Project Description

Tallmadge Express – Four dance companies to perform in 10th annual Heinz Poll Dance Festival

Residents of the City of Akron can enjoy professional dance performances and orchestra concerts in city parks free of charge this summer, thanks to support from the city of Akron and local foundations.

This year is the 10th Anniversary Season of the Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival.

The dates, companies, and locations for this year’s Heinz Poll Festival are:

July 22-23: NEOS Dance Theatre, Firestone Park

July 29-30: VERB Ballets, Hardesty Park

Aug. 5-6, Groundworks Dancetheater, Glendale Cemetery

Aug. 12-13, Keigwin + Company of New York, Goodyear Metro Park

The dance programs are at 8:45 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings. A children’s program begins at 7:45 p.m. each night produced by the University of Akron’s Dance Institute.

The festival’s partnership with the University of Akron includes master classes by the visiting companies during the festival, offered every Saturday morning at 11 a.m., and the weekly interactive programs for children.


This year’s dance program features several world premieres and new works, said Jane Startzman, the director of the Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival.

“VERB Ballets will offer a striking work by California choreographer Charles Anderson who has set the premiere of his contemporary ballet, Aposiopesis,” Startzman said. “Danced by the full ensemble, it is a visually sweeping ode to abstraction. Guest choreographer Roger C. Jeffrey is creating a world premiere ballet titled, at your feet. The program also includes Secrets From Within by Cleveland’s Terence Greene.”

GroundWorks DanceTheater presents two innovative works for the 10 year anniversary festival at Glendale Cemetery, including an adaptation of Carl Orff’s scenic cantata, Carmina Burana, Startzman aid. Also to be featured at the festival is a new world premiere work by award-winning New York choreographer Adam Barruch tentatively titled, Hex. Barruch’s work will explore themes including mysticism, magic and creation.

The Keigwin company has created 29 dances including the acclaimed large-scale community project, Bolero, which was commissioned in 11 communities across the country including Akron in 2010, Startzman said.

“Using the high spirits and youthful verve of ‘On the Town’ as an engine, this year Episodes seamlessly combines a sense of theatricality with vigorous athleticism,” she said. “Love Songs is a romantic and playful series of duets highlighting different aspects of love that unfolds to classics by Aretha Franklin, Roy Orbison, and Nina Simone. Trio is a witty work inspired by the movement of waves, accompanied by composer Adam Crystal’s original score on violin and piano. Air is a suite from an evening-length work inspired by the four building blocks of nature–air, water, earth, and fire–interpreted with K+C’s signature blend of humor and athleticism.”

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