography credits include Steppenwolf Theatre’s Love Kills, Lookingglass Theatre’s The Great Fire, Walkabout Theater’s Mama: A Play for Voices, Redmoon’s Project Y, River North Chicago Dance Company’s Oasis and Between Three, among others, and she will create a new work for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2017. Julia is the recipient of the 2013 Alpert Award in Dance, a fellowship from the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Award, a Cliff Dwellers Choreography Award, two Illinois Arts Council Fellowships for Choreography, a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, and a 2014 Fractured Atlas Arts Entrepreneurship Award for her work with Creative Partners. She was named as one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2010, and has three times been named in Newcity’s “Players: The 50 People Who Really Perform for Chicago.” Julia is a former member of the San Francisco Ballet and ensemble member of XSIGHT! Performance Group. She received her BA in History from Northwestern University, her MFA in Performance from the School of the Art Institute Chicago, and she has taught in the dance and theater programs of several Chicago-area colleges and universities. She is currently a Part-time Lecturer and Dance Advisor at University of Chicago’s department of Theater and Performance Studies.


KARA BRODY (Ensemble) is a native of Detroit, Michigan where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in dance from Wayne State University. She has performed in works by Doug Varone, Dwight Rhoden, Trey McIntyre, Nicholas Leichter, Ron De Jesus, Stefanie Batten Bland, and others. In 2014, she was nationally recognized for her performance in Rhoden’s “Hissy Fits” by ACDA/Dance Magazine. She was also a recipient of the Maggie Allessee Copperfoot Award for Choreographic Excellence in 2016. This is Kara’s first season with Lucky Plush Productions, and she will join The Cambrians for their new project, Origami.


MICHEL RODRIGUEZ CINTRA (Ensemble) was born in Havana, and is a former member of Danza Contemporanea de Cuba and Hedwig Dances. Choreography credits include three works for Hedwig, one of which was a finalist in the A.W.A.R.D Show 2010. Michel was named one of “The Men of 2010” by Time Out Chicago, and is the recipient of the 2013 3Arts Award in Dance. In addition to being an ensemble member of Lucky Plush Productions, he is a member of The Cambrians, through which he has co-created two works including The Nexus Project, which was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2014. Michel is currently an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College Chicago.


ELIZABETH LUSE (Ensemble) started dancing at The School of Performing Arts in Orlando, Florida, and continued her dance education at Indiana University where she studied with Violette Verdy, Guoping Wang, and Leslie Peck. Professionally, Elizabeth has danced with Winifred Haun and Dancers, Nomi Dance Company, Dance in the Parks, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Her guest appearances include Ballet Quad Cities, Madison Ballet, and Ron de Jesus Dance, and she currently works as a guest artist with Emily Stein. Elizabeth has taught for Visceral Dance Center and is on faculty at the Joffrey Academy of Chicago.


RODOLFO SANCHEZ (Ensemble) was born in Cuba where he graduated from the National School of Arts Instructors and studied at the University of Arts. Rodolfo was a Principal dancer with Danza Teatro Retazos from 2007-2016 during which time he toured internationally to Italy, Sweden, the U.K., the U.S., Uruguay and Argentina. He has danced in choreography by Isabel Bustos, Stéphane Boko, Miguel Azcue, Pepe Hevia, Venetia Stifler, among others. In addition to working with Lucky Plush, Rodolfo is a member of Concert Dance Incorporated.


AARON R. WHITE (Ensemble), a Chicago, IL native, earned his MFA from New York University Tisch School of the Arts and his BFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), both in Dance Performance and Choreography. Aaron’s performance experience includes the Sean Curran Company, Project 44, and Trainor Dance, among others. As a choreographer, he has created work with Opera Lafayette of Washington D.C, UIUC's Theater Department, Dance Africa Pittsburg, and for a variety of summer programs. As a master instructor, he has taught at The American Dance Festival, New York University Tisch School of the Arts, Point Park University, Barnard College at Columbia University, University of Hawaii - Manoa, Towson University, UIUC, Gibney Dance and Dance New Amsterdam. As a Reiki Master-Teacher, he wishes to be a beacon of Light to support others, illuminate fears, and facilitate healing through Reiki, education, dance, and dialogue.


MEGHANN WILKINSON (Ensemble) is in her 12th season with Lucky Plush Productions. She is a former company member of Mordine and Company, and has performed with Smith/Wymore Disappearing Acts, Cie Felix Ruckert, Raizel Performances, and Peter Carpenter Performance Project. Meghann has been a guest teacher and choreographer for Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, Cecchetti Council of America, and Evanston Dance Ensemble. She was Assistant Choreographer for Lookingglass Theatre’s The Great Fire and movement director for Walkabout Theater’s Crow. Meghann has organized for the Chicago Seminar on Dance and Performance and the Society of Dance History Scholars. She has taught at Northwestern University, Dance Center Evanston, and Visceral Dance Chicago, and is currently on faculty in the dance program at Columbia College Chicago. 




JOHN BOESCHE (Video Design) creates projected images for dance, opera, theatre, and music. Designs for dance include Lucky Plush Productions, Joffrey Ballet, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Erica Mott and Mordine & Co. Projection designs for live music include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Eos Orchestra (NYC) and The Ravinia Festival. Designs for opera have been seen at the Austin Lyric Opera, Barbican Theatre Centre (London), Brooklyn Academy of Music, Canadian Opera Company (Toronto), Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Lyon, Opera Lyra Ottawa, San Francisco Opera, and Theatre de la Monnaie (Brussels), among others. Scenic and projection designs for theatre include Lookingglass Theatre, Goodman Theater, Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Victory Gardens, Geffen Playhouse (LA), McCarter Theatre (Princeton), New York Shakespeare Festival (NYC), and Seattle Repertory Theatre among others. John has received Joseph Jefferson Awards for theatre designs in 1985, 2005 and 2011, and a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Video Design in 2012. He serves as Chair of Digital Media Design for Live Performance at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.


MICHAEL CASKEY, aka Bunny Patootie, (Music Composition) hails from rural Southwestern Michigan. He has performed with artists such as Chuck Mangione, Koko Taylor, Toni Tenille, Danilo Perez, Marvin Hamlisch, John Sinclair, Grazyna Auguscik, oh my god, Goran Ivanovic, the Grammy-nominated Heritage Blues Orchestra, Hood Smoke, Leslie Hunt, Ron Perillo, and Striding Lion Performance Group. As a member of Eastern Blok, a pan-cultural Chicago-based ensemble, Michael has presented concerts and master classes at numerous educational institutions such as Princeton, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, and University of Michigan, among others. A DownBeat Magazine award winner and five-time Detroit Music Award recipient, Michael has performed for audiences throughout North America and Europe. He has also created original music and sound design for Hedwig Dances, Zephyr Dance, Same Planet Different World, Peter Carpenter, and members of Mad Shak.


