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Local Couple Commissions A New Ballet To Music Of Franz Schubert

This evening of dance celebrating Franz Schubert will also feature the work of Heinz Poll with a performance of his Schubert Waltzes (1974).

Local Couple Commissions A New Ballet To Music Of Franz Schubert

Verb, "Ohio Contemporary Ballet" returns to the Breen Center for the Performing Arts with three scheduled productions this season. For its first fall performance, the company will present Schubert Melodies on October 15, 2022, at 7:30pm.

Commissioned by Verb supporters, Marian and Eric Klieber, the program will feature Franz Schubert's Octet in F Major played by musicians from the Blue Water Orchestra. Co-choreographed by Kay Eichman and Richard Dickinson, this one-hour work will be staged in the atmosphere of the 1820's, when it was written. This evening of dance celebrating Franz Schubert will also feature the work of Heinz Poll with a performance of his Schubert Waltzes (1974). This delicate, beautiful ballet featuring three sets of couples that exhibit a combination of classicism and wit, will be with live piano accompaniment by Adam Whiting.

Marian and Eric Klieber have lived in Northeast Ohio for over 30 years and have been impressed not only by the depth, but also the accessibility of the local arts community. The Cleveland residents wanted to make a meaningful contribution to the local dance scene. "Verb exemplifies this ideal, preserving the tradition of classical ballet while exploring new avenues of expression within the art form," said Eric Klieber. The couple's hope in retirement is to elevate dance, music and theatre groups operating on a small scale to achieve a new level of excellence. They envision the Schubert Octet in F Major as the perfect selection to draw a true collaboration between the dancers and musicians. Franz Schubert composed Octet in F major, D. 803 in 1824. "Its six movements feature a wide variety of tempos, rhythms and textures, and the music itself is sublime," said Klieber. The live accompaniment of a chamber orchestra will be a treat for the audience. Choreographers Dickinson and Eichman will each choreograph three movements, adding a unique style to each section.

Heinz Poll used Schubert's music to create Schubert Waltzes, which features three couples, each with individual personalities, adding dimension to the dances. The couples embrace their characters through their dancing to bring an inventiveness to the music. The work was originally accompanied by Ohio Ballet music director, David Fisher, on piano. The Chicago Tribune entertainment writer Sid Smith said in his review of the ballet, "For all its stern simplicity, 'Waltzes' is broadly emotional, from soaring romance to silliness, culminating in a breathtaking and inspirational stroll toward an offstage sunset." Verb has a long history of performing Poll's work and has strong personal ties. Verb's Associate Artistic Director, Richard Dickinson, danced with Ohio Ballet under Poll's direction and eventually served as ballet master. Dr. Margaret Carlson was part of the original student group that gathered to study with Poll when the company was founded, and she was on the original committee that founded the Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival after his passing. At Poll's death in 2006, his estate stipulated that 10 of his most exceptional works be maintained as his artistic legacy. Verb is the repository of over eight of Poll's choreographic works.

Verb, "Ohio Contemporary Ballet," performs on October 15, 2022 at 7:30pm at the Breen Center for the Performing Arts located at 2008 W. 30th St. in Cleveland. Tickets are $10-$35. Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite at verbballets.org. For more information, visit www.verbballets.org.

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