New Theatrical Work to Honor Wounded Warriors Ohio Dance Theatre Creates Multi-Media Ballet for Families of Veterans with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury
Ohio Dance Theatre premieres new work entitled Blood Stripe in April 2015 as part of Cleveland Public Theatre’s DanceWorks’ 15 series. The dance in 4 scenes is inspired by and created to tell the story of an OIF/OEF Marine and his family, and is a memorial to those who came before and are still to follow. The name of the piece comes from Marine jargon that references the red band on dress uniform trousers worn by officers and NCO’s symbolizing blood shed by marines in war.
Denise Gula, Choreographer and Artistic Director of Ohio Dance Theatre decided to create the ballet because of personal experience witnessing the challenges of her own family as they struggle with the long term effects of PTSD and TBI. “As Artists we tell stories through are art form and mine just happens to be dance,” said Gula. “Thousands of veterans have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from PTSD and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). It’s heartbreaking to watch the struggles the families go through when our Vet’s return home.” She recalls the reaction of our nation to Viet Nam Veterans when they returned from fighting in that conflict. “I’m embarrassed when I recall the hostility and disrespect that greeted our returning Vietnam veterans and am grateful that as a nation we have evolved enough to understand that regardless of our personal political views, the men and women that fight for our county are heroes and should be treated accordingly. But I personally believe our Vets and their families are not given enough support or guidance from our government in coping with the long term effects of these disorders,” said Gula. Ms. Gula hopes that her new work will help bring awareness and shed light on the plight of the families of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.
ODT’s Blood Stripe will be one of several works performed in the Gordon Square Theatre April 9-11 as part of Cleveland Public Theatre’s DanceWorks ’15.
About Ohio Dance Theatre:
Currently celebrating its 23nd season, Ohio Dance Theatre, Northeast Ohio’s professional ballet company presents classical and contemporary works with a strong theatrical element. Ohio Dance Theatre’s principal artistic goal is to encourage the growth and support of serious dance through the presentation of exceptional performances, instruction and educational programs that enhance the community’s quality of life.
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