In advance of tonight’s performance at Cain Park, we sat down with Guest Artist Eric Handman to talk about how the final weeks of rehearsals have gone.


[Shimotakahara] asked me earlier this week if the piece emerged as I imagined it. I think my response of ‘I hope not!’ caught us both by surprise,” says Handman. “”Every creative process is a test about whether or not we can pull something off. Creativity for me is much more about method than it is about imagination. Method is absolutely crucial to generating wildly imaginative outcomes.”

In Handman’s words, this work is truly the result of the discovery & moment by moment choices he made with the Groundworks team. He has been very impressed by the caliber of artists within the company & throughout Northeast Ohio.

“The arts community is so very sophisticated here. After my experience in the area I was left with a confirmation of the professionalism & rigor of the Cleveland community. This is a community of the highest standards. I was able to have the type of artistic conversations that I always hope to have with the artists I work with. The artist here simply, get it.”

Handman was also very complimentary of his experience teaching a workshop at Cleveland State University’s Summer Dance Intensive. He says the experience was extremely smooth – the students were excited to participate in the same process that Handman used with Groundworks’ dancers.

“The first two days we concentrated on technique. On the third day we played a compositional game where the class was divided into 4 groups. Each group created small movement phrase. We then played a game called “Reading the Room” – each dancer connecting one body part to one architectural element of the room The groups would then add each participant’s movement together to develop a phrase. The final part is puppeting (where one participant is the puppet & the rest of group are puppeteers that move puppet through the phrase they dev as a group). This allows them to work through partnering as a group. In an hour they created 4 short studies (as 4 groups of 6).”

For Handman, the point is to build a group that can navigate initial problem & any others that come up throughout the process. This served him well while choreographing the new work – Remora – for Groundworks.

We look forward to sharing the work with you tonight at Cain Park!