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Classical 101

Dancing in Columbus

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Over the past few days I've had the good fortune to experience several performances by the different dance companies making Columbus the dance capital of the world.

If you attended the memorial tribute to Ballet Met's Cheri Mitchell, you won't blame me for saying it was a joyful affair. Cheri's enormous contributions to Central Ohio's arts community were well represented. We wee all reminded how much she did to make Columbus Ohio a cultural hub.

Ballet Met 
You know about his one! A joyful, intense and beautiful company, replete with eye candy, grace and class. Lucky the theater anywhere they plant their toes. 

Adrienne Benz and Gabriel Gaffney Smith were beautiful-that's the only word for it-dancing James Kudelka's choreography to Cyndy Lauper's Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. The beauty of these two dancers was enough to nearly have me give up Snicker's bars forever.

And get this: Gabriel Gaffney Smith is also a fine composer. Boys just wanna have fun, too. When Ballet Met Artistic Director Edwaard Liang gets going with his choreography, pay attention and bring your towels. Its all kinds of hot. Dancing in the Street brought company dancers to the stage and all of us in the audience would have followed them down any street in the world.

Ballet Met Dance Academy 
Kids, kids, kids, bloody talented kids. I counted 21 of them. If you are looking for the fountain of youth, look no further than watching this company. Timothy Lynch was the choreographer of Wonder Fullwith music by Gabriel Gaffney Smith. Watching these young people dance, it doesn't get any better.

Momentum-Excellence At The Speed Of Dance 
Cheri Mitchell helped establish this company 13 years ago.  Monica Kridler is the founding artistic director and instructor.

Twenty kids, some tiny, some older danced to music by Shahid Khan and EmeliSande. When I say danced, I mean these kids danced. This was not school yard strut, but a performance showing a lot of training and hard work. The dance was called WONDERful CHERI and wonderful it was and they were.

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Columbus Dance Theatre 
I attended their choreographers' showcase last year. I saw Tim Veach nurture and love young people enough so they felt confident in  making their own dances for themselves and the CDT company.

I wanted be a dancer for the first time in my galumphing-chubby life. I missed this years's showcase, last week, but my buddy Tim Feran of the Columbus Dispatch was there. He told me about it and we got all weepy.  

Tim Veach has a way with kids, second to none. His work making boys into dancers-making dance not only cool but important-is unrivaled.

All of this is a wonderful memorial tribute to a special and dearly loved lady. Even better, the dance lives, breathes and leaps in Columbus. Get off your fanny and go!

 And don't forget the tremendous Department of Dance at OSU@