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New summer dance program ‘nextSPACE’ one of a few recent developments for GroundWorks DanceTheater

by Steve Sucato, Jimmy Schlemmer
July 19, 2020
Cleveland, Ohio
Akron, Ohio
Amid uncertainty over the global pandemic and the ways forward for arts organizations, Cleveland’s GroundWorks DanceTheater is making the best of the uncertainty by doing what dance companies do best; getting creative.

Their new summer dance program nextSPACE, running now – August 22 is an interconnected series of activities and performances in both live and virtual spaces around Cleveland and Akron.

Each week, the company invites the Northeast Ohio community to connect, react, and experience GroundWorks in a variety of ways. nextSPACE will feature a virtual happy hour, artist talks, outdoor and online movement classes for dancers and non-dancers as well as pop-up, drive-in-style performances.

nextSPACE has been carefully planned and crafted to ensure the safety of all participants in strict adherence with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health authority guidelines.

See below for a full rundown of nextSPACE programming.

nextSPACE isn’t the only new development with the company. With the end of last season, three of GroundWorks five dancers have moved on from the company. Michael Arellano joined Seattle contemporary dance company Whim W’Him and Alexis Britford and Spencer Dennis have left for other pursuits.

Auditions began in March for three new dancers but those were put on hold due to the pandemic. So for now GroundWorks’ activities and performing, including nextSPACE, will be done by Annie Morgan and Nicole Hennington.

The nextSPACE concept is about finding different and creative ways to continue to engage and connect with community,” says GroundWorks Executive Artistic Director, David Shimotakahara. “So what space is that? It could be online or somebody’s porch, who knows.”

The nextSPACE concept is something Shimotakahara sees the company continuing to do with for the foreseeable future. “It’s a tricky equation,” he says, balancing what GroundWorks’ does with the health and safety concerns of all involved.

nextSPACE PROGRAMMING SCHEDULE

To register for any of these programs and the most up-to-date information, visit: groundworksdance.org/nextspace.

JOURNEY: PUBLIC ART SHARE

Journey with GroundWorks across Northeast Ohio as they explore creative spaces in our community through different pieces of Public Art. Each week, GroundWorks will share pictures their dancers and staff have taken of their favorite murals and other pieces from both the Cleveland and Akron areas while highlighting information about the artists and their work. Join them for this and more through the company’s new nextSPACE Summer Series. This part of the program will be ongoing throughout. GroundWorks is encouraging people to participate and share their reactions to their favorite murals around the region.

CONNECT: OUTDOOR AND VIRTUAL CLASSES

Creative Process for Pre-Professional Dancers – Virtual * Pre-Registration Required
July 21, 2020 at 12 p.m.
Online Class (Zoom Required)


Creative Process is for pre-professional/professional dancers 16+ curious about composition, improvisation, inspiration, and creativity. Class will begin with a guided improvisation warm-up structured through Brain Dance, which was strategically created for non-dancers to center their brains and bodies for physical activity. This will then lead into compositional tasks used to create GroundWorks most recent dance works. Participants will then work in partners to explore different movement impulses and reactions through interaction, before working as a group to create several pieces to share with one another. Class will conclude with a group discussion and reflection following a brief return to individual body and breath. The majority of class will take place seated, though there will be opportunities for full bodied movement in the warm-up and cool down.

Creative Movement for the Family * Pre-Registration Required
July 28, 2020 at 12 p.m.
Online Class


Creative Movement for the Family is perfect for families with active bodies looking for a new group activity – no dance experience required! Bring your household around a screen and come join the GroundWorks team for 45 minutes of activities to keep you and your little ones moving together. Class
will be designed with grades K-5 in mind, but students of any age and their
parents/grandparents/caregivers are encouraged to join us as well! Participants can expect to move together, play together, and create together with the support of the GroundWorks instructors.

Creative Process for Pre-Professional Dancers – Outdoor * Pre-Registration Required
Date TBD, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Lake View Cemetery; 12316 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106


Creative Process is for pre-professional/professional dancers 16+ curious about composition, improvisation, inspiration, and creativity. Class will begin with a guided improvisation warm-up structured through Brain Dance, which was strategically created for non-dancers to center their brains and bodies for physical activity. This will then lead into compositional tasks used to create GroundWorks most recent dance works. Participants will then work in partners to explore different movement impulses and reactions through interaction, before working as a group to create several pieces to share with one another. Class will conclude with a group discussion and reflection following a brief return to individual body and breath. Class will take place outdoors on grass in a partially shaded area. Masks are required to be worn for the entirety of class (60 minutes) by all participants, please notify GroundWorks’ staff of any concerns regarding masks prior to registration. Participants will be expected to comply with spatial distancing requirements on site as well. There will be no access to restrooms or a water fountain at the class location, please prepare accordingly.

Creative Movement in Akron – Outdoor * Pre-Registration Required
August 11, 2020 at 3 p.m.
Cascade Park; 57 W North St, Akron, OH 44308


Creative Process is for pre-professional/professional dancers 16+ curious about composition, improvisation, inspiration, and creativity. Class will begin with a guided improvisation warm-up structured through Brain Dance, which was strategically created for non-dancers to center their brains and bodies for physical activity. This will then lead into compositional tasks used to create GroundWorks most recent dance works. Dancers will then work in partners to explore different movement impulses and reactions through interaction, before working as a group to create several pieces to share with one another. Class will conclude with a group discussion and reflection following a brief return to individual body and breath. The majority of class will take place seated, though there will be opportunities for full bodied movement in the warm-up and cool down.

