We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Kate Weare, 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, 2011 Mellon Foundation Awardee, 2009 Princess Grace Award-Winner and our current Creative Resident to hear her perspective on working with GroundWorks DanceTheater for her second commissioned work with the company.

“This second commission is radically different from the first time I worked with GroundWorks. Previously, I had brought movement language with me and asked them

[the dancers] to enter my physicality through strategies and structures that I commonly use in my work. This time, I separated my own body from the process so I could watch their physical instincts.”

Our Artistic Director, David Shimotakahara attributes the differences between the two commissions, to the familiarity that Kate now has with GroundWorks. “With this second commission, it is lovely that there is a degree of familiarity and trust that have been established. We didn’t have to expend much energy in the studio working through the introductions. Kate was able to assess very quickly who was in the room, and what she had to work with, and I think for this project once she had that sense of the dancers, she launched herself into a robust and intensive discovery with the company that has yielded such an amazing palette of movement ideas.”

Kate describes her ideal process as, “bouncing off the energy from the individuals, and the artistry they can bring, rather than going off of predisposed ideas or assumptions of what is going to happen. My job for the dancers is to build a structure they can live in and feel alive in. Then their job is to live it. They have to find a way to fill it with both immediacy and meaning. Together we are forming enough content and form so that an audience can say, ‘I think I see something here I can comprehend.’”



Rehearsals began with 45-minute improvisation sessions where Kate was able to both watch and respond to the movement taking place, creating what Kate calls a “high level conversation through movement.” From there, phrase material was explored and set the foundation of the work. Although there is not currently a story line in place, Kate believes “dancing is most powerful when the dancers are connecting to feeling and sensation. Each dancer needs to feel as if they are traveling through some kind of storyline or emotional arc.”

Not only is Kate excited to be working with the caliber of talent GroundWorks DanceTheater offers but we too are excited for her return. Our own Shimotakahara aptly describes our sentiments:

“GroundWorks is thrilled to be working with Kate Weare again and I am delighted that she was interested in returning and continuing to explore new work with the company. Kate’s work is always stimulating and challenging on so many levels. She is really at a high point in her career. With that have come more opportunities and demands on her creative time. It means a lot to me that she would make room [in her schedule] to come and collaborate. I’d like to think there is a spark for her as well to want to do this.”

As the work continues to change, shift and progress, we look forward to what is sure to be a beautiful outcome.

“As interesting as some of the initial material is, I know she is eager to push and pull more out of the dancers and they are ready to be stretched. That is the joy of working with an artist of Kate’s caliber. She helps us re-imagine expectations, see new possibilities and takes us there,” says Shimotakahara.

We look forward to premiering the new work during our 2015 Fall Series Performances at Allen Theatre in Playhouse Square and at the Akron-Summit County Public Library!