Verb Ballets' Winter Series Set for Breen Center, 2/22

Verb Ballets' Winter Series Set for Breen Center, 2/22

Verb Ballets returns to The Breen Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 8pm with a program inspired by fusion of culture and music. From songs of Home on the Range to a story about family relationships and the drums of Africa the works selected on this program explore the diversity of expression through music.

Featured on the program is the world premiere of a ballet by William Anthony, an American choreographer currently working in Denmark. Anthony has choreographed for dance and theatre companies in United States and Europe including Ballet Met, Theater der Landeshauptstadt Mainz and the Nationaltheater Mannheim. The new work fuses J.S. Bach's Keyboard Concerto No. 1 in D minor (BWV 1052) and African drumming led by Linda Thomas-Jones, Sogbety Diomande and Baba Jubal. The piece will shape dynamics and phrasing to explore syncopation as found in both European music and in non-Western traditions. Thomas-Jones has been a music educator for over 40 years and received a Fulbright Fellowship from the Gestalt Institute to study dance and drumming in Ghana, West Africa. She, along with her colleagues Diomande and Jubal will perform with the dancers to demonstrate universal qualities that tie all forms of music and dance together.

Associate Director, Richard Dickinson's new work, Cowboy Soul, combines the swagger of John Wayne with the discipline of classical ballet. Set to instrumental versions of the greatest cowboy songs it is a playful romp reminiscing on old western movies of yesteryear. Dickinson grew up in Arizona and California where these songs were part of his experience growing up. He sought to challenge himself to create a light-hearted ballet to the iconic songs of the west.

Verb Ballets will revive The Gathering (2009) choreographed by Terence Greene that explores relationships and the value of family. The work was commissioned while Greene was an artist in residence at Verb Ballets in 2009. Greene was just named a 2014 Prestigious Creative Workforce Fellows named for 2014 through The Community Partnership for Arts and Culture of Cuyahoga County. He is the Director of Dance at Cleveland School of the Arts and Director of The Greene Works Project.

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by Barnett Serchuk