JEFF HANCOCK (Costume Design) was a founding member of River North Dance Chicago, has danced for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Dance Kaleidoscope, and Same Planet Different World Dance Theater, where he was a Co-Artistic Director. He has appeared in many productions with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. West Side Story, Song and Dance, Oklahoma!, Romeo and Juliet, and Disney are some of the tours he has been a part of, nationally and internationally. Recent choreography: And We Shall Be Rid of Them with Molly Shanahan, Impolite Society at The Kennedy Center, Miss Saigon at the Paramount Theatre, The Pajama Game at Northwestern University. He has created work for River North Dance Chicago, Hubbard Street 2, Columbia College, Northwestern University, the Edinburgh Festival, Same Planet Different World, The Dance COLEctive, Pegasus Players, and Ohio Northern University, among others. His company, -ish design, was formed in 2007, for which he designs and constructs costumes. Recent design includes Parson’s Train by Robert Battle, River North Dance Chicago In the End, Khecari's Cronus Land, Listen by Colin Dunne for Trinity Irish Dancers, and Striding Lion's DADA/GERT. He was nominated for a “McCormick Distinguished Lecturer Award,” Ruth Page Awards for his dancing and choreography, and is an Illinois Arts Council grant recipient.


KEVIN RECHNER (Lighting Design) has worked with Lucky Plush Productions on Cinderbox 18, Cinderbox 2.0, The Sky Hangs Down Too Close, and Punk Yankees. Other designs include Natya Dance Theatre’s Alakshaya, and Mordine and Company’s 40th Anniversary. He has been the Production Manager, Technical Director, and Lighting Designer for the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago since 1996 where he has collaborated with many visiting artists, including designing the set and lights for Trisha Brown’s Set and Reset/Reset. He has also served as the LD/TD for the Dance Division of the National High School Institute for five years. Kevin has a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre from Illinois State University and spent three years in Paris studying Movement Theatre with Jacques Lecoq and Daniel Stein. He has created four solo performance works including I AM HUGO.

Schedule of Events 2017


Saturday, June 10th

Trolley Barn47 N. Main St., Akron, OH 44308

Parking spaces are easily accessible.

Blue Hair Lose Your Marbles

Participants 2017

Lucky Plush  Productions


Inlet 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.


10 (2013/14)

Choreography: Bill Wade in collaboration with the original cast of Joshua Brown

Music: Commissioned score by Sean Ellis Hussey 
Costuming: Kristin Wade 

Performed by: Katie McGaha and Kevin Parker
Description: 2013 marked Joshua Brown and Elizabeth Pollert’s tenth season with Inlet. This duet was created for them to honor their dedication, sacrifice, and the foundation they’ve helped lay for Inlet as together we look ahead to the years to come. In 2015, we layered the original choreography with Mihaela Kavdanska’s live interactive technology to create a work of intermedia art wherein the dancers’ movements create the projected imagery. 

Groundworks Dance Theatre

Neos Dance Theatre

Schedule of Events
Lucky Plush
Inlet Dance Theatre
Groundworks Dance Theatre
Neos Dance Theatre

HELEN HIGHWATERS has defected to America three times and been promptly returned on each occasion -- for "artistic reasons." Recently discovered "en omelette" at the Easter Egg Hunt in Washington, D.C., she was hired by the Trockadero, where her inexplicable rise to stardom answers the musical question: Who put the bop in the bop-shibop shibop?


A.K.A. Duane Gosa, a Central Ohio native, received his BFA in Dance from The University of Akron in 2008. Upon graduation, Duane moved to New York City to join the contemporary dance company, Jennifer Muller/The Works.  Here he had the opportunity perform many lead roles with the company, teach master classes and assist with reconstructing Jennifer’s works across the US, Brazil, China, and Mexico.  Since moving to NYC to join JM/TW, Duane has had the pleasure of working with dance artists and companies of all disciplines. Most significantly as a dancer in New York City Opera’s production of Esther at Lincoln Center, as a cast member in the Taiwanese tour of Tim Rice and Elton John’s Broadway musical AIDA, and with the contemporary cabaret company, The Love Show, in a host of nightlife events and theatrical productions including their seasonal production of Nutcracker: Rated R which recently toured to Tokyo. Subsequently, in 2013 Duane joined Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo and has performed with them in almost 20 countries recently having the privilege to perform The Dying Swan with a live orchestra at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington D.C.



Music by: Camille Saint-Saens
Choreography after: Michel Fokine

Les Ballets Trockadero offers its own distinctive interpretation of the terminal fowl.

PAQUITA  (Variation)

Music by: Ludwig Minkus

Choreography after: Petipa

Overview of the Trockadero:

Founded in 1974, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, has established itself as a major dance phenomenon throughout the world. The Company has appeared in over 30 countries and over 500 cities worldwide since its founding, including 64 tours in Europe, 26 tours to Japan, 10 tours to South America, 7 tours to Australia/New Zealand, and 3 tours to South Africa. In the United States, the company has performed in 49 of the 50 states.
The Trocks, as they are affectionately known, is a company of professional male dancers performing the full range of the ballet and modern dance repertoire, including classical and original works in faithful renditions of the manners and conceits of those dance styles. The comedy is achieved by incorporating and exaggerating the foibles, accidents, and underlying incongruities of serious dance. The fact that men dance all the parts--heavy bodies delicately balancing on toes as swans, sylphs, water sprites, romantic princesses, angst-ridden Victorian ladies--enhances rather than mocks the spirit of dance as an art form, delighting and amusing the most knowledgeable, as well as novices, in the audiences. For the future, there are plans for new works in the repertoire: new cities, states and countries to perform in; and for the continuation of the TROCKS’ original purpose: to bring the pleasure of dance to the widest possible audience. They will, as they have done for thirty seven years, “Keep on Trockin’.”


Mr. Gosa is appearing courtesy of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo .

