Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Dance for All Seasons


Setting the stage for a spectacular 34th season, the Dancing Wheels Company has created a subscription initiative that will showcase the diversity and expressiveness of the Company. 

Mary Verdi-Fletcher, Founder of
Dancing Wheels Company
photo by Alternative Noise Productions
The fall program kicks off the season on October 18 at 7:30 p.m. with a Sweetest Day concert “For the Young & the Young at Heart”!  Bring your loved ones to this family-oriented repertory concert at the Rainey Institute, which will include repertory favorites State of Mind/Mine choreographed by Young Park, former Artistic Director of the Cleveland based SAFMOD Company; the Temptation Suite, a fun and romantic work created by Sean Rawls, a emerging choreographer from New York City chosen for the Rock that Rolls Project; and A Wing/a Prayer, a fast-paced precision piece choreographed by the Company’s Artistic Advisor Mark Tomasic specifically for all wheelchair dancers. A special surprise appearance by the School of Dancing Wheels’ Performance Ensemble will bring smiles and uplifted spirits to audiences of all ages.  New to the stage will be a collaborative piece entitled Plight & Pain on a Plane, a satirical study of the many eccentricities of passengers on an airplane co-choreographed by Company members Dezare Foster, Frank Polk, Kelly Clymer, and Emma Parker with input by Founding Artistic Director Mary Verdi-Fletcher.  The finale, Let the Good Times Roll, was choreographed by Ginger Cox and is a steamy and sultry suite that is sure to raise the temperature in the room.  A Sweetest Day treat will “sweeten” the evening for all of our loyal and loving patrons as they continue on with their special evening. The Rainey Institute is located at 1705 E. 55th Street in Cleveland. A guarded lot is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

The winter season will offer a new holiday tradition with the world premiere of Babes in Toyland!  This re-imagined classic is choreographed by Company Rehearsal Director Catherine Meredith Lambert, and is filled with love, laughter and hysterical hijinks!  This colorful production will include the 15-member Dancing Wheels Company playing such characters as Mother Goose, Jack and Jill, Jack be Nimble, Little Bo Peep, Mary Contrary, Tom Piper, and the villainous Barnaby. An awesome march of 50 toy soldiers will include students from the Dancing Wheels School joined by students from On Your Toes Dance Studio. The production will run for (4) shows at the St. Ignatius Breen Center including two10:30 a.m. Student Matinees on December 4 and 5, an 8p.m. official public opening with a champagne reception on Friday, December 5, and a family matinee on Saturday, December 6 at 2:00 p.m. -- complete with a “Trip through Toyland” kids party! 

Rounding out the spring, Dancing Wheels will join forces with Elec Simon, world percussionist and cast member of the Off-Broadway show STOMP. This high-energy production entitled “Rhythm & Wheels” will get your pulse pumping to the beat of a different drum!  Using alternative and handmade percussion instruments including their very own wheelchairs, the lively cast of hip-hop dancers, tappers and percussionists will set the stage ablaze with excitement.  This one-time-only production will include a VIP pre-party and a meet-and-greet after-party at the Cleveland Masonic and Performance Arts Center… home of the Dancing Wheels Company!

The season subscriber package will include a 10% discount for not only the subscriber, but for any additional tickets they purchase as well throughout the season.  Subscribers will also receive priority seating, backstage tours, and name recognition in programs.  Season ticket prices are from $63-$146 per person, with support to launch this effort generously funded in part by The George Gund Foundation.

The Dancing Wheels Company & School, now in its 34th season, is America’s first and foremost physically integrated dance company.  The 15-member ensemble comprised of highly skilled stand up and sit-down (wheelchair) dancers travel the globe performing and teaching before more than 30,000 people each year.  The Company and its President/Founding Artistic Director Mary Verdi-Fletcher are the 2014 recipients of The Governor’s Award for Arts Education in OhioThe 2014 Ohio Dance Award for significant contribution to dance in Ohio, and the 2014 International Henry Viscardi Award for significant contributions made to promote the independence and equality of people with disabilities.  The School of Dancing Wheels, under the leadership of School Coordinator, Emma Parker serves 13 organizations and schools each year with outreach and educational programs and reaches over 6,000 children in Northeast Ohio alone.  The School’s in-studio classes provide opportunities for professional training as well as programs that seek the sheer pleasure of dance for recreational purposes.  The School also offers students to rise to a performance level through its Performance Ensemble.  For more information about the Company and School log

Season Sponsors
Bruening Foundation, Cleveland Foundation, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, Honor Project Trust, Invacare Official Supplier of Top End Dance Wheelchairs, Kulas Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Ohio Arts Council, Target, The Emerson Foundation, The George Gund Foundation, The Kennedy Center VSA, The Kuhn Family Foundation, and The Nord Family Foundation.

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