Sat 4/25 @ 8PM
In a first-of-its-kind production from one of Cleveland’s most innovative dance companies, the Dancing Wheels Company will join forces with Elec Simon, world percussionist from the famous Off-Broadway show STOMP, to present “Rhythm & Wheels: Around the World.”
At 8:00pm on April 25, the stage at the Masonic Auditorium will ignite with fiery musicians including the Dancing Wheels Company members, who will join in on the rhythms created by this masterful drummer. Latin, Brazilian, African, hip hop and tap, along with other genres of music and dance, will take the audience on a journey from the origins of these legendary rhythms. Using buckets, authentic drums and even the wheels, the robust ensemble of musicians and dancers will create a synergy and energy that will bring even the most timid audience member to a heighten state of jubilation.
Founding artistic director and president of the Dancing Wheels Company, Mary Verdi-Fletcher exudes, “This unique performance is an exciting mix of live music and dance. It crosses many genres of dance and music from hip hop to Cuban and African dance. It is quite lively and embraces audiences of all ages who enjoy both live music and dance.”
“In fact for this performance, our dancers also play buckets, congas and other percussion instruments in the STOMP style that Elec Simon is known for,” she continues. “If you’ve never seen Dancing Wheels in action, you should come and see something you’ve never seen befor. And if you have seen Dancing Wheels, you should come back because for sure this will be a whole new experience!”
Commencing at 6:30pm, a private VIP Party will take guests through a Carnevale atmosphere with the tastes, sounds and sights of Brazil, Africa and the streets of New York City (these are the most noted places where drumming got its start and is celebrated worldwide). There will be specialty fare, cocktails, silent auction items and fantastical entertainment to make the event one to remember. The festivities will continue after the performance when the entire audience will be invited to a sumptuous Meet the Artists after party, where there will be music and chocolate-flavored fountains surrounded by fruits and deserts to satisfy partygoers.
“Elec and I started planning out the show in the summer of 2014 and rehearsals began in February,” says Mary. “Elec and some of his musicians come in once or twice a week to rehearse with us in the Dancing Wheels studios and then the dancers rehearse separately in between, so it has been months in the making! We are always working to bring new and inventive aspects to our shows. This one has certainly over the top in terms of unique performances. It’s entertaining, uplifting and will certainly get your heart pumping.”
More than 25 professional artists will be on stage, and more than 20 students will also appear in the production. The 15 members of Dancing Wheels Company are full-time employees and reside in Cleveland, but they hail from different parts of the country. The musicians are also from around the country, and Elec is from Canton.
“Cleveland is our home and generally our patrons are the first to experience all of our premiere performances,” elaborates Mary. “This performance excites me because it is something that the Dancing Wheels Company & School has never done before. There are even wheelchair dancers tapping! Both stand-up and sit-down dancers play alongside each other in a rhythmic explosion. The Masonic Auditorium is an amazing hall with great acoustics, it is where the Cleveland Orchestra had once recorded their concerts. It truly will be an experience from the time you set foot into the building until you depart.”
VIP tickets are $100 . These tickets include the entire evening’s festivities. General admission for the performance and after party is $30 per person and $18 for students. Group rates are available upon request. All proceeds from the benefit support the Company and School’s outreach and educational programs, scholarship programs and to continue our mission of offering fully inclusive arts programming.
For more information visit the Dancing Wheels Company & School’s website at dancingwheels.org or call (216) 432-0306.