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Enjoy the gift of free dance as Heinz Poll Festival returns to parks (preview)

By Kerry Clawson, Akron Beacon Journal

AKRON — The free, high-quality Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival is a one-of-a-kind gift that the Akron community will be enjoying for the 44th straight year, says festival director Jane Startzman.

The four-week festival, offered in Akron parks and Glendale Cemetery each weekend Friday through Aug. 12, continues a tradition that Ohio Ballet founding artistic director Heinz Poll began in 1974 at Cascade Plaza in downtown Akron. A vital part of the company’s mission was to provide free outdoor concerts to expose the community to dance.

GroundWorks DanceTheater, which Akron audiences have become accustomed to seeing at Glendale Cemetery, will switch to Goodyear Heights Metro Park this year for performances at 8:45 p.m. Aug. 4-5. The show will feature the Akron premiere of an untitled work by guest choreographer Monica Bill Barnes, founder of MBB&Co. She is known for her collaboration with This American Life’s Ira Glass in a live show that combines radio stories with dance in Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host.

GroundWorks also will perform Kate Weare’s 2013 Inamorata and artistic director David Shimotakahara’s 2016 Chromatic.

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