BWW Review: BODYTRAFFIC (Dance Cleveland)

BODYTRAFFIC (Dance Cleveland), upcoming dance offerings

Roy Berko

(Member, Dance Critics Association)

A near sold-out audience rose as one following the BODYTRAFFIC dance concert at the Ohio Theatre. They had witnessed a variety of creative, well-executed, serendipitous dance numbers.

BODYTRAFFIC, a Los Angeles Dance Company founded by Lilian Barbeito and Tina Finkelman Berkett, transplanted New Yorkers, centers on "invention, attitude and urban edge."

The company members defy traditional dance body types and ages. Usually, the mention of dancers engenders a vision of anorexic young females and zero-body fat/gym-toned bodied males. Not so with BODYTRAFFIC. This is a body-type blind company. All ages, sizes and ethnicities are in the company. A light as air moving male dances next to hulking brother probably ten years his junior. A solid built female twists and twirls besides a delicate sister.

Not only the body sizes and age differ, but the three-segment program at the beautifully refurbished Ohio Theatre showed the variance in the company's repertoire.

Israeli choreographer Barak Marshal's "And at midnight, the green bride floated through the village square..." told the "true story" of a family of eight sisters and one brother who were neighbors of his mother's family in Aden, Yemen.

Danced to Yiddish, Israeli, Sephardic, Ladino, Yemenite, Ashkenazik and gypsy music songs and sounds, the offering included solo and group precision dancing. Using exaggerated melodramatic gestures and movements, the company energetically, often humorously, told a series of short tales of fighting, screaming, cursing, reconciliation that enacted the family's rage, unhappiness and loneliness.

"Once again, before you go," choreographed by Victor Quijada, with music by Jasper Gahunia, used his b-boy background to fuzz movements from across the dance genres. The program included acrobatic movements, interweaving of bodies, creative lifts, twisting and springing to create aesthetic pictures of emotions and feelings.

"O2Joy," was the obvious audience favorite. Combining the vocal and musical jazz sounds of Oscar Peterson, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Glenn Miller the company flowed through Richard Siegal's creative choreography. Highlight segments were "On the Sunny Side of the Street" and "All of Me." Guzman Rosado floated through air as he mesmerized the audience with his fluidity and ease.

Capsule Judgement: If you missed BODYTRAFFIC, fear not. Pam Young and her Dance Cleveland planners are sure to have a repeat performance of this marvelous and entertaining company!


Dance Theatre of Harlem, January 21, 2017--3 and 7:30 PM at Ohio Theatre

Jessica Lange Dance, March 4, 2017-7:30 PM at Ohio Theatre

Ballet Biarritz presents "Cinderella"-April 1, 2017 @ 7:30 PM and April 2, 2017 @ 3 PM at Ohio Theatre

Tickets: 216-991-9000 or


On January 27, 2017, A CELEBRATION OF DANCE AND MUISIC returns to the Hanna Theatre. The program, a remounting of the company's October 11, 2016 successful program, includes original dances choreographed by Artistic Director Gladisa Guadalupe and Ramon Thielen.



Two world class arts organizations combine to stage George Balanchine's "The Nutcracker," the favorite holiday ballet. Performed at the State Theatre in PlayhouseSquare: November 30 through December 4.

Tickets and information:

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From This Author Roy Berko

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