Ohio Dance Theatre is a professional ballet based contemporary dance company that presents works with a strong theatrical element.
Since its inception the company has stretched the limits of dance by including actors, musicians and singers in many of its productions. The critically acclaimed ODT repertoire features a wide range of style from powerful, thought provoking pieces to lighter works, which combine athleticism and lyricism.
Under the direction of it's founder, Artistic Director Denise Gula, Ohio Dance Theatre has provided artistic excellence in the field of dance to Northeastern Ohio since the spring of 1992 when it received a generous seed grant from the Nord Family Foundation.
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About Ohio Dance Theatre: Vision & Mission
To inspire hope and joy in our community through the power and passion of dance and provide young people of diverse backgrounds and economic means, positive role models, instruction and introduction to the arts.
- Ohio Dance Theatre maintains a classically-based, resident professional contemporary dance company that presents works featuring a range of styles from classical ballets to powerful, thought-provoking contemporary works both aesthetic and lyrical. The ensemble of dancers is distinguished by the dancers' versatility, artistic expressiveness and unique style.
- Ohio Dance Theatre, its employees and Board of Trustees, conduct business in an ethical manner providing a positive and respectful environment for our students, employees, volunteers and audience.
- Ohio Dance Theatre celebrates, supports and advances diversity in all areas of the organization.
- Ohio Dance Theatre serves the community by presenting, as often as possible and in many different venues, well crafted dance and dance theatre works that meet the highest technical and aesthetic standards in both conception and execution as well as meaningful and accessible arts education and outreach programs.
- Ohio Dance Theatre commits to a distinctive and diverse performance repertoire that reaches out to and engages a broad range of audiences.
- Ohio Dance Theatre ensures fiscal stability by maintaining strong governance and attracting community support.
Ohio Dance Theatre
39 South Main Street
Oberlin, Ohio 44074
DENISE GULA founder, Artistic Director, and principal choreographer of Ohio Dance Theatre. Ms. Gula's early training encompassed all forms of dance and began ballet training with Alex Martin and Ruth Pryor, former principle dancer with The Royal Ballet. She has studied both acting and directing and has performed in community and professional musical theatre productions at Cleveland’s historic Karamu Theatre, Kenley Players and Kennebunkport Summer Theatre and dance companies including Louisville Ballet and Danny Sloan Dance Company, among others. Ms. Gula has over 35 years teaching experience in colleges, universities, and dance schools throughout the U.S. and has taught Ballet as adjunct Faculty for Oberlin College.
From 1987 to 1992 just prior to founding ODT, she served as Director of Dance at Lorain County Community College. Her numerous choreographic credits include both concert dance and musical theatre choreography. She is the principle choreographer for ODT and has received awards for several of her works. In 2005, Denise received training and certification from the National Dance Institute-New Mexico in the unique teaching methodology of Jacques d’Amboise, NDI founder. She subsequently develop ODT’s curriculum educational program, Kids in Motion, based on this methodology. Throughout her career, Denise has, as time permitted, attended Oberlin College, Baldwin Wallace, Butler University in Indiana and Dean College in Boston. Her published texts include Dance in Gymnastics, a Guide for Coaches and Gymnasts Allan and Bacon Publishers, and Choreography for the Competitive Gymnast, Human Kinetics Publishers. Ms. Gula is a certified Pilates instructor.