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Spring Series showcases dynamic range of Verb Ballet

By April 3, 2018May 11th, 2018No Comments

CLEVELAND, OH – Verb Ballets, Northeast Ohio’s premiere contemporary ballet company, to showcase at EJ Thomas Hall on April 27, 2018 with an exciting mix of dances on the program. The company has received international recognition and recently returned from a prestigious tour of Cuba. Known for its innovative works that highlight the classically trained dancers, the company has captured the attention of audiences for over 30 years. The evening features company debut of K281 by internationally acclaimed choreographer Adam Hougland. Hougland is recognized for his melding of modern and classical movement form. City Beat reviewed K281 as, “Adam Hougland filled the space with rich, intricate choreography.” K281 was originally set on Cincinnati Ballet in 2007 and feature three couples with women on pointe gliding around their partners. Hougland graduated from The Juilliard School and performed with The Limon Dance Company, Toronto Dance Theatre and The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. He has created original works for renowned companies including Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, The American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, Introdans in the Netherlands, The Limon Dance Company, The Washington Ballet, and Ballet X. Hougland is the winner of the Princess Grace Award for Choreography and was one of Dance Magazine‘s “25 to Watch” for 2011.

Verb audience favorite, Dark Matter, returns to the stage. Choreographer, Tommie-Waheed Evans, was recently named by ArtsBoston as one of the nation’s top ten contemporary Black choreographers. His intensely driven physical work was complemented by the stage design providing a breathtaking visual effect by lighting designer Trad A Burns. Evans was a former dancer with PHILADANCO! and Complexions Contemporary Ballet before starting his own company Waheed Works in 2006. He received the 2017 Philadelphia Tribune’s “10 under 40” Honoree Award and was selected nationally as an emerging leader by Dance/USA. The Dance Journal labeled his work as, “vocabulary (that) is deeply rooted in a classical ballet aesthetic blended with modern sensibilities and jazz influences.”

Audiences can’t resist when ballet meets ballroom in Eight by Benny Goodman set to the famous orchestral music of the 1940s choreographed by Ohio Ballet Founder, Heinz Poll. The work was critically acclaimed by The New York Times. Poll was awarded the Association of Ohio Dance Companies Award in 1983, the Cleveland Arts Prize in 1995 and the Ohio Arts Council’s Governor’s Award in 1999. This classic returns to the stage with style and grace to maintain Poll’s artistic legacy by registrar and Verb Ballets’ Associate Director, Richard Dickinson, MFA. Verb Ballets is the largest local repository of Poll’s choreographic works. Dickinson danced with Ohio Ballet under Poll’s direction and eventually served as Poll’s ballet master.

This performance is supported by the generosity of The Peg’s Foundation and The Akron Community Foundation. Verb Ballets’ performance on April 27, 2018 at 8:00pm is at EJ Thomas Hall located at 198 Hill Street in Akron. Single tickets are $17-$35. Student ticket discount available. Tickets can be purchased by calling the EJ Thomas Box Office at 330-972-7570 or online at details For more information, visit

April 27, 2018 8:00PM
Spring Series
EJ Thomas Hall 198 Hill St., Akron, OH 44325
Tickets: $17-$35 Student discount available

Photos or interviews available upon request by contacting  
Jennifer Garlando, Director of Marketing & PR at  


Adam Hougland
Adam grew up in Dallas, Texas and studied visual arts and acting from an early age. At 14 he began his dance training at the Dallas Conservatory of Ballet and the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. In 1999 he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from The Juilliard School and then went on to perform with The Limon Dance Company, Toronto Dance Theatre and The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. While at Juilliard Adam choreographed his first group dance, Beyond, which won the Hector Zaraspe Prize for Choreography. This piece set his choreographic career in motion and was quickly taken into the repertoires of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet Met Columbus and The Louisville Ballet. Adam has gone on to create original works for Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, The American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, Introdans in the Netherlands, The Limon Dance Company, Cedar Lake Ensemble, The Washington Ballet, Ballet Memphis, Ballet X and The New York Choreographic Institute at New York CIty Ballet. He has created works for internationally recognized dancers such as Sofiane Sylve (San Francisco Ballet), Marcelo Gomes (American Ballet Theater) and Wendy Whelan. In 2006 he created a world premiere for Juilliard’s Centennial Celebration that toured to Chicago and Los Angeles and was broadcast on the PBS ‘Live from Lincoln Center’ series. He has won The Princess Grace Award for Choreography, The Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography, was one of Pointe Magazines’ 10 VIP’s of 2006 and one Dance Magazine’s 25 to watch for 2011. Adam is the Principle Choreographer for The Louisville Ballet and has created nine critically acclaimed original works for the company including Petrouchka and Rite of Spring with special guest artist Wendy Whelan. He is Resident Choreographer for Cincinnati Ballet where he has created an evening-length Mozart’s Requiem and The Firebird. Adam lives in Bristol, England with his husband Ashley and their dog Liza.

Heinz Poll
Heinz Poll was born in Oberhausen, Germany, in 1926. Poll was a champion ice skater before he became a dancer. His experience on the rinks imbued him with a love of speed that he expressed in his athletic baroque ballet, Cascade (1985). After World War II, he studied dance at Joss’s Folkwang School in Essen, began his professional career at the Municipal Theatre in Goettingen and became a principal dancer with the Berlin State Opera Ballet. In 1951, he joined the National Ballet of Chile as a dancer, ballet master, and teacher. The company’s tradition of bringing serious programs to indigenous people in remote mountain villages served as the model for Ohio Ballet’s Summer Festival of free outdoor performances. In 1962, Poll joined Ballet de Jeunesse Musicales de France as ballet master. Two years later, he came to the United States as a guest artist with the Chilean company. He performed in the American Dance Festival the following summer and stayed in New York to teach at Thalia Mara’s National Academy of Ballet. In Akron, he developed Ohio Ballet into one of America’s most polished, respected, and widely traveled chamber dance troupes. Poll was awarded the Association of Ohio Dance Companies Award in 1983, the Cleveland Arts Prize in 1995, and the Ohio Arts Council’s Governor’s Award in 1999. After his retirement, he wrote his memoir and has conferred a number of his ballets to former Ohio Ballet dancers. Poll passed away in 2006.

Tommie-Waheed Evans
Tommie-Waheed Evans began his formal training with Michelle Blossom at the Dance Connection in Los Angeles California. He continued his studies under the mentorship of Andrea Calomee and Karen McDonald at Hamilton High School before receiving a fellowship at the Ailey School. As a student, Evans performed the work of Matthew Rushing, Benoit-Swan Pouffer, Karol Armitage, and Debbie Allen. He was an assistant to current artistic director of Ailey II, Troy Powell. Evans professional appearances include the popular sitcom “The Parkers”, the Emmy Awards, HopeBoykinDance, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Lula Washington Dance Theater, the Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco) and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. In 2006 he founded his company, Waheed-Works. Evans has set choreography on The Garden State Dance Festival, Philadelphia Dance Boom Festival, Grace Dance Theater, Verb Ballets, Eleone Dance Theatre, and Boston Conservatory. Evans is the Artist-in-Residence at PHILADANCO! and is currently on faculty at the University of the Arts. His awards include a Dance/USA Philadelphia Rocky Award, Billy Penn: Who Next Arts, Howard Gillman Foundation Fellowship Winner, and a BalletX 2017 Ballet Choreographic Fellowship. Evans recently received his Master of Fine Arts in Choreography from Jacksonville University.

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

Verb Ballets 3445 Warrensville Center Rd. Shaker Heights, OH 44122 • 216-397-3757 •
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