Creating paths to freedom.
We create visceral, poignant, witty dance performance that captivates our audience, connecting them to a world beyond themselves. Using imagery, props and theatrical elements, we share stories from the voiceless and we open the imagination to a world of beauty and depth. Though at times dance is abstract in its form, we seek to remain transparent as performers in order to connect with our audience as fellow humans. We are passionate about making art that is excellent and compelling. Whether performed on stages, in train stations, in downtown alley ways or on dusty grounds, we believe our dance is a path to freedom.
Outside of performing dance, we create experiences where children (ages 0-99) can experience the power of freedom through movement. Whether for play or for performance opportunities, our participants engage with their body and imagination, finding new confidence and perspectives, strength and healing.
These experiences have been led through kids art camps, programs for vulnerable children in Cleveland and abroad and through movement therapy workshops for trauma survivors. In every place we find ourselves, in every face that we meet, we desire to share generously our love for people and passion for dance. Freedom is found on this path of healing and creativity.
Formerly known as Without Words Movement, Elu Dance Company was founded in 2012 by Mackenzie Valley and Mikaela Clark. Before founding the company, Valley and Clark had the pleasure of dancing professionally for years in Cleveland’s modern dance company, Inlet Dance Theatre, under the direction of Bill Wade, as well as working on several projects under the direction of Dianne McIntyre. As Valley and Clark worked together in Inlet, they discovered a common passion to create and were drawn to similar aesthetics and a desire to portray the human spirit. Thus, they embarked on exploring their own choreographic voice in 2008.
For their artistic work, Valley and Clark have twice been awarded the Cleveland Workforce Fellowship through Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC) and have been gifted a grant through Neighborhood Connections for their work in the Cleveland community. Their work, created for both the stage and unconventional venues, has been performed throughout the midwest in such spaces as Oberlin College, Cleveland Public Theatre, Fallout Urban Art Center, in alleyways (Ingenuity Festival), public squares, churches, schools and art galleries; and internationally in villages in Thailand & Cambodia, train stations and streets of Romania, Teatro Furio Camillo in Italy, and dusty plots of land under the Malawian sun. While in Italy they were invited to speak on the Vatican radio about dance and social justice. They have partnered with organizations such as Grace Ministries Thailand, Cornerstone of Hope, Ancient Path, and Rahab Ministries to offer movement as a medium through which to find some healing from grief, trauma, or a life of being held back. They often collaborate with other artists who deeply enrich their work; set designer Mark Sugiuchi, musician Jeremy Allen, lighting designer Trad Burns, and the artists of Ancient Path, just to name a few.