Dance for Four showcases area talent

Varied program: ballet, jazz, tap and modern.

Dance for Four is an area talent showcase two years in the making where ballet, jazz, tap and modern dance are performed.

Hosted by Springfield’s Gary Geis Dance Company, the every-other-year event featuring four of the area’s premiere dance companies will return to the Clark State Performing Arts Center on Saturday.

The dance quartet includes Gary Geis Dance Company, Gem City Ballet, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company 2 and the artistic staff of the Gary Geis Dance Company.

“This event celebrates and explores through dance the feelings of heartaches and triumph, the sublime and the serious to Spanish elegance and love,” said Geis. “With a recipe like that, we’re certain the audience will find a piece they can relate to and appreciate.”

Gary Geis Dance Company will open with Geis’s work “Good Morning Heartache,” a lyrical dance jazz piece with music by Gloria Estafan. Ironically, he began work on the piece prior to undergoing a quadruple bypass.

“After my rehabilitation, I wanted to create a piece that would capture the spirit of my journey,” he said.

Gem City Ballet will salute a beloved area ballet master, Jon Rodriguez, with his piece “Ole.”

“The directors and staff of each company on this program have a deep and enduring love and respect for Jon,” says Mark Cummings, one of Gary Geis Dance Company’s associate artistic directors. “Jon has taught all of us so much about life and ballet, and we genuinely owe him everything.”

Rodgriguez will attend the show to see the piece performed.

Cummings said another friend and master of the dance, Gregory Robinson, has a new work with Gem City Ballet that features a contemporary ballet “with stunning kaleidoscopic movement patterns and visual beauty.”

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company 2 will present two works, “Senecent” and “Sui Generis.” Cummings said to expect richly textured choreography and strength, deeply rooted in technique.

Cummings will join fellow Gary Geis Dance Company artistic staff including Lori Common, Tiffany Lobertini and Jordan Davis for a set of diverse dances.

The concert will close with the return of the Gary Geis Dance Company with tap piece, “Love Me or Leave Me,” set to the music of Sammy Davis Jr.

Geis said this piece got him moving and dancing again and set something for his young tappers, many of whom he’s worked with since they were youngsters.

“This gives us a chance to educate the community about concert dance,” said Geis. “There’s so much about dance people probably don’t realize. It’s like any other form of athletic lifestyle. This will show Springfield, Ohio, what dance is all about.”

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Contact this contributing writer at bturner004@woh.rr.com.

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