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Dance Dept. partners with GroundWorks DanceTheater

Students to benefit from GroundWorks’ residency, work at Cleveland State

October 25, 2012

By Kelsey Smith

GroundWorks DanceTheater will be presenting their inaugural series in the Allen Theatre at Playhouse Square Oct. 26-27, marking the beginning of a partnership of Cleveland State with GroundWorks as a professional dance company in residence.

The performances will feature the world premiere of a new work by guest choreographer Doug Elkin, along with work by David Shimotakahara, artistic director, and Amy Miller, the artistic associate.

GroundWorks was founded by Elkins in 1998 and is currently entering its 14th season. They are dedicated to the development and presentation of new choreography and collaborations, and have worked with the Cleveland State Department of Theatre and Dance several times throughout the past decade.

With the new arts facilities on East 13th Street, they have decided to officially enter a partnership with the department.

“The beautiful teaching facilities in the Middough Building and the performance spaces at the Allen Theatre in Playhouse Square have made it possible to formalize a partnership with GroundWorks as ‘in residence professional dance company in the Department of Theatre and Dance,’” Lynn Deering, dance program director, said.

This residency includes three one-week residencies with the company throughout the year, beginning this past July.

The performances this fall are the second part of the residency and give students an opportunity to view open rehearsals and have an open forum discussion with Shimotakahara, in addition to seeing Elkins’ and Miller’s completed works.

“He began the creation of a new piece of choreography on GroundWorks during the residency week in the summer,” Deering explained. “So CSU students saw the beginning of the making of the dance, took classes and talked with GroundWorks dancers about the creative process, watched open rehearsals,and then discussed what they saw with Doug Elkins.”

Elikins will be premiering his new work, “My Humming Bird in the Highline,” which blends the movements of ballet, modern dance, hip-hop and martial arts to create unique choreography.

Shimotakahara’s piece is called “Lights Up” and features jazz players performing throughout the performance as a way of drawing attention to the relationship of dancing and the music. Shimotakahara also developed the choreography to “Circadian,” which shows two dancers’ connection to the earth’s rotation and how it affects their internal and external rhythms.

Miller’s work, “Allow,” explores ideas of chaos by using short, deliberate moves. It also features music from Oberlin College alumnus Alex Christie.

The GroundWorks DanceTheater performances are being held Oct. 26-27 at 7 p.m. in the Allen Theatre at Playhouse Square. Reserved seats are available for $20 and $25, student tickets are $10, and students with a CSU ID get in free.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 866-546-1353 or by visiting www.plahousesquare.org. For more information on GroundWorks, visit www.groundworksdance.org.

Photo by Dale Dong