Week #4: Elu Dance Company & Across the Board (Double Bill)

May 25, 2017 - May 27, 2017

7:00pm, Thu/Fri/Sat, James Levin Theatre

1 hour and 50 min with an intermission


Each year, Cleveland Public Theatre welcomes the opportunity to showcase Northeast Ohio’s contemporary dance companies as they premiere new work and revive celebrated performances. Nine dance companies including guest artists take the stage in this acclaimed series. DanceWorks Week 4 features work created by Elu Dance Company and Across the Board.

Company bios and show descriptions are below.

The newly-renovated James Levin Theatre is fully ADA compliant featuring a patron elevator and an all gender, wheelchair accessible restroom.

Double Bill Weekend


Elu Dance Company


Using visceral dance vocabulary and imagery, Elu Dance Company’s evening-length work seeks to break through barriers of understanding as they explore the horrors of the ongoing refugee crisis. Caught is movement prose in search of light in this incomprehensible darkness.

escaping fear
is to embark
treacherous roads
unknown waters
between, I wait
I am still caught

Choreographed by Mikaela Brown and Mackenzie Valley
Performed by Anne Howard, Catherine Anderson, Gabrielle Shipley, Autumn Traub, Joshua Brown, Mikaela Brown and Mackenzie Valley

Formerly known as Without Words Movement, Elu Dance Company was founded in 2012 by Mackenzie Valley and Mikaela Clark. Before founding the company, Valley and Clark had the pleasure of dancing professionally for years in Cleveland’s modern dance company, Inlet Dance Theatre, under the direction of Bill Wade, as well as working on several projects under the direction of Dianne McIntyre. As Valley and Clark worked together in Inlet, they discovered a common passion to create and were drawn to similar aesthetics and a desire to portray the human spirit. Thus, they embarked on exploring their own choreographic voice in 2008.

For their artistic work, Valley and Clark have twice been awarded the Cleveland Workforce Fellowship through Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC) and have been gifted a grant through Neighborhood Connections for their work in the Cleveland community. Their work, created for both the stage and unconventional venues, has been performed throughout the midwest in such spaces as Oberlin College, Cleveland Public Theatre, Fallout Urban Art Center, in alleyways (Ingenuity Festival), public squares, churches, schools and art galleries; and internationally in villages in Thailand & Cambodia, train stations and streets of Romania, Teatro Furio Camillo in Italy and dusty plots of land under the Malawian sun. While in Italy they were invited to speak on the Vatican radio about dance and social justice. They have partnered with organizations such as Grace Ministries Thailand, Cornerstone of Hope, Ancient Path, and Rahab Ministries to offer movement as a medium through which to find some healing from grief, trauma or a life of being held back. They often collaborate with other artists who deeply enrich their work; set designer Mark Sugiuchi, musician Jeremy Allen, lighting designer Trad Burns and the artists of Ancient Path, just to name a few. eludanceco.org

Facebook | facebook.com/eludanceco
Instagram | instagram.com/eludanceco


Across the Board


This piece is an intimate conversation through dance about the pride, pressure and presumption associated with race and cultural aesthetics. Black Don’t Crack offers a window into the personal negotiation of these conflicts and raises questions about authenticity and value.

Choreographed & Performed by Makeda Abraham, Mfoniso Akpan, Aseelah Shareef and Jakari Sherman

Across the Board (ATB) is an artist collective united to share in creative exploration, nurture friendship, and contribute to the body of dance through the development and performance of art that celebrates the African-American experience. ATB is also a repository and living archive, providing a home for untold stories reflecting rich artistic legacy. Each artist brings to the collective a unique dance voice including tap, modern, West and South African dance styles and stepping; as well as theater and music composition. Members represent a gamut of African diasporic, American and spiritual perspectives, which add a cultural texture that is important to the work. acrosstheboardcollective.com