Inlet Dance Heads to Stage at Jacob's Pillow

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It's been close to a half-century since a Cleveland modern dance company has graced the stage of the prestigious Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts. 

However, Inlet Dance Theater makes its 'pillow' debut next month, marking a major milestone for the 16-year-old company. 

Founding artistic director Bill Wade is excited for his company but he also understands the greater significance.

"The opportunity to export dance that's made in Ohio to Jacob's Pillow is an honor, it's a privilege and we're taking it very seriously," Wade said.

Celebrating its 85th season, Jacob's Pillow was founded by modern dance legend Ted Shawn and over the years has become a mecca for modern dance.

"It's been on my bucket list for decades to someday go to Jacob's Pillow and look at the archives.  I did not expect that my work would be on that stage," Wade said.

In 2003, the Jacob's Pillow home, nestled in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts was awarded National Historic Landmark status.

"When I worked with Olympic athletes it's getting to the Olympics.  [Dancing at Jacob's Pillow] is sort of on par with that," Wade said.

Ultimately Wade wants to spotlight the Northeast Ohio modern dance scene to a wider audience.

"We have a really long history and legacy in this city, particularly of American modern dance," Wade said.

Inlet Dance Theatre performs at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival August 4. 

Locally, Inlet takes the Cain Park stage Thursday, July 27 at 8pm and at Tremont Arts in August Friday, August 11 at 8:30pm.

Above video features rehearsal footage of Inlet Dance Theatre's "3(Men)" featuring Joshua Brown, Dominic Moore-Dunson & Kevin Parker with choreography by Bill Wade.

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