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BalletMet, WOSU, Jazz Arts Group moves Columbus into bicentennial

Courtesy of Will Shively

It isn’t every year that Columbus turns 200, so to honor the occasion, three city staples will celebrate the bicentennial in a rare collaboration.

Mixing choreography, multimedia and music, “Jazz Moves Columbus” has been “designated by the Bicentennial Committee as a signature 200Columbus event.”

The show, held at the Capitol Theatre, will be performed 10 times Feb. 2—12, and features collaborations from BalletMet, Jazz Arts Group of Columbus’ jazz ensemble, Columbus Jazz Orchestra, and WOSU Public Media.

Tom Rieland, WOSU general manager, said the entire experience is special to them.

“Being involved with a performance rather than producing a documentary or a TV show is wholly unique for us. In fact, I can’t recall in our 90-year history where we’ve been involved in a performance like this. So it’s really, for us, kind of groundbreaking,” Rieland said.

Rieland said this kind of performance is something that doesn’t come around often.

“It’s really innovative, it’s different, it’s not something that’s like a traveling road thing that comes through here. It’s custom made just for these 10 performances, it’s never been performed before, and never will be again probably,” Rieland said.

Cheri Mitchell, executive director of BalletMet, explained her anticipation for the show.

“When I kind of think about what this is like, I think that it’s going to be like the Fourth of July when you go to the fireworks. The whole stage is going to ignite and it’s going to be that sense of energy that you feel when you’re going, ‘Woah,’ to the fireworks,” Mitchell said.

Though history itself might not excite everyone, Mitchell said the show is breaking the mold.

“With the bicentennial, we see this as a wonderful way to celebrate Columbus and the music and dance and images of our time,” Mitchell said. “It’s got this whole sense of, not history in a dry way, but you’re going to experience different kinds of music and dance in history.”

BalletMet is no stranger to collaboration, especially with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra. This will mark the third time the two groups have worked together. It has always been a positive experience for both groups, Mitchell said.

“The last couple of times when we collaborated with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, they (the dancers) were so excited, so thrilled, to have the musicians right there on stage with them,” Mitchell said.

Scott Vezdos, director of marketing and communications for the Jazz Arts Group of Columbus, said he is equally enthusiastic about working with the dancers.

“These dancers have put together some great routines and we are working with world-class choreographers, some from Broadway,” Vezdos said. “I think people will be surprised by the wide range of styles of music and styles of dance.”

Although the Jazz Arts Group of Columbus and BalletMet seemingly fit hand-in-hand, WOSU Public Media won’t be the black sheep. It might not be thoroughly versed in the music and dance scene, but it will supply unique media aspects as part of the third collaborative effort.

The event encourages individuals to stick around after the performance to enjoy an ice cream social supplied by Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.

Tickets range from $30 to $49. A limited number of special bicentennial tickets will be available at the door for $20.12. Student tickets are also available for $15 with valid ID at the door. Advance tickets are available by phone at 614-469-0939 and through all

Ticketmaster outlets.

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