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BOBBY WESNER, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
BOBBY WESNER, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, began his career as a professional dancer with Ballet Arizona, under the direction of Michael Uthoff (now lb Anderson). During his stay in Phoenix, he had the honor of working with American Classics such as Fredrick Franklin, Daniel Ezralow, Moses Pendelton of Momix, the Artistic Directors of Pilobolus, Kevin O'Day, Jowali Willa Jo Zolar of Urban Bush Woman, and also his wife Brooke Wesner. Other great masterpieces that Wesner has performed are the "Profiteer" in The Green Table by Kurt Josse; "Iago" in The Moore's Pavone by Jose Limon; "Tico" in Company B by Paul Taylor, (also in Taylor's Esplanade); three works of Anthony Tudor: Lilac Garden, Leaves are Fading and Continuo; and The Jester in Earnst Uthoff's Carmina Burana. Independently, Wesner has traveled and performed with various companies all over the northeast region of the US and in Italy. As Director and Co-Founder, Bobby has choreographed four evening length ballets for Neos Dance Theatre and produced an additional ballet by resident choreographer Mary-Elizabeth Fenn. Neos also performs many of Wesner’s repertory works, including Spinning Plates, Various Principals, Norm and Cleo, and more. Bobby and Brooke live in Ashland, Ohio where they raise their four beautiful daughters, Genevieve, Ella, Mekah, and Arowyn.
Robert Wesner website
BROOKE WESNER, CO-FOUNDER
BROOKE WESNER, CO-FOUNDER, started dance at age five under Hellie Schussler for her pre-professional training. Her presence on stage has been said to offer "lyrical melodrama" and "a most prominent...elegance"(The Arizona Republic and the Arizona Daily Star). After studying with master teachers such as Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride, and Basil Thompson, Brooke started her professional career with the Milwaukee Ballet. With Ballet Arizona she performed the "Snow Queen" and "Arabian" in Ib Anderson's Nutcracker, "Dark Angel" in Balanchine's Serenade, Paul Taylor's Company B; and "Desdemona" in Jose Limon's The Moore's Pavon. Brooke also performed as a soloist in Giselle; the Greentable by Kurt Josse; Lady Lost Found by Danny Ezralow; the original "Bird" in Moses Pendelton's Opus Cactus; HELLBLONDEGROOVE by Kevin O'Day; a "Saloon Girl" in Billy the Kid (while six months pregnant); and Apollo, The Four Temperaments, Agon, Rubies, and Serenade by George Balanchine. She performed with Momix in an international tour where she danced for the President of Italy and shared the stage with James Taylor. Brooke has appeared many times with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra as a guest artist and with the Arizona Opera in Aida. Her performance quality and technical stamina has intensified now that she is a mother of four. Brooke is the co-founder of Neos Dance Theatre with her husband, Bobby, and they are the parents of four beautiful daughters, Genevieve, Ella, Mekah, and Arowyn.
With a highly valued performance and education presence throughout Northeast Ohio — especially in Ashland, Cuyahoga, Hancock, Lorain, Richland and Summit counties — Neos has achieved a growing reputation for artistic excellence, adventurous programming, and passionate community collaborations.
Founded in 2012 by Bobby and Brooke Wesner, Neos seeks to:
1. advance dance-related education by student training, intensive summer
study, and master classes;
2. raise awareness of the dance arts; and 3. culturally enrich Northern Ohio through performance of high quality dance by obtaining and presenting the widest range of repertoire possible.
Blending classical and contemporary
Energized by classical and contemporary choreography, Neos has showcased works by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s resident choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo, Heinz Poll, George Balanchine, and Penny Saunders.
Further, Neos director and co-founder Bobby Wesner is an active choreographer. To date he has choreographed over 20 repertoire pieces & four evening-length ballets for Neos Dance Theatre and served as producer for an additional ballet by former resident choreographer Mary-Elizabeth Fenn.
Neos is sought-after as a performer and partner. In February 2018, for example, the company joined forces with the Akron Symphony Orchestra and The University of Akron’s Dance Institute and E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall for a new full-length ballet — Petrushka — that received rave reviews.
In December 2017, Neos presented collaborative performances of A 1940s Nutcracker in multiple venues: at the Renaissance Theatre in Mansfield with the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra; at the Marathon Performing Arts Center in Findlay in collaboration with the Findlay Academy of Ballet; and at the Stocker Arts Center in Elyria with students from the new Neos Center for Dance in Oberlin and surrounding schools.
Neos has and/or is collaborating with the Akron Art Museum (November 2016), Akron Symphony (2017 and 2018), City of Akron’s Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival (annually), Akron Civic Theatre, Ashland’s Guy C. Meyers Bandshell, Ashland Regional Ballet, Ashland Symphony, Ashland University, Belhaven University in Mississippi, Cain Park, Cleveland’s Playhouse Square, Cleveland
Pops Orchestra, Dance Institute and Dance Program at The University of Akron, Dancing Wheels, Downtown Akron Partnership, Findlay Academy of Ballet, Lakeside Chautauqua, Mansfield Symphony, Oberlin College, The Ohio State University, Verb Ballets, and many more.
Showcasing NE Ohio by crossing state lines
Neos has toured to 10 states, including Georgia where it performed along the coast in 2016 & 2018.
Neos is strategically growth-oriented.
• Piloted M.A.D.E. in Ashland in March 2017, which brought together artists to highlight Music, Art, Dance and Education during a weeklong residency that culminated in a performance at Archer Auditorium.
-This successful educational program is now expanding to serve more students throughout Ashland County.
• Produced its first Lose Your Marbles, a dance-centric fringe festival in non-traditional venues throughout downtown Akron.
- Presented in June 2017 with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of its Knight Arts Challenge, the festival was a fun and informative opportunity for the community to binge-watch performing and visual artists. Audience members were able to use social media to share their opinions about what they’d seen and vote for the best-of-show performance that then received a final showcase at the end of the festival. o The festival — which will continue in 2019 — takes its name from Akron’s legacy as the birthplace of toy marbles. o Lose Your Marbles is the second consecutive and highly competitive arts challenge grant that Neos has received from Knight Foundation. With Knight’s support, dance.r.evolution and Lose Your Marbles are expanding and engaging audiences by bringing together classically trained choreographers with local urban dancers, graffiti artists and urban/pop musicians to learn from each other and present new ideas.
Many photos on our website are by Dale Dong, Neil Sapienza, Bryce Millikin, and Shane Wynn