Duane Gosa




Terk Lewis Waters (Mansfield, OH) began his training at the age of 17 with Tony Calucci at the Dance Extension in Columbus, OH. He went on to receive his B.F.A. in dance from Western Michigan University where he performed in works by Antony Tudor, Frank Chaves and Ron DeJesus. In addition, Terk has trained at The City Ballet of San Diego with David Howard, Gelsey Kirkland and Sandra Jennings and at River North Chicago Dance with Frank Chaves and Sara Bibik. Before Joining Complexions, Mr. Waters danced with the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, where he performed in works by Laurie Eisenhower, Louis Falco, Eddy Ocampo, Joel Hall and Michael Foley. Mr. Waters performed as a soloist in Lindsay Nelko's full length contemporary ballet "Awekening", and at the Sundance Film Festival with the band O.A.R., as well as the Dance Open Festival in Russia and the Seoul International Dance Festival in Korea. Waters has also had the opportunity to perform as a guest at the World Ballet Competitions "All Stars of Dance Gala", The International ballet Competition (IBC) Gala and Rasta Thomas' "Dreamscape" Gala. Most recently, Waters performed as a guest artist in "Impressions" presented by Joelle Cosentino and Chaz Buzan. Waters has also worked on music videos for artists Jill Scott, Nile Rogers and ELEW. Since joining Complexions in 2010, Waters has performed in world premiere works by Dwight Rhoden, Desmond Richardson, Jae Man Joo, William Forsythe and Marcelo Gomes.     @terklewis

Mr. Waters is appearing courtesy of Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

Terk Lewis Waters

Terk Lewis Waters

Duane Gosa of Ballet Trockadero

Performing selections of Nothing In Particular 
Choreographer: Mary-Elizabeth Fenn 

Lighting: Dennis Dugan
Visual Effects and Animation: Andy Gardner 

Music: various artists 

Dancers: Brooke Wesner, Mary-Elizabeth Fenn, Brian Murphy, Ethan Michael Lee, Kassandra Lee, Rebekah Gray, Anna Trumbo, Juliana Freude 


Funded in-part by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, premiered at the Akron’s Civic Theatre 


Neos Dance Theatre Company History

With a new office home at The University of Akron and a highly valued performance and education presence throughout Northeast Ohio — especially in Cuyahoga, Hancock, Lorain, Richland and Summit counties — Neos has gained a reputation for artistic excellence, adventurous programming, and passionate community collaborations.

Energized by classical and contemporary choreography, Neos has showcased works by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s resident choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo, Heinz Poll, George Balanchine, and Penny Saunders. Neos director and Co-Founder Bobby Wesner has choreographed four evening-length ballets for Neos Dance Theatre and produced an additional ballet by resident choreographer Mary-Elizabeth Fenn.

Sought-after as a performer and partner, Neos has and/or is collaborating with the Akron Art Museum (November 2016), Akron Symphony (March 2017), City of Akron’s Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival, Akron Civic Theatre, Ashland’s Guy C. Meyers Bandshell, Ashland Regional Ballet, Ashland Symphony, Ashland University, Belhaven University in Mississippi, Cain Park, Cleveland’s Playhouse Square, Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Dance Institute and Dance Program at The University of Akron, Dancing Wheels, Downtown Akron Partnership, Findlay Academy of Ballet, Lakeside Chautauqua, Mansfield Symphony, Oberlin College, The Ohio State University, Verb Ballets, and many more. And, reaching beyond Northeast Ohio, Neos has toured to 10 states, including Georgia where it performed along the coast this past season.

In April 2014, for example, Neos joined forces with The University of Akron’s Dance Institute, Dance Program, and E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall for a new full-length ballet titled Snow White and the Magic Mirror, A Grimm Tale. This December, Neos presents A 1940s Nutcracker in both Mansfield, at the Renaissance Theatre featuring the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra, and Findlay at the Marathon Performing Arts Center. 
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.

BOBBY WESNER, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, his career as a professional dancer with Ballet Arizona, under the direction of Michael Uthoff (now Ib Anderson). During his stay in Phoenix, he had the honor of working with American Classics such as Fredrick Franklin, Daniel Ezralow, Moses Pendelton of Momix, the Artistic Directors of Pilobolus, Kevin O'Day, Jowali Willa Jo Zolar of Urban Bush Woman, and his wife Brooke Wesner. Other great masterpieces that Wesner has performed are the "Profiteer" in The Green Table by Kurt Josse; "Iago" in The Moore's Pavone by Jose Limon; "Tico" in Company B by Paul Taylor, (also in Taylor's Esplanade); three works of Anthony Tudor: Lilac Garden, Leaves are Fading and Continuo; and The Jester in Earnst Uthoff's Carmina Burana. Independently, Wesner has traveled and performed with various companies all over the northeast region of the US and in Italy. As Director and Co-Founder Bobby has choreographed four evening length ballets for Neos Dance Theatre and produced an additional ballet by resident choreographer Mary-Elizabeth Fenn. Neos also performs many of Wesner’s repertory works including Spinning Plates, Various Principals, Norm and Cleo, and more. Bobby and Brooke live in Ashland, Ohio where they raise their four beautiful daughters, Genevieve, Ella, Mekah, and Arowyn.
BROOKE WESNER, CO-FOUNDER, started dance at age five under Hellie Schussler for her pre-professional training. Her presence on stage has been said to offer "lyrical melodrama" and "a most prominent...elegance"(The Arizona Republic and the Arizona Daily Star). After studying with master teachers such as Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride, and Basil Thompson, Brooke started her professional career with the Milwaukee Ballet. With Ballet Arizona she performed the "Snow Queen" and "Arabian" in Ib Anderson's Nutcracker, "Dark Angel" in Balanchine's Serenade, Paul Taylor's Company B; and "Desdemona" in Jose Limon's The Moore's Pavon. Brooke also performed as a soloist in Giselle; the Greentable by Kurt Josse; Lady Lost Found by Danny Ezralow; the original "Bird" in Moses Pendelton's Opus Cactus; HELLBLONDEGROOVE by Kevin O'Day; a "Saloon Girl" in Billy the Kid (while six months pregnant); and Apollo, The Four Temperaments, Agon, Rubies, and Serenade by George Balanchine. She performed with Momix in an international tour where she danced for the President of Italy and shared the stage with James Taylor. Brooke has appeared many times with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra as a guest artist and with the Arizona Opera in Aida. Her performance quality and technical stamina has intensified now that she is a mother of four. Brooke is the co-founder of Neos Dance Theatre with her husband, Bobby, and they are the parents of four beautiful daughters, Genevieve, Ella, Mekah, and Arowyn.
MARY- ELIZABETH FENN, RESIDENT CHOREOGRAPHER, a Wisconsin native trained at Milwaukee Ballet School, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Joffrey Ballet School-NYC, BalletMet, and Point Park University. She has also attended summer programs at Dance New Amsterdam, Juilliard, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and recently attended Northwest Dance Project’s LAUNCH intensive. She was a featured soloist in the DVD live performance of “Unwigged and Unplugged” with Spinal Tap. Mary-Elizabeth has been teaching and choreographing for various studios in Wisconsin for the past five years. She graduated in December 2010 with honors and a BFA in dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She also had the privilege to perform in works by Luc Vanier, Alwin Nikolais, Simone Ferro, Suniti Dernovsek, Janet Lilly, Garth Fagan, and Ed Burgess. Mary-Elizabeth has choreographed the full length Creole Cinderella and the repertoire piece Hello Mother for Neos Dance Theatre.

