Verb Ballets First International Tour to Taiwan 

CLEVELAND, OH- Verb Ballets embarked on their first international tour to Taiwan April 10-April 24, 2017 through the support of the Cleveland Foundation's Creative Fusion program. During the two week tour, the company will reunite with choreographer Lee Ming-Cheng and Taiwanese dance company, BodyEDT. The two dance companies will then perform a shared program at the National Theatre & Concert Hall in Taipei, Taiwan for four performances running April 21-23, 2017. While on tour, the dancers will be conducting outreach in local schools. 
 
Verb Ballets, a contemporary ballet company, based out of Northeast Ohio in the USA, presents dynamic programming through bold artistry, unique styles and technical excellence that captivates a broad audience. Under the direction of Dr. Margaret Carlson, Producing Artistic Director and Richard Dickinson, MFA, Associate Director, the company ignites passion in the energy, beauty and athleticism of dance.  Verb Ballets has been named one of Five Great Tiny Troupes in America by Dance Magazine and was one of the 25 dance companies in America to watch.  
 
Lee Ming-Cheng is the artistic director and creator of Body Expressions Dance Theatre (EDT Body) in Taiwan. BodyEDT work is transdisciplinary which combines tradition, installations, digital, technology, and instrumental music. His works have received many awards including Creative Award, Taishin Art Award, Taipei Digital Art Award and respectively granted dance and technology research awards from the Ministry of Culture. Lee joined Verb Ballets last spring for a three-month residency through The Cleveland Foundation's Creative Fusion program, bringing a world-class style and vision to the company.  Verb Ballets will premiere his work, The Arrival of Departure, created during his residency in Cleveland, Ohio at National Theatre & Concert Hall in Taipei, Taiwan.  
 
Upon returning to the United States, Verb Ballets will be joined by Taiwanese company BodyEDT from April 30-May 14, 2017 to continue a cultural and artistic exchange in Cleveland, Ohio. The residency will culminate with a shared program for DanceWorks 2017 presented by Cleveland Public Theatre running May 11-13, 2017. 
 
This dual continental residency connecting a dance company of a major Midwestern city with a Taiwanese dance company offers the opportunity for deeper and prolonged commitment between artists and encourages responsible global citizenry. Verb Ballets is grateful for the support of The Cleveland Foundation in making this residency and trip possible. 
 
Follow the Verb Ballets dancer international tour blog at http://verbballets.tumblr.com 
 
Interviews and photos available by contacting Jen Garlando at  jgarlando@verbballets.org. 
 
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About Verb Ballets: Verb Ballets, a contemporary ballet company, presents dynamic programming through bold artistry, unique styles and technical excellence that captivates a broad audience. Under the direction of Dr. Margaret Carlson, Producing Artistic Director and Richard Dickinson, MFA, Associate Director, the company will present a season that ignites passion in the energy, beauty and athleticism of dance. Critics have hailed Verb Ballets as, “Dashes preconceptions ...with keen dramatic power.” -The Plain Dealer, "(Verb) is dance magnifique.” - The Examiner, “confident and polished, Verb's dancers shone” - Dance International Magazine. Verb Ballets cultivates dance appreciation and nurtures wellness through movement in community dance classes, school residencies, senior outreach, library programs, master classes and college course partnerships. Verb Ballets has also been named one of Five Great Tiny Troupes in America by Dance Magazine and was one of the 25 dance companies in America to watch. In 2017 Verb Ballets begins a year long celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the company. As one of the oldest dance organizations in Cleveland we are proud to produce high caliber work and continue to connect with communities across a four county reach. Additional information can be found at www.verbballets.org. 
 
Lee Ming-Cheng: Lee Ming-Cheng graduated from the Department of Dance, Taipei National University of the Arts (BFA) and the Graduate School of Dance, Taipei National University of the Arts (MFA), with the major in Choreography. After completing further education at New York University on a full scholarship obtained through the recommendation of Mr. LIN Hwai-Min, LEE Ming-Cheng returned to his home country and founded the "Body Expressions Dance Theater"(Body EDT), serving as the art director of the dance group and the main creator, starting his career of art creation. During this period of time, LEE Ming-Cheng released over 10 full-length works and was invited to perform in the Festival d'Avignon off, France, Malaysia International Dance Festival, Singapore Art Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe in UK, and Musée Quai Branly in France. His works have been nominated and awarded including Creative Award, Taishin Art Award, Taipei Digital Art Award and respectively granted dance and technology research awards from the Ministry of Culture. Verb Ballets is honored to host Creative Fusion Artist-in-Residence, Lee Ming-Cheng funded by The Cleveland Foundation. 
 
About BodyEDT: Body Expression Dance Theater (BodyEDT) was founded in 2000. The artistic creations of artistic director cum choreographer Lee, Ming-Cheng traverse from classic, instrument performance, to installation, digital, and technology, which shows the contemporary, diverse and cross-category characteristics. BodyEDT will insistent on creations with interdisciplinary artists, and enlightening the art field with new spirit by challenging the possibilities and impossibilities of theater prospects. Additional information can be found at www.bodyedt.com 
 
About Creative Fusion: Launched in 2008 by the Cleveland Foundation, Creative Fusion is a twice-yearly international artist residency program that has brought more than 70 artists from around the world to Cleveland. Each year, Creative Fusion brings approximately a dozen accomplished or rapidly rising artists from around the world and from underrepresented cultures to Cleveland. Each artist is hosted by a local cultural institution during a three-month residency. There are two residencies each year: one in the spring and another in the fall. 
  
About the Cleveland Foundation: Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and one of the largest today, with assets of $2.1 billion and 2016 grants of $93.6 million. Through the generosity of donors, the foundation improves the lives of residents of Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on vital issues. The foundation tackles the community’s priority areas – education and youth development, neighborhoods, health and human services, arts and culture, economic development and purposeful aging – and responds to the community’s needs. 
 
For more information on the Cleveland Foundation, visit www.ClevelandFoundation.org/purpose and follow us on Facebook.com/ClevelandFoundation, Twitter @CleveFoundation and Instagram @CleveFoundation. 
 
 
Performance Details: 
 
Mix + Multi Arts Festival: Verb Ballets & BodyEDT  
National Theatre and Concert Hall in Taipei  
Friday, April 21, 2017 at 7:30pm 
Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 2:30pm & 7:30pm 
Sunday, April 23, 2017 at 2:30pm 
Tickets: http://npac-ntch.org/en/programs/calendar-201704#21 
 
 
DanceWorks 2017 presented by Cleveland Public Theatre 
FUSE: Explorations from Taiwan and Cleveland  
Verb Ballets & BodyEDT  
May 11-13, 2017 at 7:00pm  
Tickets: http://www.cptonline.org/performances/seasons/2016-2017/week-2-verb-ballets-with-edtbody-expressions-dance-company/