Presenting world-class, unique performances is part of Ingenuity whether it’s at our annual Festival in September or throughout the year.  Combining interactivity, multi-media, site specific, and out of context work, Ingenuity presents a wide range of performance art, dance, theater, music, and more. Past performances have included:


The Nichole Canuso Dance Company
Open Gallery Hours

A genre bending exploration of dance installation and cinema conceived by choreographer Nichole Canuso and multi-media director Lars Jan. A sensual melding of live bodies and film, TAKES manifests, refracts and spatially unfolds the forgotten moments of a relationship in real time through a panoramic marriage of live choreography and film. Canuso performs alongside Beau Hancock in this panoramic adventure for the senses.

Separate from the performances, the audience is free to wander and shift perspective during the performance as well as during gallery hours. They are invited into the gallery to explore the performance space and interact with the exhibit, creating their own dance within the installation. At scheduled performance times, the two performers enter and the live event unfolds.

Noted by The Philadelphia Inquirer for dances that have “a presence, a right-thereness in the moment like a great slowed down slap stick routine.” Nichole Canuso Dance Company celebrates the awkwardness, humor, and surprise of the human experience. At the crossroads of movement, visual art, and theater, the company’s dances range from a delicate movement trio performed in silence to a multi-floored journey where the performers outnumber the audience. Often set in nontraditional venues transformed into intimate theaters, they incorporate unconventional audience participation and interactive design. The company regularly offers free showings of its work in progress and collaborates with artists from a range of other disciplines, from rock bands to filmmakers. Of the artistic director, The Dance Insider wrote, “Nichole Canuso has a gift for creating movement communities… a gifted choreographer, who makes dancing seem inherently meaningful, social and compelling.”

Go Roadshow
Squonk Opera
East Lakefront

GO Roadshow is “a musical street spectacle on wheels”. This show-making machine is a 34-foot long monster truck retrofitted with truck-horn calliope, a wall made of rotors and a spinning grand piano that is played while it wheels around! Each show starts with a shameless parade of peacock trumpets, spinning drums, accordion, sousaphone, and glockenspiel.

GO is a music and art-mobile – a rolling ruckus that opens up like a mechanical blossom to make the street a vibrant place where people can share a community of the imagination. Night shows include video projected on a rotor screen made of movement itself, and on a blimp that has a mouth that opens in a call to celebration. In GO, Squonk draws from the great American history of traveling circuses, Shriner and holiday parades, medicine shows, and used car lot events that vitalized the heartland of this country.

Squonk Opera created its first show in a Pittsburgh junkyard, with choreographed cranes, roaring earthmovers, and screaming machine shears. Squonk broke onto the scene in 1995 with the Night of The Living Dead: The Opera. The New York Times critic Ben Brantley called their Bigsmorgasbordwunderwerk “ingenious, hallucinatory, hypnotic.”  Squonk Opera has since created more than ten original productions and has performed in more than 250 venues across the United States.

Gaming and Gaining
Erica Mott Dance

Dancer / Choreographer Erica Mott collaborates with soundscape designer Ryan Ingebritsen and audio/visual designer John Boesche, a new immersive installation duet inspired by the previous Victory Project Studies seen at Ingenuity 2011. This multimedia performance includes movement responsive video and sound that addresses militarization and relationships that form under it.  Combining puppetry, theater, and technological interactivity, this piece creates a dynamic performance space and interactive installation.

Susan Pfeffer, Melissa McNamara and Suzy Grant

A virtual picnic and interdisciplinary theatre event, Antipodes is an interconnected series of moments created by three performers working to navigate the space between technological and natural worlds.  A trio comprised of solos, Antipodes began as an attempt at cross-continental communication between artists.  SMS (Susan Pfeffer, Melissa McNamara, and Suzy Grant) shared stories, ideas, fears and musings about solitude from locations in New Zealand, Illinois, Connecticut, and Nevada over eight months and sought to conquer loneliness by forging a collaboration through electronic communication.

This performance of Antipodes marks the first time all three collaborators have occupied the same physical space. Ever.

Antipodes received support from University of Nevada, Reno.

Doo Sung Yoo

Vishtauroborg is a robotic multi-performance project that incorporates robotics, electronic music and sounds, dance, and industrial design. Vishtauroborg is a human‑animal-machine hybrid, which combines cow tongues with robotic devices, which are to be mounted on a performing dancerʼ’s chest and back. The hybrid creates real-time interactions harmonized between the machineʼ’s mechanical motions, the human armʼs choreographic gestures, and the robotic tonguesʼ’ computational artificial speech sounds.

Doo Sung Yoo is a new media artist from Seoul, South Korea.

OM Sync – Yoga

Experience the bliss of syncing your breath and movement to live music. Get transported to an infinite time and place. As the tempo of the class picks up, so will the music… eventually the soundscapes you hear will wind down all the way to savasana. Experience OmSync.

OmSync is Stacey & Zack Orr. Stacey is a registered yoga teacher who uses vinyasa “flow” yoga as a form of self-expression and moving meditation. Zack is an innovative musician whose recent album was nominated by the Independent Music Awards (IMAs). Together, they combine the two into a unique experience of movement and music.

