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Verb Ballets Commissions Contemporary ROMEO & JULIET

The ballet will unveil the work-in-progress at Cleveland Public Theatre's DanceWorks 2022 from February 17-19, 2022.

Verb Ballets has commissioned choreographer Joshua L. Peugh to create a new evening length ballet Romeo & Juliet. He will be a choreographer-in-residence at Verb Ballets from January 3 - February 26, 2022.

The award-winning choreographer aims for audiences to connect, interact, and react to one another in the depths of our humanness. Peugh has been named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" and describes his work as, "Whimsical with a touch of melancholy, [it] occupies a colorful middle space-partnering is one of his brightest choreographic assets-disarmingly charming, and full of surprise."

In the fall 2019 he was selected as a Lab Cycle choreographer at Dance Lab / New York. There, he worked on movement and created ideas for Romeo & Juliet, the play he was co-directing with his friends from college. In that time, he explored with a group of dancers the assumptions in Romeo & Juliet and how to repurpose those stories given the actual text. With that material he aspired to create a full-length contemporary ballet.

In this new commission, the plot and structure of Shakespeare's play work alongside the mythology of the story and characters themselves. He views his role as that of a storyteller, with the ability to tell compelling stories that are accessible. His theory is that dance is a human ritual using movement as a language to touch people in a different way than other art forms. Peugh takes an adventurous approach to exploring the intersecting themes of freedom and mortality, while reflecting poignant issues of our current political and social reality. The ballet will feature live music by distinguished modern classical pianist, Nathan Carterette.

Peugh grew up in a Church of Christ household in a small town in southern New Mexico. He graduated from the prestigious Southern Methodist University with a classical ballet focus. He went on to dance with Korea's Universal Ballet Company. In addition to being a freelance choreographer, he is the Founder and Artistic Director of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance and Co-Founder of Fair Assembly. Peugh has created over 40 new works including commissions for BalletX, Ballet Memphis, BODYTRAFFIC, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dance Lab NY, Eisenhower Dance, among others.

The ballet will unveil the work-in-progress at Cleveland Public Theatre's DanceWorks 2022 from February 17-19, 2022. This new work will experience its world premiere on February 26, 2022 at EJ Thomas Hall. This production the auditorium will be sold at half capacity to allow for social distancing. Further details and tickets information available at the website at


February 17-19, 2022 7:00pm
DanceWorks 2022 Romeo & Juliet Work in Progress
Cleveland Public Theatre 6415 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH 44102
Tickets: Pay what you wish

February 26, 2022 7:30pm
Romeo & Juliet World Premiere
EJ Thomas 198 Hill St Akron, OH 44325
Tickets: $30, $10 Student

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