Creative Movement in Cleveland – Outdoor * Pre-Registration Required
August 18, 2020 at 3 p.m.
Dunham Tavern Museuem; 6709 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44103


Creative Process is for pre-professional/professional dancers 16+ curious about composition, improvisation, inspiration, and creativity. Class will begin with a guided improvisation warm-up structured through Brain Dance, which was strategically created for non-dancers to center their brains and bodies for physical activity. This will then lead into compositional tasks used to create GroundWorks most recent dance works. Dancers will then work in partners to explore different movement impulses and reactions through interaction, before working as a group to create several pieces to share with one another. Class will conclude with a group discussion and reflection following a brief return to individual body and breath. The majority of class will take place seated, though there will be opportunities for full bodied movement in the warm-up and cool down.

REACT: ARTIST TALKS
Happy Hour Artist Talk with David Shimotakahara
July 24, 2020 at 5 p.m.
Online *Registration Required to Join the Zoom Call


Join GroundWorks for our virtual Happy Hour Artist Talks. They encourage you to make your favorite drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) and join them as David Shimotakahara, GroundWorks’ Executive Artistic Director, talks about the making of his newest work “Jigsaw, “ and how GroundWorks is remaining creatively connected and during the pandemic. Company Education and Community Engagement Coordinator, Rebecca Burcher, will serve as our moderator and guide the conversation. As always, there will be time towards the end for open discussion and questions from viewers and participants. Each talk will be streamed on GroundWorks’ Facebook and YouTube pages. For direct access to the conversation, pre-register to join the zoom call. Registration will be open a week before the talk.

Virtual Open Rehearsal of “Jigsaw”
July 24, 2020 at 5 p.m.
Online


GroundWorks invites you into an open rehearsal of David Shimotakahara’s newest dance work “Jigsaw.” The company will be live streaming the rehearsal for the safety of the dancers and audience members. No registration is required for an inside view of GroundWorks’ rehearsal in-progress.

Happy Hour Artist Talk with Antonio Brown
August 7, 2020 at 5 p.m.
Online *Registration Required to Join the Zoom Call


Join GroundWorks for their virtual Happy Hour Artist Talks. The company encourage you to make your favorite drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) and join them as Antonio Brown, Artistic Director/Founder of Antonio Brown Dance, talks about his work and choreographic process, as well as his new commission for GroundWorks during the pandemic. Education and Community Engagement Coordinator, Rebecca Burcher will serve as moderator and guide the conversation. As always, there will be a time towards the end for open discussion and questions from viewers and participants. Each talk will be streamed on GroundWorks’ Facebook and YouTube pages. For direct access to the conversation, pre-register to join the zoom call. Registration will be open a week before the talk.

EXPERIENCE: POP-UP DRIVE-IN PERFORMANCES

Pop-Up Drive-In Performance in Cleveland *Pre-Registration Required
August 15, 2020 at 8:30 p.m. & 10 p.m.
Rear Agora Parking Lot; Entrance off Prospect Ave.


Pop-Up Drive-In Performance in Akron *Pre-Registration Required
August 22, 2020 at 8:30 p.m. & 10 p.m.
Location TBA


Experience GroundWorks DanceTheater with new pop-up, drive-in performances. The performances will take place outside, in selected parking lots, and cars will be circled around the performers. The
performance will feature the world premiere of “Jigsaw” a new duet choreographed by Executive Artistic Director, David Shimotakahara. Come prepared to participate with your headlights! Because of the nature of the performance and the current state of the pandemic, for the safety of our
patrons, dancers, and staff, we will require all audience members to arrive and view the performance in their cars. Due to the limited number of car spaces for each performance Pre-Registration is required and opens on July 20th. While there is no ticket charge, GroundWorks is asking for a suggested donation of $25 per car, and each car can have multiple people inside.

nextSPACE PARTNERS

• Cascade Park (Akron)
• Downtown Akron Partnership
• Dunham Tavern (Cleveland)
• Geis Property Management (Streetsboro)
• Lake View Cemetery (Cleveland)
• MidTown Cleveland

About GroundWorks DanceTheater

Now in its 22nd season, GroundWorks DanceTheater is dedicated to the development and presentation of new choreography and collaborations. The Northeast Ohio-based company performs new works by Executive Artistic Director, David Shimotakahara, as well as commissioned work by nationally & internationally acclaimed choreographers including Eric Michael Handman, Rosie Herrera, Kate Weare, Robert Moses, Ronen Koresh, Dianne McIntyre, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Jill Sigman, Gina Gibney, David Parker, Brian Brooks, James Gregg, & many others. GroundWorks is committed to presenting unique opportunities for engaging the community through work-in-progress showings, master classes, and educational outreach to school children, college students, and senior adults.

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 & Culture, The Cleveland Foundation, The George Gund Foundation, The Toby Devan Lewis Philanthropic Fund, GAR Foundation, Peg’s Foundation, The Char & Chuck Fowler Family Foundation, The John P. Murphy Foundation, The Kulas Foundation, Akron Community Foundation, The Demetros Charitable Trust, The Judith Gerson Fund, Sisler McFawn, Individual Contributors & Members of the GroundWorks Board of Directors.

For more information, please visit groundworksdance.org or call 216-751-0088.
Nicole Hennington.

Nicole Hennington.

Photo © & courtesy of Downie Photography


Annie Morgan.

Annie Morgan.

Photo © & courtesy of Downie Photography


David Shimotakahara.

David Shimotakahara.

Photo © & courtesy of Photographer Unknown


Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown

Photo © & courtesy of Photographer Unknown

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