Life Illuminated

Joshua Brown, Daniel Tan, Nathaniel Makowski

What happens when biomedical engineers and dancers collaborate? After brainstorming together, our hypothesis was that we could illuminate unseen aspects of human movement and present medical technology in a new light. And so we’ve begun an experiment to determine if such a relationship is feasible and if we can say something about this relationship between art and technology that we couldn’t say before.

Bringing together those of us who specialize in movement and in medical systems, our aim was to enable a previously unseen aspect of movement to be integrated into the performance itself. Performers have sensors placed on their bodies that measure the muscle signals generated when they move. This muscle activity activates and controls lights that cover the body, allowing for a real time visual augmentation of the performer’s movements. What happens when biomedical engineers and dancers collaborate? The preliminary results are here on display. Our theory is that this is pretty cool. We hope you come to the same conclusion.

The Workout Tape

Contemporary video screenings tend to involve passive consumption

of sounds and visuals composed by artists. “The Workout Tape” requires the

audience to get out of their seats and actively respond to the content

they see on screen.

Collaborators on this 25 minute mind & body exercise include:
EverythingIsTerrible, Ben Russell, E Aaron Ross, Jesse Avina, Alyssa Lee Wilmot, George Alley, Stephanie Burke, Jeriah Hildwine, The Happy Collaborationists, Steven Frost, Theodore Darst, James Green, Aaron Orsini, Adam Rux, Mark Sansone, Alfredo Salazar-Caro, Chris Smith, & Dechon Jones.

Mankind: The Rise and Fall    
A World Without Windows

We have so much, but know so little… join us for this Grecian tale of creationism. You may appreciate life a little more…

A World Without Windows is a theatre performance group created by Stephen Farkas, Stephanie Wilbert, Katie Wells, and Nate Miller shortly after their graduation from Cleveland State University. Stephen, Stephanie, and Katie have all been a part of projects at Ingenuity in the past. Past projects at Ingenuity include a Two Man Woyzeck in 2009, The Myth of Cleveland in 2010,


Legendary DJ Rob Sherwood to Spin for Bal Ingenieux on May 4

“This is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to play every genre I’ve ever played all in one night. I really am excited about that. I keep telling people the coolest thing about what I’m going to do here is that it’s going to be everything. And I don’t think I’ve ever had a gig where I could do that.”

Rob Sherwood is learning back on the plush red stairs of a room tucked away in the Halcyon Lodge; a glare reflects off his glasses as he angles his camera phone, one eye squinted with a furrowed brow that reminds anyone in his presence: he is a man of his craft. He snaps photos of the room he’ll be DJing in for Bal Ingenieux to send to Ben Sota, artistic director of the folk art acrobatic troupe Zany Umbrella Circus, who he plans to collaborate with for a mix of sound and visuals at the fundraiser.

Sitting feet away from pillars that connect ceiling to stairs, the space mirrors Sherwood’s stories of spinning at the hot spots like Aquilon that made him a legend of Cleveland nightlife. “There was a 19-piece big band, old people in tuxedos and hipsters dressed to the nines until the freight elevator doors opened and the kids poured in,” he says. “It was the coolest mix.” He speaks with the most affection about the alternative scene that was the Nine of Clubs but even when recounting one of his most decadent residencies, U4IA, he remarks, “It was a time everyone could do their own thing and not step on anyone’s toes. That was every club I did. It was just really inclusive; people came to look at freaky but not to pick on it, or make fun of it, or cause trouble.”


It’s in the midst of relaying his memories of throwing the city’s first raves and the excess, lavish and luxury that his face breaks into a coy half-smile and he says, “But the people who came to support me on a funky Tuesday night were ten times as cool as the people who came to the Saturday night party that was the big thing.” If the Kokoon Arts Club that Bal Ingenieux is inspired by marked a turn-of-the-century bohemian art community, Sherwood may have been their reincarnated hero of the new wave underground.

Sherwood left to pursue his career in New York and will tell you with a laugh that he came back to Cleveland on accident. “I went to New York and lived every single DJ dream I ever had,” he recalls, “All of my heroes were coming out of the studio at night saying, ‘I just cut a disc, I want you to play it’ – my heroes. Not just some guys, my DJ and producer heroes. Every club I ever dreamed of wanting to work at, I worked at.”


Even for someone who made a name for himself in a culture based on breaking rules, in true DJ form Sherwood’s greatest excitement about Bal Ingenieux is having no restrictions, no rules or style guidelines to what he has to play. “This is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to play every genre I’ve ever played all in one night. I really am excited about that. I keep telling people the coolest thing about what I’m going to do here is that it’s going to be everything. And I don’t think I’ve ever had a gig where I could do that.”

Rob Sherwood DJs Bal Ingenieux, May 4 at the Halcyon Lodge, from 9:30 P.M. until 1 A.M.

About Ingenuity
Ingenuity’s mission is to ignite the creative spark where the arts, science, and technology intersect. By animating Cleveland’s urban spaces with world-class, innovative experiences, Ingenuity provides a unique platform to explore the boundaries of art and technology.

