The renowned Group Motion dance company returned to Arcosanti for a one-week workshop. The group has conducted workshops here many times since their intial visit 20 years ago and we warmly welcome them back.
Led by Manfred Fischbeck and Brigitta Herrmann, Group Motion workshops combine structures of improvisation, movement meditations, and contact dance.[Text taken from the Group Motion website]
A 40-Year History — Group Motion began in Philadelphia in 1968 as a contemporary modern dance company, pioneering the art form of multi-media dance theater. Originally founded in 1962 by B. Herrmann, H. Gottschild and K. Sehnert as Gruppe Motion Berlin, a chamber dance company evolving from the Mary Wigman School of Dance.
In 1967, the company was joined by M. Fischbeck for the creation of Countdown for Orpheus , their first multi-media production. Gruppe Motion Berlin performed throughout Germany and Europe, being one of very few modern dance companies in Germany at the time. In 1968, under the direction of Brigitta Hermann, Helmut Gottschild, and Manfred Fischbeck, the company relocated to Philadelphia and quickly received critical recognition, making historic appearances at Judson Church in New York in 1968 and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in 1969, and by joining the National Endowment for the Arts touring program in the 1970s. Gottschild left the company to found Zero Moving Company, while Fischbeck and Herrmann continued as co-directors.
In 1972, Herrmann and Fischbeck created the Group Motion Workshop, an outgrowth of their work with Group Motion Multi Media Dance Theater. This acclaimed workshop has toured nationally and abroad, traveling through Germany, France, Argentina, Barbados and Japan, in addition to its regular Friday night slot at the Kumquat Dance Center in Philadelphia, PA. Led by Fischbeck and Herrmann, the workshop combines highly refined structures of improvisation, movement meditations, and contact dance with explorations of breath flow, sound, and movement qualities. In 1989, Herrmann founded Ausdruckstanz Dance Theater, while Group Motion came under the sole artistic direction of Fischbeck.
Group Motion is one of Philadelphia’s longest running contemporary dance organization and is a locally, nationally and internationally-respected dance company. Artistic Director Manfred Fischbeck brings to Group Motion over 40 years of experience choreographing, directing, performing, and touring, both in the United States and abroad. The company holds its place in the forefront of contemporary dance and dance theater for four decades, creating a substantial body of over 50 works.
Group Motion also has a long history of collaboration with prominent international artists, dancers, and choreographers, including Carol Brown (London), Kenshi Nohmi and Akiko Kitamura (Japan), Oscar Aruiz (Argentina), Wally Cardona (NYC) and Philadelphia locals such as Rennie Harris and Kun Yang Lin. The company began a world-wide touring program in the mid-1990’s and has since taken its repertory to France, Argentina, Japan, Cyprus, Taiwan, and Poland, as well as to venues throughout the United States.
Our work has been recognized by funding from organizations such as The Pew Charitable Trusts’ competitive Dance Advance program and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. In recent years, we have been selected to participate in the Philadelphia Fringe and Live Arts Festivals, the Wilma Theater’s DanceBoom! Festival, the Kimmel Center’s Fresh Ink Series, as well as many other dance festivals in countries around the world such as Japan, Poland, Germany and Lithuania.