Bill Wade, recipient of the 2012 Cleveland Arts Prize and an award for Outstanding Contributions to the Advancement of the Dance Art Form from OhioDance in 2013, is the Founder and Executive/Artistic Director of Inlet Dance Theatre. Inlet is an outgrowth of Bill’s previous eleven years as an Artist in Residence at Cleveland School of the Arts, where he founded the YARD (Youth At Risk Dancing), a nationally recognized and awarded after school program. In 1998, he received the Coming Up Taller Award at the White House in Washington DC from the National Endowment for the Arts and the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.
Since its inception in 2001, Inlet, under Wade’s leadership, has earned an international reputation for artistic and education programming excellence. He is a nationally sought-after choreographer and dance educator whose choreography was recently enthusiastically received at Jacob’s Pillow’s Inside/Out Series and his men’s focused work has been presented twice in Seattle’s “Men in Dance”. He was commissioned to create an evening length work, “Among the Darkest Shadows”, focusing on human trafficking (Wharton Center for the Arts, E Lansing, MI) in collaboration with renowned LA playwright José Cruz Gonzales that toured to Des Moines Performing Arts, and he is currently creating a new work, co-produced by Playhouse Square (CLE), that is transforming Kobi Yamada’s NYTimes best-selling children’s book, “What Do You Do With An Idea?” into a full-length dance theatre production.
Mr. Wade was chosen by Ohio Arts Council, the Ohio Arts Foundation, Playhouse Square Foundation, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and The American Embassy in Santiago to conduct an award winning multi-phase international artist exchange program with artists from Easter Island (2006-2008). His company, Inlet Dance Theatre, conducted a two week residency of performing and teaching on the island in April of 2008. Inlet was the first American modern dance company to perform on the island.
Bill is on the roster for the Ohio Arts Council’s Artists in Residence Program, conducting community residencies throughout Ohio at area schools and in collaboration with community and arts organizations. In the 90’s, he enjoyed a long-term mentoring relationship with Ali-son Chase, then a co-artistic director of the world renowned Pilobolus Dance Theater. Alison Chase collaborated with Bill and students from Cleveland School of the Arts, creating “An Urban Nutcracker,” which received national attention from Dance Magazine, TIME magazine, and garnered a rave review in the Wall St. Journal. He collaborated on projects with the Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Museum of Art, the Ohio Ballet, PlayhouseSquare, Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art and even Major League Baseball. His work regularly appears in theaters, on television, at schools, in newspapers, and in magazines. He choreographed a short program in the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France for Chinese-Taipei free style ice skater David Liu. Bill set choreography on Ad Deum Dance Company (Houston, Texas), New Trails Dance Theatre (Oakland, California), taught and set choreography on dancers at Youth With a Mission (Lakeside, Montana), on dancers at the dance conservatory of Belhaven University (Jackson, MS), and set his work, Ascension, at Purdue University. Recent examples of his teaching work include presenting at the National Dance Education Organization’s “Men in Dance: Bridging the Gap Symposium”, adjudicating for ACDA three times (Jackson MS, Milwaukee WI, Beaumont TX), and was the featured guest teacher for the Exchange Choreography Festival (Tulsa, OK).
Prior to founding both Inlet Dance Theatre and the YARD, Mr. Wade was formerly the interim artistic director and dancer with Footpath Dance Company. He resides with his wife (Kristin) and son (Austin) in Chagrin Falls, OH