The timeless (and timely) themes of connectivity, changeability and transition will be explored in GroundWorks DanceTheater’s upcoming 2017 Spring Dance Series, featuring world premiere works by GWDT Artistic Director David Shimotakahara and Gina Gibney of Gibney Dance, as well as the highly-anticipated reprise of “Remora” by award-winning choreographer Eric Handman.

“We find ourselves in a time of transition and unpredictable change,” says David Shimotakahara, Executive Artistic Director. “Who is not feeling the tension of divisions in our country, divisions that are profoundly challenging our assumptions about who we are and what we value, in our communities, and as a nation? In times of uncertainty, I think art is called upon more urgently to hold up the mirror, to comment and to question.”

Shimotakahara adds, “GroundWorks has always been committed to the highest ideals of our art, encouraging the discovery of new perspectives and to thinking outside of the box. But art, and in particular dance, also has the power to bring us together, to make us aware of our need and desire for connection. GroundWorks’ Spring program reminds us of the importance of a fundamental truth – it is our connections and relationships with people that matter most.”

Our Spring Series will feature a thoughtful and thought-provoking program:

GWDT Artistic Director David Shimotakahara will debut new work exploring how we deal with transition and change, how we cope with loss and indecision and the process of striving, “I started thinking about images of light and its properties and textures and this idea of changeability over time,” he says. “Those things combined became a metaphor for how we understand and live through change.” As Founder & Executive Artistic Director, Shimotakahara has contributed over 30 pieces to GroundWorks’ repertoire. He is the recipient of countless awards including the McKnight Foundation Fellowship, the COSE Arts and Business Innovation Award, a CPAC Creative Workforce Fellowship from the Community Partnership for Arts & Culture, and the Cleveland Arts Prize for Dance.

Highly sought-after by a wide range of performing arts institutions, Gina Gibney returns to GroundWorks to debut “Drafting Foresight,” a world-premiere work exploring the ideas of memory and the embodiment of spoken communication (with music by Ezekiel Honig, costumes by Felicity Sargent and visuals by Joshue Ott/superDraw). Gibney has received recognition and support from prestigious organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Foundation, the Harkness Foundation for Dance, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the Emma Sheafer Charitable Foundation, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Mertz Gilmore Foundation. She holds an MFA in Dance from Case Western University.

GroundWorks is proud to reprise “Remora” by Salt Lake City-based artist Eric Handman, a critically-acclaimed “substantial, intensely physical work” created with GWDT in 2015. “Choreography is not about simply making dances,” says Handman, Associate Professor at the University of Utah’s Department of Modern Dance. “It is about finding the dances that we can make. In other words, the dances we find ourselves making have everything to do with the artists with whom we find ourselves working. Remora depicts struggle, teamwork, solitude and the redemptive power of moving with others.” Handman was a member of New York Theatre Ballet and then a professional dancer in various New York-based contemporary dance companies such as Doug Varone and Dancers, Nicholas Leichter Dance, and Joy Kellman and Company. In 2014 he was a winner of the New Visions Choreography Competition for Idaho Dance Theater and the International Choreographic Competition for the Northwest Dance Project.

Performances will take place on the following dates & times:

  • March 17 & 18 at 7:30 pm – Breen Center for the Performing Arts, 2008 W. 30th Street, Cleveland (on the campus of St. Ignatius High School in Ohio City)
  • March 31 & April 1 at 7:30 pm – EJ Thomas Hall, 198 Hill Street, Akron

(Photo: Mark Horning)