Cleveland Ballet's Inaugural Performance: Past. Present. Future.

Photo by Mark Satola
Photo by Mark Satola
Featured Audio

Gladisa Guadalupe, Executive Director of Cleveland Ballet, and Bobby Wesner, Artistic Director of Neos Dance Theatre, spoke with WCLV's Mark Satola. 

 

Cleveland Ballet and Neos Dance Theatre Present “Past. Present. Future.” on October 3 at Playhouse Square’s Ohio Theatre

Cleveland, OH — On Saturday, October 3, 2015, the new Cleveland Ballet, in collaboration with Neos Dance Theatre, presents its first professional performance, Past. Present. Future. at 7 p.m. in Playhouse Square’s Ohio Theatre, to launch the start of its 2015-16 ground-breaking preview season. 

Cleveland Ballet — under the artistic direction of former Cleveland Ballet principal ballerina Gladisa Guadalupe — began rehearsals August 17, with newly hired professional dancers, the first since the company announced its re- establishment under new leadership. Neos Dance Theatre, the most up and coming dance company in Northeast Ohio, under the direction of Bobby Wesner, joins forces with the Cleveland Ballet to present an exciting season of classical, neoclassical and contemporary works by some of the most innovative choreographers, both locally and nationally. The performance offers a blend of ballet works to delight audiences with diverse taste in dance.

The evening’s program includes world premiere choreography by Guadalupe and Wesner, as well as a work from guest choreographer Joseph Morrissey titled, Suite for Strings with music by Leoš Janáček. The program opens with Homage, choreographed by Bobby Wesner as a world premiere in 2012, with music by Hector Villa Lobos.

“The music and movement in Homage evokes a deep sense of longing, struggle, and an ongoing passion to pursue moving forward — a concept that resonates with the artistic dance community in our region,” said Wesner. “It’s been 15 years since Cleveland has had a resident ballet company,” said Wesner. “It’s time for a comeback.”

Searching for the Find, a contemporary piece choreographed by Wesner, which premiered at the 2015 Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival in Akron, is also included in the evening’s repertoire. Neos Dance Theatre performed it as the finale work in Playhouse Square’s 15th Annual Dance Showcase, presented by Sheldon & Terry Adelman. 

The evening’s performance concludes with an excerpt from the full-length ballet Raymonda, with music by Russian composer Alexander Konstantinovich Glazunov. The ballet was originally choreographed by Marius Petipa, one of the most influential ballet masters in history. The work has been set on the dancers by Guadalupe and former Cleveland Ballet dancer Cynthia Graham, who serves as the company’s Ballet Mistress.

“We are thrilled that our vision to re-establish a resident classical ballet company in Cleveland is coming to fruition,” said Guadalupe, who also serves as artistic director for the School of Cleveland Ballet. The company includes one of her former students, Madeline Taylor, a native of Solon, Ohio. Taylor graduated from high school in May and immediately started her professional dance career as the first to be hired by the Cleveland Ballet. The company consists of six professional dancers, while Neos employs eight dancers — including Wesner and his wife and Neos’ co-founder Brooke Wesner — a former dancer with the Milwaukee Ballet and Ballet Arizona.

Tickets can be purchased at the Playhouse Square box office, or online at playhousesquare.org or call

216-241-6000. Tickets range from $20-$49 with a 10% discount for groups of 10 or more. For group reservations, call 216-640-8600. The performance lasts approximately 2 1/2 hours and includes a 20-minute intermission. The theatre complies with ADA regulations and is wheelchair accessible.

Ticket patrons are encouraged to dress in “creative black tie" attire to celebrate the evening’s historical significance of the launch of the new Cleveland Ballet company.

Ticket holders will have an opportunity to have photos taken with dancers following the performance. Fans are encouraged to post photos to social media and tag the Cleveland Ballet on Facebook (Cleveland Ballet), Twitter (@BalletCleveland) and Instagram (@clevelandballetcompany). If your photo is chosen as a favorite, you could win a free pair of tickets to the next in the collaborative performance series, Count ...The Legend of Dracula on October 17, 8 p.m., at the Renaissance Theatre in Mansfield, or October 30, 8 p.m. at Akron’s Civic Theatre.

A native of Puerto Rico, Guadalupe graduated as a scholarship alumna from New York City’s School of American Ballet, while studying under the celebrated George Balanchine, father of American ballet and of the modern ballet movement. In her professional career, she performed under legendary choreographers Dennis Nahat, Ian Horvath, Margot Sappington, and Louis Falco, touring North and South America, Asia and Europe. In July 2015, Peter Martins, artistic director and chairman of faculty at the School of American Ballet, official school of the New York City Ballet, invited Guadalupe to serve on the Alumni Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.

In August, the Cleveland Ballet announced an exciting global academic partnership with Andrews Osborne Academy (AOA), located in Willoughby, Ohio. As a college preparatory day and boarding school, AOA allows students to complete their high school studies while training at the School of Cleveland Ballet. Members of AOA’s Board of Directors and Administration will be on hand at the performance to kick off their partnership. 

For more information, visit clevelandballet.org or call 216-320-9000 or visit neosdancetheatre.org or call 419-651-4938. Stay connected with us on FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram.

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