Since 1968, Group Motion’s original work has contributed greatly to the Philadelphia dance community and beyond. They have touched the lives of countless people through their performances, which have included the presentation of and collaboration with local, national, and international artists, and through their workshops, which include international retreats and the ongoing Friday Night Workshop at the Community Education Center.
Group Motion began in Philadelphia in 1968 as a contemporary modern dance organization, pioneering the art form of multi-media dance theater. It was originally founded in Berlin in 1962 by Brigitta Herrmann, Hellmut Gottschild, and Katharina Sehnert as a chamber dance company that evolved from the Mary Wigman School of Dance. Then named Gruppe Motion Berlin, it was one of the very few modern dance companies in Germany at the time and performed throughout Europe. Manfred Fischbeck joined the company in 1967 for the creation of Countdown for Orpheus, their first multi-media production.
In 1968, under the direction of Herrmann, Gottschild, and Fischbeck, the company relocated to Philadelphia under the name of Group Motion Multi-Media Dance Theater and quickly received critical recognition. They performed at Judson Church in New York in 1968, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in 1969, and joined the National Endowment for the Arts touring program in the 1970s. Gottschild left the company in 1971 to found Zero Moving Company, while Fischbeck and Herrmann continued as co-directors. In 1972, Herrmann and Fischbeck created the Group Motion Workshop, which has since toured nationally and abroad through Germany, France, Argentina, Barbados, and Japan. In Philadelphia, it is still offered every Friday night at the Community Education Center.
From June 30 – July 1, Group Motion will celebrate its rich history with a weekend of festivities that includes performances by alumni dancers and collaborators, a mega movement workshop, a book launch ceremony, and party.
Here is the line-up of events celebrating Group Motion’s 50th Anniversary in Philadelphia –
Saturday, June 30th at 7:00 pm
featuring performances by past and present company members and collaborators alongside works by Brigitta Herrmann and Manfred Fischbeck
The Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine Street | Philadelphia, PA 19130
Tickets $50 purchase on Dance Boc Office at http://www.danceboxoffice.com/?p=1391
Mega Group Motion Workshop
Sunday, July 1st from 2:00pm-4:00pm
YGym Dance Theater at the University of the Arts, 401 Broad Street | Philadelphia, PA 19147
Book Launch and Party
Sunday, July 1st from 7:00pm-10:00pm
Community Education Center, 3500 Lancaster Avenue | Philadelphia, PA 19104
The celebration features special appearances by
Megan Bridge with Peter Price, Lindsay Browning, Silvana Cardell with Olive Prince, Aura Fischbeck, Laina Fischbeck with Matthieu, Manfred Fischbeck, Brigitta Herrmann, Ric Iannacone, Erneste Junge with Tim Motzer, Lenny Seidman, Sheila Zagar, video works by Jorge Cousineau with Germaul Barnes, Myra Bazell, Niki Cousineau,Esther Cowens, Monica Favand, Laina Fischbeck, Jennifer Mann and Heidi Weiss; original animation videos by Kathy Rose special book launch presentations by Andrea Clearfield (music) with Doris Ferleger (poetry), Ron Kravitz (music) with Rocky Wilson (poetry).