JULIANA FREUDE is a native of Akron, Ohio and trained for twelve years at The University of Akron Dance Institute where she performed as the soloist in The Snow Maiden and received the Gena Carroll Scholarship. Juliana has appeared with The University of Akron Repertory Dance Company in many roles including a soloist in Onda 9 by Ana Lobe, and Letting Go by Travis Gallin. Juliana performed with Nashville Ballet as a trainee in the Nutcracker and was also an apprentice with the Charleston Ballet Theatre. While dancing with the Charleston Ballet she has performed original works such as Rite of Spring, Sleeping Beauty, and Great Gatsby choreographed by Jill Eathorne Bahr. She has worked with Ohio Dance Theatre performing in ballets such as Swan Lake, Fairy Forest, and has danced with Dancing Wheels performing the leading role of Helen Keller, A Tribute to her Teacher choreographed by Christopher Fleming, and Alice in Wonderland by Bobby Wesner. 

REBEKAH GRAY began training with Ihda Rather Be Dancing and then in high school moved on to the Dance Institute with the University of Akron. While at the Dance Institute, Rebekah trained under Christina Foisie, Kara Stewart, Kay Eichman, and Frank Kosik. Along with her training at the Dance Institute, Rebekah attended Firestone High School under the direction of Kelly Berick. She has had the privilege of performing in various University Of Akron Dance Company pieces, Groundworks’ 2013 performance of the Rite of Spring, and Neos Dance Theatre’s performance of Snow White and the Magic Mirror: A Grimm Tale. Rebekah performed the lead role in the Dance Institute’s performance of the Snow Maiden and will stay on campus at the University of Akron to receive a BA in Dance and a minor in Business. 
BRIANNA HABEL is happy to be returning to her hometown. She began her training at Nan Klinger’s Excellence in Dance Studio. This led her to become a member of the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet, now known as Ballet Excel Ohio.  Following summer studies at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and American Ballet Theater in New York City, Brianna earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music. While earning her BFA, Brianna performed principle roles in Walpurgisnacht and Raymonda.  During her senior year she was invited to the Cincinnati Ballet as a trainee where she danced for two seasons.  She continued her career by spending two seasons with Nashville Ballet.  Brianna was most recently dancing with the Nevada Ballet Theater, highlights there included a collaboration with Cirque du Soleil and two Balanchine performances, Serenade and Who Cares.  Brianna is excited to be continuing her career with Neos Dance Theater.  When not dancing, Brianna is an avid reader and enjoys spending time with her family and rediscovering the local scene. 
began her training at SODT under the instruction of Nancy Brenstuhl and Denise Gula. Kassandra spent many years as a pre-profeesional dancing alongside Ohio Dance Theatre in annual productions of the Nutcracker. She also performed in many story ballet’s including Snow White and Peter & the Wolf. Kassandra took her studies to New York City to the Joffery Jazz and Contemporary summer intensive. Since joining Neos Dance Theatre Kassandra has performed in Count…the Legend of Dracula, A 1940’s Nutcracker, and Illustrious Disillusion choreographed by Robert Wesner; works by resident choreographer Mary-Elizabeth Fenn are Nothing In Particular and Nowhere; and guest choreographers work Flight by Penny Saunders.
ETHAN MICHAEL LEE is from Canton, Ohio, where he trained at the Canton Ballet for 10 years under the artistic direction of Cassandra Crowley. He also trained with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, and Chautauqua Institution in New York. Ethan has performed with the Canton Ballet dancing the roles of Sugar Plum Cavalier and Nutcracker Prince, among others. He has also appeared in performance with Erie Dance Conservatory, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker, Dance Takes Flight in Zanesville, and Wayne Center for the Arts’ Cinderella and The Nutcracker. He is currently on the faculty at A Time to Dance in North Canton as a ballet and contemporary teacher, and also as the artistic director of A Time to Dance Junior Company. This is Ethan’s third year with Neos Dance Theatre.

BRIAN MURPHY, DANCER AND CHOREOGRAPHER, has been dancing professionally for 25 years with companies such as Nashville Ballet, Cleveland San Jose Ballet, Richmond Ballet, BalletMet, New Orleans Delta Ensemble, Verb Ballets, GroundWorks Dance Theatre, and Ohio Ballet. As a guest Brian has appeared in Neos Dance Theatre’s Romeo and Juliet as Mercutio, as well as various tours to Portland, Maine and Winston-Salem North Carolina. This is his first full season with Neos Dance Theatre and he is excited to perform a diverse range of classical and contemporary work and teach company classes. Brian will utilize the dancers of Neos Dance Theatre for upcoming independent educational programs and public performances. He and his wife Suzy Rauh Murphy operate Pilates by Murphys in Akron with many faithful clients.


MATTHEW ROBERTS is an Ohioan who, at the age of 10, discovered he was bilingual and his real native language was dance. After studying at an Institute and University in Akron, he moved to New York looking to become more fluent and graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in 2013 with a BFA in Dance and concentration in Choreography. There he performed works by Lar Lubovitch, Robert Battle, Jessica Lang, Shen Wei and after graduating performed with Lustig Dance Theatre, Oakland Ballet Company and Awakening Movement. He loves creating dances of his own to share with others and hopes to have a company of his own one-day. This is his first season with Neos Dance Theatre.

KATHERINE TACKETT was born in Akron, Ohio. She started dancing at the age of three at a small studio called Abbey Dance Center. When she was six she started to train at the Dance Institute at the University of Akron. There she studied under Ana Lobe, Christina Foise and Kay Eichman just to name a few. While at Dance Institute she performed at the Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival for many years.  She spent summers training at the Dance Institute and the School of American Ballet. Katherine went to the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music where she graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet. During a summer intensive at Cincinnati Ballet at the age of 20 she was asked to join the company as a trainee. Katherine danced with the company in the Nutcracker and other various performances with the Cincinnati Ballet Second Company. This is Katherine’s first season with Neos.


