Verb Ballets Celebrates the Life of Ian Horvath

Verb Ballets Celebrates the Life of Ian Horvath

Verb Ballets, Northeast Ohio's premiere contemporary ballet company, celebrates the life and work of Ian Horvath (1943-1990) on February 9, 2019 in an evening titled Dance Legacy: Celebrating the Life of Ian Horvath. The three-part performance will honor Horvath's impact on dance in Cleveland and will recognize his work as an AIDS advocate. Tragically, he lost his battle to AIDS at the age of 46.

His legacy will live on through this special evening of dance at the Breen Center for the Performing Arts, which includes two Horvath ballets beloved by Cleveland and international audiences, excerpts from a documentary celebrating Horvath's life, and the premiere of a new ballet by Kay Eichman, a former dancer with Cleveland Ballet. A pre-show panel on stage at 7:15 pm will discuss the AIDS epidemic and its impact on a generation of Cleveland dancers, who were lost to the disease. This performance is generously supported by the Cleveland Foundation.

Horvath is best known in Cleveland as a founder of the Cleveland Ballet and a former soloist with the Joffrey Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. Later, he was the producing director of the Jose Limon Dance Foundation.

For the past three years, Verb Ballets, in partnership with Margaret Mullin and Nel Shelby Productions, has created a documentary film, No Dominion: The Ian Horvath Story.

Mullin, a renowned soloist with Pacific Northwest Ballet, received a prestigious fellowship from the Princess Grace Foundation. She is director and producer of the upcoming documentary. Nel Shelby Productions is one of the top dance-film companies in the US. Ms. Shelby is best known for her work as resident videographer for the Vail International Dance Festival and Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, as well as her work on the Wendy Whelan Restless Creature Project and her most recent documentary, PS Dance, which aired on PBS.

Verb Ballets' Producing Artistic Director, Dr. Margaret Carlson, was instrumental in filming the ballets for the documentary owing to her role as regisseur (producing rehearsal director) for Horvath's works. Carlson was a founding member of Cleveland Ballet.

The documentary's partners have produced two of Horvath's beloved works for the documentary, performed by top dancers from Pacific Northwest Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Boston Ballet, Verb Ballets and Ballet Tucson. The documentary is in final post-production before screenings at international film festivals. Interviews from the documentary will receive their debut at the Breen performance.

Horvath's first work, Laura's Women, was inspired by the life and music of blues singer, Laura Nyro. Created in 1974, ittells the story of three women caught in a world of poverty and loneliness at three different stages of a life. Laura's Women has touched audiences for more than 45 years and remains timeless in its impact.Verb Ballets Producing Artistic Director, Dr. Margaret Carlson is a former Cleveland Ballet principal dancer and performed in the original cast. As regisseur, she has set the work on the companies throughout the US as well as for the documentary.

Horvath choreographed his final work No Dominion,for the Jose Limon Dance Company in 1988. Set to Sir William Walton's cello concerto, the work for an all-male cast is a reflection on Horvath's impending death from AIDS. No Dominion takes its title from the poem "And Death Shall Have No Dominion," by Dylan Thomas. Mullin a Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist and director/producer of the documentary will set the work on Verb Ballets in January.

The program will close with the premiere of Kay Eichman's new neoclassical ballet, Mendelssohn Italian Symphony. The sophisticated and fast moving work requires brilliant technique. Eichman joined Cleveland Ballet in 1976, in its first season at the Hanna Theatre. A distinguished 15-year career ensued, including principal roles in numerous traditional and contemporary works. She also danced with Giessen Ballet in Germany as a principal guest artist. She is now ballet mistress for the Tri C Arts Academy is addition to teaching regionally. Her new ballet is inspired by her memories of dancing to the same symphony with Cleveland Ballet.

With a rich 30-year history, Verb Ballets is one of the oldest dance companies in the region. The internationally acclaimed and regionally loved professional ballet company lets audiences experience the beauty of movement and inspires creativity. Verb Ballets was named one of Five Great Tiny Troupes in America by Dance Magazine and was one of the "25 dance companies in America to watch." Under the director of Dr. Margaret Carlson, Producing Artistic Director, and Richard Dickinson, Associate Artistic Director, the company mounts exciting projects that embrace diversity, history, and cultural exchange.

Verb Ballets' performance on February 9, 2019 at 8:00 pm will take place at the Breen Center for the Performing Arts (at St. Ignatius High School), 2008 W. 30th St. in Cleveland. Single tickets are $10-$35. Student ticket discount are available. Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite at For more information, visit

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