A Moving Performance: GCU Hosts Group Motion for “Park Spaces”
Artists with iPods Dance across Campus, Using Georgian Court Gardens as a Backdrop
Lakewood, N.J., Sept. 15, 2010—Group Motion Dance Company, the Philadelphia outfit known for its thought-provoking ability to “express the human experience through movement,” will present Park Spaces in a unique performance at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 6, on the Lakewood campus of Georgian Court University.
The event, which is free and open to the public, engages audiences in a way that some might consider “outside the lines” of traditional performance staging. The site-specific piece features eight artists, each with iPods and speakers attached to their bodies, who create “moving music” as they lead the audience from the entrance of the Casino building across campus and through GCU’s Italian Gardens, Sunken Garden, and Formal Garden. Participants are also welcome to download the Park Spaces soundtrack for free a few days prior to the performance and follow along with their own MP3 players. The soundtrack will be available at www.georgian.edu/dance.
The piece is adapted from Group Motion’s City Dances/Parkway, which has been performed along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. Park Dances was re-imagined by choreographers Silvana Cardell, John Luna, and Manfred Fischbeck to include Georgian Court’s historic landmarks and lush gardens. Music was created by Andrea Clearfield, Tim Motzer, and Phil Kline.
The presentation, however different and daring, appeals to dance lovers and to general audiences.
“Our dancers and the non-dance community will both enjoy seeing the GCU campus inhabited by dancers, approaching movement in a very different way than the pedestrian movement we are used to seeing on campus every day,” says Silvana Cardell, program director of GCU’s Department of Dance.
“Group Motion will certainly surprise our community with beautiful dance and original music,” she says. “It also exposes audiences to one of the ways that you can approach dance production—dance outside of the theater—and it offers new ideas about dance creation.”
While site-specific performances like Park Spaces may be new to some audiences, the art form has been around for decades, says Ms. Cardell. Such presentations are often linked with environmental art and are created for a particular site.
“The choreography is generated through research and interpretation of the site’s unique, cultural matrix of characteristics and topographies,” says Ms. Cardell. “Dancers explore architectural, historical, social, and/or environmental elements in discovering the hidden meaning in a space and developing methods to amplify it.”
For more information, contact the GCU Department of Dance at 732.987.2170.
About Georgian Court
Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves over 3,100 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at 90 Woodbridge Center Drive in Woodbridge, at Coastal Communiversity in Wall, and at Cumberland County College in Vineland.
About Group Motion
Group Motion Dance Company began as a contemporary modern dance company, pioneering multimedia dance theater. Originally founded in 1962 as Gruppe Motion Berlin, a chamber dance company evolving from the Mary Wigman School of Dance, the company performed throughout Germany and Europe, and was 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. For more than 40 years, Group Motion has been committed to the teaching and presentation of dance and interdisciplinary art forms, and to providing performance opportunities for local, national, and international artists.
Today, Group Motion is one of Philadelphia’s longest running contemporary dance organization and is respected worldwide. Artistic Director Manfred Fischbeck is respected in the United States and abroad, and Group Motion holds its place at the forefront of contemporary dance and dance theater. 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 worldwide touring program in the mid-1990s and has since taken its repertory to France, Argentina, Japan, Cyprus, Taiwan, and Poland, as well as to venues throughout the United States.
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