ANNA TRUMBO originally from Seattle, Washington, trained at Cornish Preparatory Dance and with Stephanie Saland before continuing her training at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. Her most noted performance while at Joffrey was as “Cowgirl” in Agnes De Mille’s “Rodeo,” of which The New York Times referenced her performance saying, it was “danced with verve, with [Anna] as an appealingly wistful Cowgirl...” Other performances during her study in New York included Septime Weber’s “D-Construction,” Kathryn Posin’s “San Cubano” and “Piano Concerto,” and Gerald Arpino’s “Viva Vivaldi,” and the pas de trois from “Italian Suite.” After receiving her BFA from the New School University, Anna moved to San Francisco to dance with the Oakland Ballet. During her time at Oakland Ballet she performed Ron Guidi’s “Nutcracker,” Robert Garland’s “Joplin Dances, “ Carlos Carvajal’s “Crystal Slipper,” and Michael Lowe’s “Double Happiness.” Anna moved to the area in order for her husband to study at Oberlin’s Conservatory of Music.

Fenn & Company is a storytelling movement collaborative. Choreographer Mary-Elizabeth Fenn and dancers collaborate to create scenes in a raw and revealing nature;  eavesdropping in on relationships through characters, story lines and contemporary dance movement.  Their work has been presented at Triskelion Arts in Brooklyn, NY (Presents, Split Bill, Comedy in Dance Festival), NYC10 at Dixon Place in New York, NY  and  Art to Art Danceworks, Inc. in Milwaukee, WI. 



Fenn & Company presents "Playing House". Two duets showcase a peculiar family's interaction. A brother and sister dueling for the keeper of a Barbie's head, followed by a Mother and Father serving us farts and chicken drumsticks at the dinner table.


Title: Playing House

Choreography: Mary-Elizabeth Fenn

Music by Artur Was and Dakotah Cornelius

Dancers: Mary-Elizabeth Fenn and Matthew Roberts 



Mary-Elizabeth Fenn, a Wisconsin native, has trained at Milwaukee Ballet School, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Joffrey Ballet School-NYC, BalletMet, and Point Park University. She has a BFA in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Professional dance experience includes; featured soloist with Spinal Tap and appeared as a soloist in Kanye West’s concert summer series in 2011. Mary-Elizabeth has performed in New York City with Anabella Lenzu/DanceDrama, Amalgamate Dance Company, Yoo & Dancers, Caitlin Dutton, and London artist Eddie Peake in Performa 13. In New York, she presented her own work through Fenn & Company at Triskelion Arts Split Bill Series, Comedy in Dance Festival, Triskelion Presents, and NYC10. Mary-Elizabeth is currently dancing with Neos Dance Theater and is their resident choreographer. She has served as an adjunct faculty member for University of Akron’s Dance Department and teaches for various dance studios throughout Ohio.

MATTHEW ROBERTS is an Ohioan who, at the age of 10, discovered he was bilingual and his real native language was dance. After studying at an Institute and University in Akron, he moved to New York looking to become more fluent and graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in 2013 with a BFA in Dance and concentration in Choreography. There he performed works by Lar Lubovitch, Robert Battle, Jessica Lang, Shen Wei and after graduating performed with Lustig Dance Theatre, Oakland Ballet Company and Awakening Movement. He loves creating dances of his own to share with others and hopes to have a company of his own one-day. This is his first season with Neos Dance Theatre.



Tarry the Night
World Premiere, April 22nd, 2017
Choreographer: Holly Handman-Lopez
Music: various artists 
Sound Design: Tom Lopez
Lighting Design: Dennis Dugan
Costume Design: Janet Bolick
Set Design: Laura Carlson-Tarantowski
Video Capture and Edit: Olivia DeToma
Projection Mapping: Jonathon Hunter
Dancers: Brian Murphy, Katherine Tackett, Brianna Habel, Kassandra Lee, Matthew Roberts,
Brooke Wesner, Mary-Elizabeth Fenn, Juliana Freude, Bobby Wesner
Music by: Mike Wall, Michael Nyman, King Curtis

eleven years in, choreographed by Holly Handman-Lopez with Bobby Wesner

Dancers, Holly Handman-Lopez and Bobby Wesner


In creating “eleven years in,” my goal was to simply experiment with contemporary partnering. I wanted to dance entangled, following every opportunity to slip, spiral and slide with another dancer. Bobby and I were in the same area for a few months, then apart, then together again. The lengthy and sporadic rehearsal process gave me space and time to look at what we were making, experiment with other dancers, then return with new ideas. It was a new balance for me of being inside and outside of the piece during the creative process. Our experiments evolved into a slippery “relationship piece” that feels luscious and edgy to perform.


Music is by Mike Wall.



Holly Handman-Lopez is a member of the Oberlin College Dance faculty and has choreographed numerous concert works, plays, musicals, and operas; most recently, Spring Awakening (director Chris Flaharty), eleven years in (duet with Bobby Wesner), and The Only Way (original evening-length dance/theater piece), for which she was awarded an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, and Mr Burns: A post Electric play (Cleveland Public Theater, director Matthew Wright). In her creative process, Holly has had the privilege of collaborating with composers, actors, directors, poets, artists, architects, scholars and videographers. She has been awarded numerous guest-artist residencies at such institutions as New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Sarah Lawrence College, and The New School. Holly danced professionally in New York City where she worked with many prominent choreographers, including David Dorfman, Nicholas Leichter, and Lisa Race; and performed extensively in New York City venues, as well as touring nationally and internationally. Most recently she has performed as a guest with Neos Dance Theatre, Shelter Repertory Dance Theatre and internationally acclaimed poet Esther Dischereit.


