Addendum to the July 5 Press Release

Program Details of the 12th Annual Heinz Poll Dance Festival

(Akron, Ohio. July 5, 2018) The 45th season of free ballet performances features three world premieres, a tribute to a recently-deceased Akron dancer, and a rollicking 50th anniversary program by one of America legendary African-American companies.  The programs are presented at 8:45pm on Friday and Saturday evenings. A children’s program begins at 7:45pm each night.

On July 27 and 28, Verb Ballets -- described as “classical ballet with a dash of American modern dance” - - will showcase classical selections and bold modern works at Firestone Park, 1480 Girard Street.  The program will feature Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 3 in B-flat major by internationally acclaimed choreographer Adam Hougland; Ravel's Bolero, a visual masterpiece by Heinz Poll; and a striking contemporary ballet Aposiopesis by Charles Anderson, artistic director of Company C, dedicated to Kate Lieberth Lytton of Akron, who danced the principal role in the work, and who died in April from breast cancer at the age of 38.

On August 3 and 4, at Glendale Cemetery, 150 Glendale Avenue, GroundWorks Dance Theater celebrates its 20th season featuring three new company dancers.  A world premiere work is on the program from composer Sebastian Chang with music from Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” and choreography by GroundWorks Artistic Director David Shimotakahara.  A newly-commissioned work from Banning Bouldin, founder of New Dialect in Nashville, Tennessee will also be featured.

On August 10 and 11, Neos Dance Theatre returns to Hardesty Park, 1615 W Market St. with two world premieres: “Mourning Time,” by Artistic Director Bobby Wesner, with music by Henryk Górecki, and “Near Light,” by choreographer Joseph Morrissey/ music by Ólafur Arnalds.  Wesner also re-stages Igor Stravinky’s “Petrushka,” which premiered in February with the Akron Symphony Orchestra.  The work includes students from the University of Akron, its Dance Institute, and guest students.

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company kicks off its 50th anniversary season, August 17 and 18 at the Goodyear Metro Park, 2077 Newton St. Founded in 1968 to create opportunity for dancers of color, DCDC holds one of the nation’s largest collections of works created by African American choreographers.  Works to be performed include “Wawa Aba,” choreographed by Stafford C. Berry, Jr.(2013).  “Wawa Aba” means toughness, hardiness, perseverance, and the work ends with a Mhande´ Stomp, a traditional rain dance that promises to bring the crowd to its feet.  Also on the program is “Stump-Speach,” choreographed by DCDC Associate Artistic Director Crystal Michelle (2017) that explores the legacy of minstrels, set to “The Death of Jazz” by Wynton Marsalis

The festival’s partnership with the University of Akron includes master classes by the visiting companies during the festival - offered every Saturday morning at 11am.

A children’s program begins at 7:45pm each night produced by the University of Akron’s Dance Institute.  Children are encouraged to have their first experience on the festival stage just before the professional companies perform.

Akron Symphony on Sundays, 7:30pm

Christopher Wilkins leads the Akron Symphony Orchestra in four, free admission summer concerts in city parks, featuring the music of Rossini, Gounod, John Philip Sousa, Bizet, and movie composer John Williams.  Music from Leonard Bernstein’s “ West Side Story” is also on the program, which includes dancers from the University of Akron Dance Institute.

All concerts feature the “Maestro’s Zone” for children, where young guests will have a chance to conduct the orchestra with the maestro.

For More Information:

Jane Startzman, Director, Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival, 330.990.5263,

Paul Jarrett, Manager, Akron Symphony, 330.535.8131

Dave Lieberth, 234.738.0003,