To purchase tickets to Bal Ingenieux, IngenuityFest’s fundraiser on May 4, please visit

Art Installation Spotlight: “Game of Life” by cyancdesign

Local designer Chris Yanc (cyancdesign) will debut a preview of his latest project for this fall’s festival, the “Game of Life”, at Bal Ingenieux. Last September, cyancdesign brought the glowing Interactive Hallway and Digital Graffiti Wall, where festival goers used mock spray cans to create graffiti art on a large digital screen powered by openFrameworks.

The History of the “Game of Life”
The original “Game of Life” is based on the works of scientist John Conway, who devised a model in the early 1970s to explain how a neighborhood of cells could evolve alone under a simple set of rules. Conway’s theory has been studied and recreated by computer programmers for years as an example of automated design and evolution.

“Game of Life” 2012 at Bal Ingenieux & IngenuityFest
At Bal Ingenieux, cyancdesign will create an interactive LED wall that allows Conway’s classic “Game of Life” to actually be played. “Normally, there is little interaction with [the game],” Yanc explains. “You would set the game up at the beginning then let it run and see how it evolves. But it will be set up so that you’ll be able to interact with the game while everything is evolving to see how you are affecting it.”

Cyancdesign’s “Game of Life” will be controlled by openFrameworks which will relay information from the game player’s selections to an Arduino, an open source hardware often used for interactive electronic projects, and create the LED display.

A preview of the lights working in grid form:

The “Game of Life” Rules:

  1. Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbours dies, as if caused by under-population.
  2. Any live cell with two or three live neighbours lives on to the next generation.
  3. Any live cell with more than three live neighbours dies, as if by overcrowding.
  4. Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbours becomes a live cell, as if by reproduction.

“Anyone will be able to touch one of the cells on the wall to either make it alive or dead before the next evolution,” says Yanc. “The initial build will be a smaller version for the fundraiser coming up in May. Then the large wall version is planned for IngenuityFest.”

About cyancdesign
More information at

About Ingenuity

Ingenuity’s mission is to ignite the creative spark where the arts, science, and technology intersect. By animating Cleveland’s urban spaces with world-class, innovative experiences, Ingenuity provides a unique platform to explore the boundaries of art and technology.

To purchase tickets to Bal Ingenieux, IngenuityFest’s fundraiser on May 4, please visit

Zany Umbrella Circus Plans an Evening of Bohemian Folk Artistry for Bal Ingenieux

Vintage street theatre and whimsical circus kitsch will fuse with technology when the national touring Zany Umbrella Circus collaborates with legendary Cleveland DJ Rob Sherwood. “With Rob contributing sound,” Sota says, “I think we can provide really strong visuals.”

Ben Sota talks spiritedly in a rapid fire of ideas about Hawaiian culture and couture, “I’ve been thinking of a scene working with Hawaiian recordings, Hawaiian muumuus.” As the artistic director of Zany Umbrella Circus, Sota is plotting out loud for the night his troupe of bohemian acrobats invoke the underground arts culture of the early 1900s Kokoon Arts Club  for Ingenuity Cleveland’s Bal Ingenieux masquerade fundraiser.

His costume embellishment brainstorming may owe a small credit to his residence on the island where he studies for his doctorate in between coordinating performances for Zany Umbrella. “The history of Kokoon is really cool and I feel like there’s a big part that’s exotic,” Sota explains. “When I think about what is most modern and most exotic, I think Hawaiian. Most people have no idea how much of an arts and culture scene there is here.”

At Bal Ingenieux, vintage will fuse with technology when the national touring group, versed in the folk artistry of street theatre and whimsical circus kitsch, collaborates with legendary Cleveland DJ Rob Sherwood. While Sota explains these days the group usually performs shows based around a storyline, “eye candy” is how he describes what to expect from Zany Umbrella on May 4. “With Rob contributing sound,” he says, “I think we can provide really strong visuals.”

Although Sota says Zany Umbrella now normally bring their spectacle to stages with little chance for audience interaction, Bal Ingenieux will relive their early years touring across America and performing on the city streets. “A lot will be improv,” Sota says of the “ground-based circus” being created for the evening. “Circus acts will happen in the grand ballroom, but we’re bringing some masks to move through the space as well. If we see people open and generous with their energy we’ll take them into a private area.”

After Bal Ingenieux, Zany Umbrella has shows planned throughout the year at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, a tour of New York City boroughs in partnership with the City Parks Foundation and overseas at the Childrens’ Museum of Jordan.

About Zany Umbrella Circus
Zany Umbrella Circus exists to build and strengthen communities through education and folk artistry– particularly puppetry, circus, music, storytelling, street theatre and visual arts.

More information at

About Ingenuity
Ingenuity’s mission is to ignite the creative spark where the arts, science, and technology intersect.  By animating Cleveland’s urban spaces with world-class, innovative experiences, Ingenuity provides a unique platform to explore the boundaries of art and technology.

To purchase tickets to Bal Ingenieux, IngenuityFest’s fundraiser on May 4, please visit