Bobby Wesner, Neos Artistic Director, began his career as a professional dancer with Ballet Arizona, under the direction of Michael Uthoff (now Ib Anderson). During his stay in Phoenix, he had the honor of working with American Classics such as Fredrick Franklin, Daniel Ezralow, Moses Pendelton of Momix, the Artistic Directors of Pilobolus, Kevin O’Day, Jowali Willa Jo Zolar of Urban Bush Woman, and his wife Brooke Wesner. Other great masterpieces that Wesner has performed are the “Profiteer” in The Green Table by Kurt Josse; “Iago” in The Moore’s Pavone by Jose Limon; “Tico” in Company B by Paul Taylor, (also in Taylor’s Esplanade); three works of Anthony Tudor: Lilac Garden, Leaves are Fading and Continuo; and The Jester in Earnst Uthoff’s Carmina Burana. Independently, Wesner has traveled and performed with various companies all over the northeast region of the US and in Italy. As Director and Co-Founder Bobby has choreographed four evening length ballets for Neos Dance Theatre and produced an additional ballet by resident choreographer Mary-Elizabeth Fenn. Neos also performs many of Wesner’s repertory works including Spinning Plates, Various Principals, Norm and Cleo, and more. Bobby and Brooke live in Ashland, Ohio where they raise their four beautiful daughters, Genevieve, Ella, Mekah, and Arowyn.

Holly Handman-Lopez

Fenn & Co. 

Holly Handman-Lopez
Fenn & Co. Mary Elizabeth Fenn

Timbre Cierpke

Timbre Cierpke- Recently featured on Jack White's album, "Lazaretto", Nashville based harpist and songwriter Timbre has been enchanting audiences throughout the US and Europe in growing numbers with her unique brand of harp-fronted chamber-folk. Her career has caught the attention of the music world, and has led to her recording and collaborating with rock legends Jack White, Tom Jones, Ricky Skaggs, and rock bands such as mewithoutYou, O'Brother, Brooke Waggoner, and The Chariot. The pairing of Timbre's classically trained voice and harp skills with the dynamic sounds of her talented backing band have entranced crowd after crowd, often bringing complete stillness to crowded bars and festivals, silencing audiences of thousands. With her creative and innovative bandmates Chris Leidhecker (drums) and Camille Faulkner (violin), Timbre creates lush soundscapes that pull in listeners of every background. Sometimes haunting, sometimes driving, sometimes unabashedly joyful, Timbre is a musical experience that is completely unique and compelling, reminding listeners that music can move us like nothing else can.​

Hailed by as “a gorgeous tapestry of audible poetry”, Timbre’s newest album Sun & Moon paints vividly with the light, the joy, the passion of modern music, and the darkness, depth, and richness of classical music, and shows that together, they can communicate beauty in greater depths than either can alone. Timbre seeks to draw listeners into both worlds, learning and experiencing the beauty of both, hearing their unique languages, until a new dialect is formed.


Music videos:

Song of the Sun:

Night Girl:

Live Video:

The Wind May Be Beautiful:

Song of the Sun:


“Sun & Moon is a beautiful demonstration of Timbre's versatility… a great blend of contemporary instrumentation and classical composition.” - Utne Reader

“This indie, alt-classical, art concept album is near impossible to categorize. The album is exquisite, well worth listening to.” – PopMatters

“A gorgeous tapestry of audible poetry.” -

“Sun & Moon is music for the end of a journey, for the rising sun, for knowing that you are exactly where you were always meant to be. If there were ever anything approaching a universal definition for harmonious, or beautiful, it might just be somewhere inside Sun & Moon.”  - SputnikMusic

Ashley Pavy is a 2017 graduate from Wright State University with BFA in Dance. Ashley has choreographed for several Wright State Dance Concerts such as Fall Concert and Emerging Choreographers Concert. She was the Assistant Choreographer for Wright State’s production of No, No Nanette and was the Choreographer for Beavercreek Community Theatre’s production of Merrily We Roll Along. In addition, Ashley’s choreography has been given awards and has been chosen to be presented in festivals and galas. Ashley is thankful for the opportunity to work with the Lose Your Marbles Fringe Festival.



Barakat بركات


Discovery is a prominent part of life, and everything we discover is through our Creator, our God.


Throughout life you learn something new every day and for myself, each day I realize how much more I have to grasp. There is a cycle of life I have experienced and this piece reflects that. You will see a cycle that begins with innocence and the idea of being “born again”, to the feeling of eternal happiness/ the “honeymoon stage”, to melancholy, and finally to awareness and realization.


Bios of the dancers:


Halle is originally from Marion, OH. In the fall, she will be returning to Wright State University for her senior year as a dance major. During her time there, she's has had the opportunity to perform in numerous dance concerts as well as musicals and plays. She is a fan of food and puppies, in no particular order. Halle is very excited to participate is such an amazing festival. 


Laura Blaufuss is a junior dance major as Wright State University. She hails from Toledo, Ohio where she studied with the Toledo Baller and Toledo School for the Arts. She recently performed in WSU’s Spring Dance Concert is 2017 and the Emerging Choreographers Concert in 2016 and 2017. This past year, Laura had the pleasure of briefly studying under Lloyd Culbreath of the Verdon-Fosse Legacy, and Dwight Rhoden and Clifford Williams of Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Her choreography has been featured in several Toledo Ballet productions as well as in Wright State Univerisity’s Fall Concert in 2016.

Heather Cagle is a Sophomore Dance Major at Wright State University. Heather has danced is WSU’s Emerging Choreographers Concert (2015-2016), Fall Concert (2015-2016), Spring Faculty Concert (2017). She is extremely grateful to be a part of the Wright State University Dance Program. She would like to give her family and friends a huge thank you for their constant love and support. Lastly, she would like to thank the dance faculty for making her dreams reality.


Jaelyn Blake is an upcoming senior dance major Wright State University. She’s been dancing since she was six years old and has studied under multiple dance schools. She is currently a member of Dance Contemporary second Company, DCDC II. She has been a part of many concerts at Wright State University and at different locations throughout Dayton with DCDC II. She is extremely excited to be a part of this festival and to have the opportunity to work her choreographer.


Alexandria Flewellen is not a senior dance major at Wright State University. She is from Columbus, Ohio and has been dancing for 25 years. She is a member of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company Second Compnay (DCDCII). She is excited to be performing on stage once again!


Kat Klensch is a senior dance major at Wright State University from Edgewood, Kentucky. She has performed with the Wright State University Dance Ensemble in the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Emerging Choreographer’s Concert, the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Spring Faculty Concert, and “No, No Nanette” (ensemble, dance captain.) She has also had the pleasure to work with Dwight Rhoden and Broadway veteran Lloyd Culbreath in the past few months.


Mallory Pavy is a 2017 graduate from Stivers  School for the Arts. As a native of Dayton Ohio Mallory began studying at Madonna's School of Dance and later continue training at Stivers School for the Arts.  She has performed in many concerts around the community including University of Dayton and Sinclair Community College spring concerts. Mallory would like to thank Ashley for this opportunity to perform at the Lose Your Marbles Fringe Festival.


