Cincinnati Ballet Explores Groundbreaking Collaboration with BOLD MOVES


Christina LaForgia Morse Photography: Aaron M Conway • aaconnphoto

The March performances feature Israeli innovators Ohad Naharin and the Ariel Quartet, plus a world premiere by Adam Hougland

CINCINNATI, OH. (February 13, 2017) The Bold Moves series is presented at the Aronoff Center for the Arts with three performances March 17 and 18. The groundbreaking series seeks to explore artistic collaboration while boldly defying the expectations of classical ballet. Internationally renowned choreographic innovator Ohad Naharin brings Minus 16 joined with a world premiere by Cincinnati Ballet Resident Choreographer Adam Hougland, accompanied live on stage by the Ariel Quartet.

Ohad Naharin, contemporary choreographer and artistic director for Tel-Aviv based dance company Batsheva, choreographed Minus 16, a collection of vignettes incorporating improvisation and his acclaimed “Gaga” method. Gaga is a language of movement created by Naharin that challenges dancers to liberate themselves and explore new and inventive ways to use their bodies – by connecting with music, the mind and the space around them. “A choreographer of this stature elevates Cincinnati Ballet’s national reputation,” says Artistic Director and CEO Victoria Morgan. “It is a groundbreaking opportunity for our artists to expand their breadth of movement vocabulary.”

The work features a dynamic score ranging from Dean Martin to mambo, and techno to Israeli folk songs. Irresistible and mesmerizing, Minus 16 breaks down barriers between performers and audience members, making each performance unique and excitedly unpredictable. San Francisco Chronicle notes, “Minus 16 not only delights in its own wackiness, but also celebrates the joy of dancing.”

Naharin’s team arrives in Cincinnati in mid February to begin teaching Cincinnati Ballet dancers the Gaga movement language in preparation for Minus 16 performances. The Cincinnati Ballet artistic team is making several adjustments in order to host special Gaga classes for the dancers. In a departure from the typical rehearsal process, the Gaga method requires closed rehearsals without observation, and all attendees in a Gaga class, including staff, are required to participate. The use of mirrors is not allowed and all studio windows must be covered, allowing the dancers to disconnect from traditional principles of ballet technique and rely solely on sound and sensation to inform improvisational movement.

Naharin is the subject of the critically acclaimed documentary, Mr. Gaga, which premiered in the U.S. earlier this month. In partnership with Mayerson JCC, the film opens in Cincinnati to a sold-out audience at the Kenwood Theatre as part of the Jewish and Israeli Film Festival on February 15, with a post-screening conversation with Victoria Morgan, facilitated by journalist David Lyman.

Adam Hougland’s seventh world premiere for Cincinnati Ballet, includes live onstage accompaniment by the award winning Ariel Quartet. In 2011 Hougland created The Firebird specifically for Cincinnati Ballet, and the same year was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch.” He contributed to the collaborative performance of Frampton & Cincinnati Ballet Live, which was performed at the Joyce Theater in New York City in 2014, and the full length Mozart’s Requiem performed in 2015. Most recently Hougland introduced a brand new solo piece performed by Principal Dancer Patric Palkens and Senior Soloist James Gilmer in the Kaplan New Works Series last fall.

Hougland attended The Juilliard School where he choreographed his first ensemble work for Cincinnati Ballet, Beyond, which won the Hector Zaraspe Prize for Choreography. In addition to his extensive work with Cincinnati Ballet, he has created original works for Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, The American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, The Washington Ballet, Ballet Memphis, Ballet X and The New York Choreographic Institute at New York City Ballet.

Comprised of musicians Alexandra Kazovsky, Amit Even-Tov, Gershon Gerchikov and Jan Grüning, The Ariel Quartet is the faculty Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music where they direct the chamber music program and perform their own annual concert series. Originally formed in Israel during the members’ high school years, the quartet now performs widely in Israel, Europe and North America. The group performed at Carnegie Hall in celebration of receiving the distinguished Cleveland Quartet Award.


WHO: Cincinnati Ballet Minus 16 Choreography: Ohad Naharin Music: Various artists World Premiere Choreography: Adam Hougland Music: Ariel Quartet

WHAT: Bold Moves WHEN: Friday, March 17 – 8:00 pm Saturday, March 18 – 2:00 pm Saturday, March 18 – 8:00 pm

WHERE: Aronoff Center for the Arts 650 Walnut Street Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

HOW: Call 513.621.5282, visit or visit the Cincinnati Ballet Box Office at 1555 Central Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45214 Tickets start at $32

Join us Thursday, March 9, from 5:15–7 pm at the Cincinnati Ballet Center in Over-theRhine for a casual behind-the-scenes experience. Ballet rock star Adam Hougland is creating a world premiere for our company while they also tackle the “Gaga” dance technique created by legendary Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin. Our artistic leaders and dancers will give you the inside scoop on the most adventurous program of our season. Ballet & Beer: Meet the Artists events are free, and pre-registration is required! RSVP via phone 513.621.5282 or online at At the event, Cincinnati young professionals under 40 will get an exclusive opportunity to purchase specially-priced tickets for the next Cincinnati Ballet performance (pending availability).

Bold Moves Sponsors: Production and Community Outreach Sponsor: Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati; Ariel Quartet Sponsor: Rockwern Academy, Sue & Bill Friedlander; Richard Antoine & Dorothy O’Brien, Linda & Gary Greenberg, Lauren & Jimmy Miller, Dianne & J. David Rosenberg, Donald Beck & Lawrence E. Eynon, John & Jennifer Stein, Richard Weiland,; Community Partner: Mayerson JCC

Cincinnati Ballet 2016-2017 Season Sponsors: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation, ArtsWave, PNC Bank, Austin E. Knowlton Foundation, The Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund, Ohio Arts Council, Frisch’s, Mercy Health, Rosemary & Mark Schlachter, Enquirer

About Cincinnati Ballet
Since 1963, Cincinnati Ballet has been the cornerstone professional ballet company of the region, presenting a bold and adventurous array of classical, full-length ballets and contemporary works, regularly with live orchestral accompaniment. Under the artistic direction of Victoria Morgan, Cincinnati Ballet has become a creative force within the larger dance community, commissioning world premiere works and exploring unique collaborations with artists as diverse as Grammy winning guitarist Peter Frampton and popular, Ohio-based band Over the Rhine. With a mission to inspire hope and joy in our community and beyond through the power and passion of dance, Cincinnati Ballet reaches beyond the stage in programs that allow every person in the region to be part of the continued evolution of dance. To that end, Cincinnati Ballet presents exhilarating performances, extensive education outreach programs and offers top level professional ballet training at Cincinnati Ballet Otto M. Budig Academy.



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