Project Description


GroundWorks DanceTheater and Cleveland State University Announce Partnership: GroundWorks to be Professional Dance Company In Residence at CSU

GroundWorks Dance Theater and the Cleveland State University Department of Theatre and Dance announce a partnership making GroundWorks a Professional Dance Company In Residence at the University.

In addition to teaching classes and conducting rehearsals on campus, GroundWorks will perform annually at the Allen Theatre in PlayhouseSquare, presented by the CSU Department of Theatre and Dance.

Lynn Deering, Director of the CSU Dance Program, is very excited about the new partnership. “With GroundWorks as a professional company in residence, our dance program is uniquely able to offer ongoing opportunities for our students to actively engage with these talented professional dancers,” she says. “It will also enhance programming at our new Arts Campus in PlayhouseSquare and support our goals of creating future dance artists, audiences and advocates.”

CSU’s Arts Campus is one of the most extensive undergraduate theater and dance facilities in the nation.

For GroundWorks Artistic Director David Shimotakahara, the partnership opens a spectrum of possibilities. “This will be an active, not passive relationship. Our company is dedicated to creating new work, and CSU can be a wonderful creative incubator for us.”

GroundWorks will kick off its inaugural series at the Allen Theatre at 7:30 p.m. October 26 and 27 with the world premiere of a new work by guest choreographer Doug Elkins, who taught three master classes at CSU this summer. The program will also include dances by Shimotakahara and Artistic Associate Amy Miller. For tickets call 866-546-1353 or visit

With the partnership, GroundWorks and CSU envision Cleveland becoming a center for contemporary dance in the region. For more information on the CSU Department of Theatre and Dance and GroundWorks, visit and

Founded in 1964, Cleveland State University is a public research institution that provides a dynamic setting for engaged learning. With an enrollment of more than 17,500 students, eight colleges and approximately 200 academic programs, CSU was again chosen for 2012 as one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report.

Now in its 17th season, GroundWorks was founded by Shimotakahara in 1998 and is dedicated to the development and presentation of new choreography and collaborations.  The five-member Company performs new works by Shimotakahara and artistic assistant Amy Miller, as well as commissioned work by nationally and internationally acclaimed choreographers including Ronen Koresh, Dianne McIntyre, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Jill Sigman, Gina Gibney, David Parker and others.

GroundWorks DanceTheater’s annual programming is made possible with funding from The National Endowment for the Arts, The Ohio Arts Council, Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, The Cleveland Foundation, The George Gund Foundation, The Murphy Foundation, The Kulas Foundation, The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation, Cleveland City Dance, Individual Contributors, and Members of the GroundWorks Board of Trustees. The Akron/Summit Co. Public Library concerts are generously supported by the GAR Foundation, Akron Community Foundation and the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation, the Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation and the Knight Foundation.

About Action/Reaction

Action/Reaction is designed to introduce dance to college students by providing tools based in the creative process of contemporary dance. In a four-part program, students with little or no dance experience, understand the art form of contemporary dance in a deeper way and ultimately articulate their own “reaction” or creative expression in response to GW’s performance. Through an interactive introduction of dance tools and terminology, observation of rehearsals and performance, and finally the completion of a class assignment, GW and students participate in an exchange of ideas and learning together.

For 16 years, GroundWorks DanceTheater has been a vital performing arts organization in the NEO community and over that time, has built many contacts with the area’s colleges and universities. In partnership with these contacts, who are local professors and instructors, GW has begun a new program enhances the course curriculum in a meaningful experience of deep learning.

GW first explored this project as a part of our on-going residence with Cleveland StateUniversity in 2012. Since then, we have partnered with John Carroll University, The University of Akron, and Cleveland Institute of Art, and are in discussions with Baldwin-Wallace, Kent State, Case Western and Judson Manor (Senior Living Facility) for future engagements.

The program is implemented in 4 steps.

  1. GW’s Artistic Director, Educ/Outreach Coordinator and company artists will visit classroom providing an interactive movement experience introducing dance and movement tools, as well as the creative process employed by GW.
  2. Students visit a company rehearsal in the GW studio to observe our process and learn about the program the company is preparing to perform.
  3. Student participants attend a GW performance. Tickets are coordinated by the professor/instructor and are provided at a discounted rate. This is the only cost to the college, and if this is not available though the college or university, GW will provide complimentary tickets.
  4. Students create a reaction to the performance based on the instruction and requirements of the class.

With student and instructor permission, the reactions are shared with GW and may be used for promotion and information through the company’s website, blogs and other forms of social media.

Action/Reaction Goals:

  • To provide students with a deeper artistic understanding and appreciation for dance and the choreographic process,
  • To provide the opportunity for a two-way exchange between GW and students,
  • To connect the creative process of dance-making to a creative subject with which students are familiar, thereby creating a new connection to contemporary dance,
  • To provide connections for GW to younger and diverse populations with the goal of expanding our audience base,
  • To provide opportunity for the wider community’s understanding and appreciation for dance through the creative reactions of students,
  • To build and deepen GW connections with area colleges and universities and offer a collaborative resource for professors/instructors looking to enhance their curriculum.



In a GroundWorks DanceTheater exCHANGE with Cleveland State University, students participated in the CSU Summer Dance Workshop with GroundWorks Creative Residency Artist, Eric Handman.  His new work Remora, premiered during GroundWorks 2015 summer concert series at Cain Park.

Below are rehearsal photos and video excerpts of the experience that inspired the Cleveland State University students.

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Summer Residency | GroundWorks Returns to Cleveland State University’s Summer Dance Program

June 22nd, 2015|Comments Off on Summer Residency | GroundWorks Returns to Cleveland State University’s Summer Dance Program

Next week GroundWorks will again be participating in the CSU Summer Dance Workshop Series. Since being invited to become the Professional Dance Company in Residence at CSU in 2012, each summer this fulfilling program has enabled GroundWorks to

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