Jacob Shade is a sophomore at Wright State University in the dance program. He has been in Wright State’s most recent Faculty Concert in works created by Dwight Rhoden and Bob Fosse. He has been dancing for seven years and went to an arts high school.


Ashley Pavy

Ashley Pavy
Timbre Cierpke


Body Memories is a theatre/movement piece. The artists’ are engaging in a dialogue about the concept of the mother/son bond. We are interested in how this relationship grows over time. How does woman/man hood complicate this relationship?  How is it redeemed?  

Ma'Sue is an Akron-based theatre company interested in community engagement. We strive to create art that explores and celebrates the African-American cultural experience while exploring the universal narrative of humanity. In our 6 year history we’ve collaborated many organizations throughout the Greater Akron/Cleveland including ArtsNow, Big Love Network, FADIA, UMADOP, NAACP, Cleveland Public Theatre, The W.O.M.B and Akron Organizing Collaborative. We mounted our 7th production "..Or Does It Explode? this February, with an overwhelmingly positive response. 


The company was founded 2011 by John Dayo Aliya, India Burton and Thurayya Umbaymake out of hunger for more representation in African American original works and art performance. The name Ma’Sue honors the family matriarch of siblings, John Dayo Aliya and India Burton. To the family her name was Mama, and to the neighborhood, she was Sue.



Kaustavi Sarkar is a dancer-choreographer-educator, scholar, performing and teaching well over the past decade. Dedicated to serving the Indian classical dance form of Odissi for over twenty-five years, Kaustavi Sarkar is a disciple of Guru Pausali Mukherjee, Guru Ratikant Mohapatra, and Guru Sujata Mohapatra. Kaustavi started her journey under the able tutelage of Guru Amala Shankar in Uday Shankar India Culture Center where she trained in Kathhak, Manipuri, and Kathakali for fourteen years. She also studied Bharatnatyam under Guru Mousumi Bhor for ten years. Both her choreography and writing build conversations across academe, performance, and business. She has performed in numerous dance festivals and conferences in the United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia. She is based in Kolkata and is currently completing her doctoral studies in dance at the Ohio State University in Columbus. As a third year doctoral student at The Ohio State University, Kaustavi is a dancer-choreographer-educator, performing and teaching well over the past decade. She is the Artistic Director of Kaustavi Movement Center, an organization dedicated to transnational propagation of Odissi dance. She has an interdisciplinary research interest involving Practice-as-Research, Arts Entrepreneurship, Digital Humanities embedded in critical cultural theory. As the founder of two student organizations at the Ohio State University, Odissi at Ohio State and Multicultural Center for Embodied Aesthetics,she employs entrepreneurial measures for building an Odissi fraternity. Both her choreography and writing build conversations across academe, performance, and business. She has performed in numerous dance festivals and conferences in the United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia. She is currently working on the first collaboration between Indian classical dance and motion capture tehnology enhancing the scope of Odissi as inspiration as well as co-creator in the world of 3D animation.



Choreographer: Kaustavi Sarkar

Musicians: Brian (drums), Hans Utter (sitar), and Kaustavi Sarkar (vocal)

Dancers: Julia Ayau and Kaustavi Sarkar

Radhike emerges as a joint collaboration between Indian classical aesthetics and literary theory. The dance expresses the mythological character Radha’s travels in love as she expresses the various hues of it in text, rhythm, and movement. The dance has been adapted to twelfth century poet Jayadeva’s Gitagovinda that is a lyrical ballad describing the celestial love story between Radha and her eternal lover Krishna.

Kaustavi Sarkar

Kaustavi Starkar

Locations & Maps

Locations and Map: 

  •  Lose Your Marbles locations of events.

Map Lose Your Marbles
Trolly Barn

Trolley Barn

Locations & Maps

Early in life, Robin Prichard sold her soul to the devil in exchange for amazing dancing ability.  She is still waiting for the amazing dancing ability.  Her choreography, “noted for its wit and vulnerability” (LA Weekly), has been seen throughout the U.S. and Australia.  Her choreographic commissions include Parramatta Riverside Theaters (Australia), SUNY Fredonia, Morehead State University, Dance Generators, and University of Western Sydney.  She served as the choreographer for the interactive video game American Idol, and as a Fulbright Fellow, she undertook a cross-cultural choreography project between Aboriginal and contemporary dance. She has received the Harkness Award, the Glorya Kaufmann Award, an Australian Federation of University Women Fellowship, and a Puffin Individual Artist Grant. She has taught at Arizona State University, Sydney Dance Company, and Smith College.  Currently, she spends her days as a professor of dance at The University of Akron and her nights trying to reclaim her soul.


The Art of Making Dances (Not About Ferguson) is a response to the Black Lives Matter movement and to the violence against African American men in 2016.  It asks: what can artists do to respond to violence and injustice?  How can participating in art be a meaningful activity in a world in which black men are being shot in the streets?  This dance uses 19th century minstrelsy, ballet, modern dance, and hip hop for its movement palette and pairs it with the sounds from the violent police encounters with Alton Sterling, Philando Castille, and Eric Gardner.  This dance uses text, movement, song, and sound to ponder how art can be a meaningful activity.

Group bio

Pas de Monkéy Dance (pronounced  “pa duh maun-káy”) is a group of inscrutable, unruly dancing bodies dedicated to performing choreography that is simultaneously sophisticated and accessible. Pas de Monkéy strives to use the entire range of emotion – from humor to pathos  - in service of this.  No one is quite sure what Pas de Monkéy means, although it has been proposed that it means “step of the monkey” in very bad French.  Regardless, its first usage is traced to Akron, Ohio circa 2010.  Pas de Monkéy’s motto is:  “if we can’t be whimsical, we don’t want to dance.”  And yet, we also want to make dance that changes the world.  We like contradictions like that.

Robin Prichard

Joseph Morrissey featuring Neos dancers

Good Night, Day

World Premiere 

Choreographer, Joseph Morrissey 

Music, Jóhann Jóhannsson 

Lighting Design, Dennis Dugan 

Costumes, Inda Blanch-Geib 

Dancers: Mary-Elizabeth Fenn, Brian Murphy, Matthew Roberts, Brooke Wesner 

Joseph Morrissey was most recently the Director of Artistic Planning and Touring for The Hong Kong Ballet. He has danced with the Bavarian State Ballet in Munich, Germany, the Boston Ballet and the Charleston Ballet Theatre. Joseph holds a Master of Arts in Performing Arts Administration from New York University in addition to holding a Bachelor of Science in Classical Ballet from The Jacob’s School of Music at Indiana University. He is a four-year graduate of The Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida.

