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Verb Ballets to Present HONORING POLL at Akron Civic Theatre, 3/8

Related: Verb Ballets, Honoring Poll, Akron Civic Theatre, Heinz Poll

The Akron Civic Theatre will present Verb Ballets', Honoring Poll, on Friday, March 8, 2013, at 8pm with intimate cabaret seating on stage at the historic theatre. The program will highlight the late choreographer Heinz Poll and his legacy through works created for the Ohio Ballet and features a new work by former Ohio Ballet dancer and ballet master, Richard Dickinson (Ohio Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Boston Ballet).

Also to be shown in the evening is a brief documentary of Poll's life and accomplishments titled, Soaring. "Heinz was an important icon in dance history in Northeast Ohio. He helped build the dance community with works that spoke to the public. Verb is honored to carry on his legacy every time we dance his work," said director of Verb Ballets and former Poll student, Dr. Margaret Carlson.

The show will feature the exuberant big-band piece by Poll, Eight By Benny Goodman. This will get feet tappin' to sounds of the master, Benny Goodman. This is the first time the piece has been done in its entirety in Akron since it was created for Ohio Ballet in 1993. Dickinson, Verb Ballets' Rehearsal Director, was with the Ohio Ballet for twelve years as a principal dancer and the ballet master. Dickinson danced every male role in the piece during his career with Ohio Ballet and for this reason Poll granted the rights of the piece to him. "Heinz Poll loved Marlene Dietrich and that whole period of her movies. Eight by Benny Goodman was a response to his love of the glamour of the times," said Dickinson.

In contrast to the sassy ballroom piece will be Duet choreographed by Poll in 1979. Poll choreographed Duet in the neoclassical style of George Balanchine, regarded as the foremost contemporary choreographer in ballet. Poll's use of J.S. Bach's "Adagio" from his Organ Toccata in C, arranged for cello and piano by former Ohio Ballet Music Director David Fisher, showcases Poll's musical mastery. Donald Rosenberg of The Plain Dealer described the classical pas de deux as, "pure classical ballet, its sense of line and high lifts set to a majestic Bach adagio."

The fan favorite Bolero (1996) choreographed to the epic music of Ravel will revisit the stage. The ballet blends Indian and modern dance styles while its drive, propulsion, and intensity build with the score. The piece is a visual masterpiece set to the drive force of the well known score.

Also on the program is Dickinson's ballet about loss and longing, set to Richard Strauss' haunting Four Last Songs (2013). This piece will interpret the haunting melodies of Strauss' last work and the writings of the poets, Hermann Hesse and Joseph von Eichendorff. The hope in Spring, the fading light of September, the darkness of losing someone in a Time to Sleep; and the mourning of letting a loved one go, At Dust, Dickinson's work explores the story lines in the beauty and gracefulness of the four songs.

In conjunction with the performance, Verb Ballets will be in Akron at Firestone High School Visual and Performing Arts Program conducting a master class for the public school dance students. This program is provided through the generosity of Omnova Solutions Foundation.

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