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Jessica Lang Dance Returns with World Premiere

Jessica Lang Dance "The Calling" [photo:Takao Komaru]

It's a hackneyed phrase but "back by popular demand" is appropriate here.  Jessica Lang Dance returns to Playhouse Square presented by DanceCleveland this weekend. 

Pam Young, DanceCleveland's executive director, says the company became an audience favorite when it performed here in 2014.

"We received so many personalized messages from audience members last time telling us how much they loved it," Young said. 

That 2014 Cleveland debut amazed the Ohio Theater audience and became a personal favorite performance for Young.

"Jessica Lang is an emerging artist who just a few years ago people didn't know who she was. But we saw that potential, and now she is one of the most sought after choreographers out there today for both modern and ballet," Young said.

Lang is responding to that support by staging the debut of the company's newest piece here in Cleveland as a world premiere - Her Road - based on the life and art of Georgia O'Keefe. 

"I really wanted to honor women throughout history who've been creating great art and Georgia O'Keefe is one of them," Lang said.

After a recent visit to O'Keefe's home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, last year, Lang knew she wanted to highlight work that O'Keefe's not necessarily known for as a painter.  So don't expect any flowers onstage.

"It's not that we're recreating her painting.  It's a version of it, my version of it.  It's art inspires new art," Lang said.

Jessica Lang Dance performs Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Ohio Theatre in Playhouse Square presented by DanceCleveland.


Listen to Bill O'Connell's interview with Jessica Lang at 1:33pm on Here and Now featuring The Sound of Applause on 90.3


Dave DeOreo is coordinating producer for Ideastream Public Media’s arts and culture team.