Cincinnati’s MamLuft&Co. Dance Awarded National Endowment for the Arts Grant Toward Two New Works

MAM_Climb logoComing up: CLIMB (January 5 & 6, 2018) at the Aronoff Center

CINCINNATI, OHIO — Cincinnati’s Modern Dance organization, MamLuft&Co. Dance, marks its 11th season with a National Endowment for the Arts award to create two new works. The first, Climb, premieres at the Aronoff Center for the Arts on January 5 & 6, 2018, and the second, Ice Man 3000, premieres in partnership with the Contemporary Arts Center in May, 2018.

NEA funding for Climb joins the support of ArtsWave (fueled by the generosity of more than 40,000 contributors to the ArtsWave Community Campaign), The Ohio Arts Council (made possible by state tax dollars that support quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically), and a grant from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation Aronoff Center Rental Subsidy Fund.

From NEA Chairman Jane Chu: “The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations. The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations, such as MamLuft&Co. Dance, in serving their communities by providing excellent and accessible arts experiences.”

MamLuft&Co. Dance’s founder and Artistic Director Jeanne Mam-Luft says, “We are very honored to be one of just seven performing arts organizations in Cincinnati to receive a National Endowment for the Arts award in 2017. Out of those seven, we are the youngest and smallest organization. We’re also one of only three to receive an award for the creation of new work! We couldn’t be more thrilled: this kind of funding supports MamLuft&Co. Dance’s passion and purpose to not only keep Modern Dance alive in Cincinnati, but to make original work here.”

Competition for NEA grants is significant. In the second funding round for 2017 alone, the agency received 2,063 eligible applications. The value of NEA funding is not only its monetary impact, but also its reputation. An NEA grant confers a seal of approval, allowing an organization to attract other public and private funds. In 2016, the ratio of NEA dollars to other matching funds was 1:9 or $500 million.

MamLuft&Co. Dance premieres the first of two new works, Climb, on Friday and Saturday, January 5 and 6, 2018 at the Aronoff Center for the Arts.

Climb was choreographed by MamLuft&Co. Dance Company Member and Resident Choreographer, Elena Rodriguez Moore. Moore, the bi-racial daughter of a Colombian immigrant, tells a story inspired by her father’s difficulties to surmount the obstacles that come with opportunities in America, paralleled by her own difficulties to connect to her father’s heritage while staying ‘American.’

Elena Rodriguez Moore has always felt disconnected from her ethnicity and “never really lived or experienced the culture.” Moore’s father came to U.S. in the 1970s and because of conflict in Colombia, they were never able to visit. Not only did she lose her father’s native tongue (never learning to speak Spanish), she also lost any sense of connection to the culture, remaining unaware of its culture, history, traditions, and food. Moore says, “I have a hard time identifying as Hispanic or Latina…I have felt sad, resentful, and annoyed that I was not exposed to my father’s culture. I sometimes wonder how different my life would be if I had shared those things with my father.”

The performance features: Corrinne Bailey (Columbus, Ohio), Samantha Conte (Springboro, Ohio), Claire Dieringer (Lima, Ohio), Susan Honer (Roanoke, Virginia), Elena Rodriguez Moore (Bayside, New York), Gabriel Martinez Rubio (Mexico City, Mexico), and Hannah Williamson (Liberty Township, Ohio).

For more information on the performance, please visit Tickets are $14-21 before December 31 and $19-26 after January 1st from or (513) 621-ARTS. Performances occur on Friday and Saturday, January 5 & 6, 2018 at 8pm in the Aronoff Center Jarson-Kaplan Theater, located at 650 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202.

Free post-performance talk-backs with the artists are being offered both evenings. On Friday, January 5, the talk-back will include Spanish translation. On Saturday, January 6, the talk-back will include American Sign Language interpretation. The Aronoff Center is fully accessible. Listening-assistive devices and large print programs will be available.

MamLuft&Co. Dance’s mission is to bring more Modern Dance to more people in Cincinnati and beyond. The organization brings innovative, palpable, and accessible dance to thousands each year through education, outreach, and performance. Visit for more information.


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