Verb Ballets' Winter Series to Feature Work of Chung-Fu Chang, 2/23

Verb Ballets' Winter Series to Feature Work of Chung-Fu Chang, 2/23

Verb Ballets returns to the Breen Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, February 23, 2013, at 8pm to experience an evening of work by Chung-Fu Chang.

Chang was born in Taiwan and discovered his passion for dance at age 17. He went on to perform with Cloudgate Dance Theatre and Kaohsiung Contemporary Dance Company. His works have been performed nationally and internationally. Chang's evening of work explores the evolution of his personal identity influenced by his participation in contemporary societies, both Asian and Western.

"Last year I was impressed by the visually stunning, The Lily. I enjoyed how he utilized the stage as an artist would to paint canvas. His return to Verb offers the opportunity to present a collection of work to showcase his unique style and range," said Director, Dr. Margaret Carlson.

Chang returns this season to set a new full company work inspired by the wind. Exploring the idea of wind movement Chang will borrow its breeze with movement, dynamics, path, speed, shape, and ultimately the wind's emotion. This distinctive fusion of East and West will show the power of the wind and its gentle hidden potential.

The Lily, a visually stunning work created especially for Verb Ballets last year, will be revived. This full company work depicts a love story based on an ancient Taiwanese tale of passion and destiny. Donald Rosenberg of The Plain Dealer described the piece as, "the movement style is fluid and ritualistic, rooted in ballet but shaded by Asian colorations."

In addition Chang will perform on the program in a new solo, called Pheasant's Writing. The solo is inspired from one of the poems of the Shijing, the Classic of Poetry, a collection of songs and poems from the Zhou Dynasty (10th-7th century BC) of ancient China. These rhyming works have been passed down through generations. "The oral cultures are capable of immense sophistication and tend to become visible only when they come into contact with the literate genres that are destined to replace them," said Chang about his inspiration from the Classic of Poetry. Pheasant's Writing is a work about secrets, identity, and finding one's own language.

Also on the program is the world premiere of Richard Dickinson's ballet about loss and longing, set to Richard Strauss' haunting Four Last Songs. 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.

Immediately following the performance will be a wine and dessert reception at the new West side art gallery, Transformer Station, located at 1460 West 29th Street Cleveland, OH 44113. The Transformer Station is a project of Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Foundation that is designed to bring original contemporary art exhibitions, events and programming from around the world to the west side of Cleveland. Be one of the first to experience the collection of contemporary photography and photo-based art. Mingle with the dancers and talk with choreographer, Chung-Fu Chang, at the renovated transit substation. Tickets to the reception are $15 and require a reservation by calling 216.397.3757.

This show gives the audience a chance to see an emerging choreographer and discover a new side of Verb Ballets. Single tickets ($28-$10) are available by calling the Verb Ballets office at 216-397-3757 or online at verbballets.org. The Breen Center for the Performing Arts is located at 2008 W. 30th St. Cleveland, OH. For more information visit www.verbballets.org.

Verb Ballets ignites audience passion and participation in contemporary dance. Under the leadership of Director, Dr. Margaret Carlson, Verb strives to support and foster emerging talent, to present excellence in contemporary choreographers, and to revive and honor modern dance classics. The company strives to be a thought leader in cultivating dance appreciation and support through education and outreach programs. In growing audience appreciation for dance Verb Ballets helps make northeast Ohio a national destination for the arts.

Chung-Fu Chang (Choreographer) was born in Taiwan. He studied painting when he was five and majored in Fine Arts and Commercial Arts Designs Schools. When he was 17, Chung-Fu discovered his passion for dance, and later performed with the country's internationally renowned Cloud Gate Dance Theatre and also the Kaohsiung Contemporary Dance Company. In 2002, he began to pursue a solo career. His solo works and performances have been showcased nationally and internationally. He received a Solo Finalist Placement Award at the 2004 Palm Desert Dance Under The Stars Choreography Festival at McCallum Theatre in California. In 2007, he was invited as a special guest artist for the Grand Prix de Argentina in Buenos Aries, Argentina. In 2011, he was featured as an international artist at Tempo Dance Festival in Auckland, New Zealand. Most recently, he performed at JTEN Festival in Tokyo, Japan. His choreography has been presented throughout the U.S. and in Argentina, Cyprus, England, Greece, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Taiwan. A full evening of his work was presented at the Festival Internacional de Danza Contemporanea Avant Garde 2008 and 2009 in Merida, Mexico. His commissioned works include: Compañia Umbral Danza Contemporánea and Danza Libra Contemporánea in Mexico; in the United States: Aspen Dance Connection, Ballet Nouveau Colorado, Boulder Ballet, Ohio Ballet, Ormao Dance Company, MOMENTA Dance Company, the Dancing Wheels Company's Icarus Project, the Mulberry Street Theater's Ear to the Ground Series, Verb Ballets and many universities' dance programs; in Taiwan: the 2000 and 2005 Asian-Pacific Young Choreographers' Project, the 2003 Taiwan International Human Rights Film Festival, the Counterpoint Chamber Music Company's evening show - Peter Pan, Solar Site Dance Company, and others. In 2011, he premiered eight dances and performed in New Zealand, Mexico, the U.S., and Taiwan. Orange County Register dance critic Laura Bleiberg, named Chang in "Faces to Watch '98: A Look at People in the Arts". Chung-Fu was a Chancellor's Fellowship recipient from the University of California, Irvine, where he completed his M.F.A. in Dance, and was named Distinguished Alumni. He has taught as a guest artist at major dance companies, institutions and festivals throughout the U.S. and overseas. Currently, he is an associate professor at Colorado State University, Dance Division. He has received an Outstanding Faculty Award from the CSU Mortar Board in 2008, and The 2009 Best Teacher Award from The CSU Alumni Association. Chung-Fu has received his YogaFit Level One Certificate from YogaFit. His teaching biographical profile is listed in Who's Who in America.