In 2009 and 2010 Joseph was invited to choreograph for The Stuttgart Ballet’s Noverre Society where he worked with dancers of the Stuttgart Ballet company in Germany. He was further selected to participate in the 2011 New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of the New York City Ballet where he choreographed for the advanced level students at the School of American Ballet to a commissioned score by Michael Ippolito of the Juilliard School. In July 2013 Joseph’s choreography was featured throughout Italy and Sicily with the Roberto Bolle and Friends from American Ballet Theatre galas and in September 2014 Joseph’s work was performed at the Ballet Philippines 45th Anniversary gala performances held at the Cultural Center’s National Theater in Manila. In June 2015 Joseph completed an Artist Residency at The University of Akron after teaching and setting his work for the Princeton University Ballet in January that same year. Joseph has also choreographed for the Festival Ballet d’Adriatico held in Ascoli Piceno, Italy and the Inside / Out performance series presented by The School of Ballet at Jacob’s Pillow, a program of which he is a twotime alumnus.

From 2012-2013 Joseph was the Director of CORPS, a pre-professional classical ballet high school program for select students pursuing careers and higher education in dance. He has instructed classes for Ballet Preljocaj and Spellbound Contemporary Ballet and is a member of The International Vaganova Method Society, having completed the Vaganova Ballet Academy’s annual methodology seminar in St. Petersburg, Russia. Joseph is currently a selected participant in the 2015 Dance/USA Institute for Leadership Training, a platform for emerging and notable leaders in the professional dance field sponsored by the American Express Foundation and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Joseph Morrissey

Robin Prichard
Joseph Morrissey

Dr. Jonathan Gangi, Classical Guitarist

Dr. Gangi is Assistant Professor of Music and Arts Entrepreneurship at Penn State University, where he founded, directs, and teaches courses in the Arts Entrepreneurship and the Guitar program. As an artist, Dr. Gangi is a competition prizewinner (James Stroud Competition, Akron, OH) and have performed on live radio (NPR Houston) and television shows (WIS TV 10, Columbia), and has extensive performance experience including a guest artist concert at the Rantucci International Guitar Festival and Competition (Buffalo, NY), a concerto performance with the Raleigh Civic Chamber Symphony, and serving as a member of the teaching faculty and a guest artist at the ‘Classical Minds’ guitar festival (Houston, TX).

Dr. Jonathan Gangi, Classical Guitarist

Jonathan Gangi

Verb Ballets, a contemporary ballet company, presents dynamic programming through bold artistry, unique styles and technical excellence that captivates a broad audience. Under the direction of Dr. Margaret Carlson, Producing Artistic Director and Richard Dickinson, MFA, Associate Director, the company will present a season that ignites passion in the energy, beauty and athleticism of dance. Verb Ballets cultivates dance appreciation and nurtures wellness through movement in community dance classes, school residences, senior outreach, library programs, master classes and college course partnerships.


Verb Ballets mission is to ignite audience passion and participation in contemporary ballet through performance, outreach programs and community engagement. Our vision is to be a nationally recognized leader in performing dance works of the highest caliber; a catalyst to promote learning, nurture wellness and encourage dialogue about the dance art form; and a thought leader in cultivating dance appreciation and support throughout the region. 


3:00am (2014)

Choreography: Andrew Carroll

Music: Satin Birds by Abel Koreniowski

Lighting Design: John Ebert

Costume Design: Janet Bolick

Kelly Korfhage    Antonio Morillo


Ne Me Quitte Pas (2013)

Choreography: Daniel Precup

Music: Jacques Brel

Lighting Design: John Ebert

Original Costume Design: Jenna Johnson

Costume Reconstruction: Janet Bolick

Kate Webb   Michael Hinton




Kate Webb grew up in Richmond, VA where she danced both as a student and as a trainee with Richmond Ballet. She trained around the country at numerous intensive programs such as Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Upon graduating from Appomattox Regional Governor’s School for the Arts, she attended Butler University on both dance and academic scholarships. While dancing with Butler Ballet, she performed in Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. After fulfilling her degree in three years, she graduated cum laude in May of 2015 with a BS in Dance-Arts Administration and high departmental honors. Kate joined Verb Ballets in 2015 and has been featured in works such as Peter Pan and Aposiopesis.

Kelly Korfhage, a native of Cleveland, began her training at age 10 under Joanne H. Morscher and Ana Lobe. She attended summer intensives at ABT Detroit, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, BalletMet, Cincinnati Ballet, and North Carolina Dance Theatre. She furthered her dance education at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music as a Corbett Award scholarship recipient, and graduated cum laude with a BFA in ballet performance. Following graduation, Kelly became a member of Kansas City Ballet’s second company, KCB2, for two seasons where she had the opportunity to perform with the company in repertoire such as Septime Webre’s Alice (In Wonderland) and Adam Hougland’s Rite of Spring. Kelly joined Verb Ballets in 2016 and has been featured in works such as Andante Sostenuto and Schubert Waltzes.


Michael Hinton was born and raised in the small town of Broomfield Colorado and started competitive gymnastics when he was 5. After three years of strict training and competitive successes within the USAG gymnastics program Michael decided to start ballet in order to improve his gymnastics routines. It took one class for Michael to decide to quit gymnastics and attend ballet class full time at Ballet Nouveau Colorado (BNC). At the age of 15, after seven years of training and performing at BNC, Michael moved to New York City to train with The School of American Ballet. After his graduation in 2014, Michael joined Verb Ballets and has been featured in works such as Tarantella and Ne Me Quitte Pas.


Antonio Morillo (on leave of absence) is from Orlando, Florida. He received his Associate of Arts in Dance Performance from Valencia College and his BFA in Dance Performance from the University of South Florida. Antonio has performed with the Patel Conservatory’s Next Generation Ballet as well as Tampa City Ballet. He has performed works by Jon Lehrer, José Limón, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Robert Moses’ Kin, and Maurice Causey. Antonio joined Verb Ballets in 2016 and has been featured in such works as Andante Sostenuto and Aposiopesis. He is the recipient of the Verb Ballets Shah Capital Aspiring Dancer Fund for the 2016-17 season. 

More Artists to be announced

Verb Ballets

Verb Ballets


Link to Neos Dance Theatre

c/o E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall 

198 Hill Street 

Akron OH 44325 

Tel: (330) 595-4650

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