FRIDAY NIGHT WORKSHOP
*FNW photos/video by: Bill Hebert, Les Rivera
The Group Motion Workshop is a two-hour-long, nonstop guided process of dance/movement improvisation with live music, that originated as a practice with the Group Motion Dance Company in 1971.
Based on structures and scores created and developed by Brigitta Herrmann and Manfred Fischbeck, the workshop combines highly refined structures of improvisation, movement meditations, and contact dance. An ensemble of musicians supports this interactive space with live improvised acoustic and electronic music. It has been conducted regularly every Friday night in Philadelphia for nearly 50 years and has toured to festivals, dance centers, colleges, and schools in the US and other countries such as Japan, Taiwan, Argentina, Germany, France, Poland, Lithuania, Cyprus, Bermuda, and Barbados.
The FNW offers a space for interactivity and communication which is spontaneous, deep, and direct, allowing for new channels of creative potential to open. It serves as a resource for creative and authentic expression through movement and sound and can be utilized as a creative practice for all levels and is accessible to people of all ages (dancers and non-dancers alike). The overlap of participants from different backgrounds and of different ages, adds a powerful dimension of mutual learning and exchange of movement information and encourages the integration of body, mind, and spirit.
These structures are practiced in ways of playing, discovering, and experiencing individually and collectively. Compositions and choreographic patterns can be spontaneously created and experienced. The Group Motion practice creates a ritual, inclusive space for building community.
The Friday Night Workshop has historically taken place every Friday from 8pm-10pm at the Community Education Center (upstairs) at 3500 Lancaster Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104. *Group Motion is currently NOT meeting in person for Friday Night Workshops. We will continue this opportunity as soon as public protocols allow for public gatherings.
A parking lot is located in the back of the Community Education Center off of Latimer Street (access from 34th St only). The CEC is also easily accessible by public transportation via the Market-Frankfurt Line at 34th St and Market St or by Market Street buses, the 10 Trolley at 36th St at Lancaster Ave, or other trolleys at 33rd and Market Streets.
General Admission: $20
Students / First-time Participants: $15
10-Class Savings Card: $150
The Group Motion Friday Night Workshop is now available on ZOOM!
Participants dance together in a shared creative space online, from various locations around the world. Supported by live/recorded music.
Following Covid-19 protocols, we are pleased to offer Group Motion's Friday Night Workshops on ZOOM: 7 - 8:30 pm. In addition, you can find GROUP MOTION - in-person workshop on Saturdays (weather permitting) at Pastorius Park in Chestnut Hill. We offer a practice of movement/dance in the circle of tall old trees, observing 6 to 8 feet distancing and using face coverings.
One dancer's testimonial: "What I love about this experience is that it is simultaneously an inner experience that happens in a profound way. And yet, at the same time it is also reinforcing a conscious community of like-minded, like-spirited, like-hearted, conscious dancers..."
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Move and Be Moved!
The Friday Night Workshop originated in 1971 in a rehearsal session with the GM dance company, led by the verbal instruction of Brigitta Herrmann in interaction with live music by Manfred Fischbeck and other musicians. A specific series of movement meditations, focus on the breath, sound, guidance, and movement qualities emerged as a blueprint. This led to a practice of structures and interactive games of movement expression, communication, and play.
In a masterful integration of verbal and musical guidance, facilitated by Brigitta (voice and drum), and Manfred (voice and keyboard), the FNW has been accessible to people of all ages (professional dancers and interested individuals) for over 47 years, and is still ongoing!
Over the decades, the FNW has evolved, been modified, and informed by several factors: Brigitta’s studies in awareness, holistic healing practices, and Dance/Movement Therapy (including a MA in Somatic Psychology at Naropa University); and Manfred’s ongoing contributions to the workshops, company performances, touring work, and teaching at the University of the Arts and the University of Pennsylvania.
The FNW is a forum for creative and authentic expression through dance, music, and movement. It offers a space for spontaneous creation and communication, implying that dance is a language that anyone can speak and understand. It creates a ritual space for building and celebrating community.
Throughout the course of its duration, which includes hundreds of Friday night sessions in Philadelphia and numerous retreats and tours across the US and abroad, FNW has reached thousands of people: women, men and children from a spectrum of diverse ethnic and social backgrounds.
Upon demand, a Teacher’s Training was initiated in 1998 and has led to the formation of Satellite Workshops in Wilmington, Delaware, and Wayne in Pennsylvania; Rennes, France; and Berlin, Germany.