Verb Ballets is about to give its name a workout this season. Take this month's Cain Park performance on Aug. 6. It mashes a tribute to Jewish American choreographers Sophie Maslow and Danial Shapiro, with Pamela Pribisco's high-energy Tarantella, the premiere of a new work by Philadanco's Tommie-Waheed Evans and a Heinz Poll revival. With the company's current season in full swing, here are some action words to describe a few upcoming performances.
Inspire: Maslow's Dust Bowl Ballads, was a collaboration with folk singer Woody Guthrie that adapts his song cycle about the plight of 1930s farmers to the stage. "People need to be proud of what Americans can achieve," says Verb's director, Margaret Carlson. "Even in trying times, we always rise to the occasion."
Innovate: IngenuityFest (Sept. 24-26) marks the company's debut of Cleveland Flats Symphony. PearlWind, a local renewable energy company, will power part of Verb's performance with wind turbines and solar panels installed on-site.
Haunt: In October, Christopher Fleming, creator of the popular rock opera Tommy, choreographs an interpretation of The Myth and the Madness of Edgar Allan Poe, a play that uses poetry to tell the story of the tragic scribe. "I was looking for a piece that would work in the fall period because of Halloween, and this just fit," Carlson says.