News & Announcements

Spring Concert Highlights Beauty of Dance

Includes works by Antonio Brown and Doug Gillespie

Spring Dance ConcertCleveland State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance, a Resident Company of Playhouse Square, will present its annual Spring Dance Concert on Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24 at 7:30pm at the Allen Theatre, Playhouse Square, 1407 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115.

All tickets are $5.00 and may be purchased by phone at 216.241.6000, online at or in person ahead of time at the State Theatre Ticket Office, located at 1519 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland. Tickets are also available at the Allen Theatre on the nights of the performances.

The concert features the CSU Dance Company, alumni, guest musicians and guest artists with choreography by Antonio Brown, formerly of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Doug Gillespie, assistant director of Kate Weare Company and CSU dance faculty Lisa DeCato, Lynn Deering, and Chris DiCello. This repertory concert consists of both newly created and restaged works that represent varied artistic styles and music. The concert also includes a special appearance by the Antonio Brown Company.

A Cleveland native, dancer Antonio Brown returns to Cleveland State as guest choreographer and performer. In December he created a new work for the CSU Dance Company. Receiving motivation from upbeat music and some familiar sound bites from social media, The Race explores a journey to cross the finish line of excellence. Running a race can be difficult at times and Antonio notes, “you might have to look to others to help you stay on track along the way.”

Antonio will also perform excerpts from his 2015 work, HERE, created for his NYC-based Antonio Brown Dance Company. The piece examines the views of two people living in different apartments in the energized environment of Harlem, New York. Both performers in the piece share similar experiences of self-reflection and exploration while dancing to a medley of songs by James Brown.

Doug Gillespie’s new work Emulous is a duo created through the exploration of imitation. The dance focuses on trapping the peculiarities of motion that happen when translating movement from one person to another or from an outside source. The dancers maneuver in close proximity to each other to multidisciplinary musician Albert Mathias’ “Kangaroo.”

Lynn Deering choreographed the quartet Sones y Danza para Cuatro in response to a summer residency with the Cuban Dance Company Malpaso. As part of the CSU Summer Dance Workshop, Malpaso dancers taught class and shared stories with CSU Dance Company members about their love for Cuba and their experiences growing up constantly surrounded by dance, either in the streets or in the concert hall. These shared experiences provided the inspiration for a dance that explores the contrasting images of isolation and support, with dance as the connecting force and common language. The Malpaso residency was made possible by The Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion project in partnership with DANCECleveland.

Choreographed by members of the Dance/Theater Collective, EarthSongs premiered in 1993. A collaboration among dance, theater, media art and music, the work has as its theme the issue of environmental awareness.  Set to an exciting percussion score, EarthSongs uses text from sources as diverse as the songs of the Netsilik Eskimos and the writings of Rene Descartes to explore the differences between primal and contemporary attitudes about the environment and humankind's relationship to it. 

Recognizing that the message of EarthSongs is even timelier now than it was 25 years ago, choreographers Lisa DeCato, Lynn Deering and Chris DiCello have restaged the work for the 9-member CSU Dance Company, with text and choreography updated for a more contemporary approach. EarthSongs was originally created with support from state and national funding sources including The Ohio Joint Program in the Arts and Humanities, The Ohio Arts Council, The Ashtabula Foundation and The Aveda Corporation.  Since its premiere, EarthSongs has been performed in a variety of public venues in conjunction with talks, workshops and arts exhibitions on environmental topics to audiences of more than 150,000 northeast Ohioans.

For more information about the Spring Dance Concert please contact Lynn Deering at or 216-687-4883.