MOTION Berlin was founded in 1962 by Brigitta Herrmann, Hellmut Gottschild and Katharine Sehnert as a modern dance company evolving from the Mary Wigman School of Dance.
As one of the few independent dance companies of critical acclaim in Germany at the time, MOTION Berlin performed and toured throughout Germany and in Europe.
In 1967 Manfred Fischbeck joined the company for the creation of Countdown for Orpheus, their first multi-media production. In 1968 Herrmann, Gottschild, and Fischbeck relocated to Philadelphia to continue their collaboration. Group Motion received critical recognition by performing works such as Countdown for Orpheus at Judson Church in New York in 1968. Consequently, they performed at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in 1969, and with The Great Theater of Oklahoma. They joined the National Endowment for the Arts touring program in the 1970s.
Gottschild left the company in 1971 to found Zero Moving Dance Company. Fischbeck and Herrmann continued as co-directors and created the Group Motion Workshop in 1971. Touring nationally and abroad through Germany, France, Argentina, Barbados and Japan, the workshop evolved and continues weekly in Philadelphia and at various locations, also through retreats, and in satellite groups, nationally and internationally.
Group Motion is one of Philadelphia’s longest running contemporary dance organizations.
They have continued to hold their place in the forefront of contemporary dance and dance theater, creating a substantial body of over 50 works that have toured nationally and internationally in countries such as France, Argentina, Germany, Japan, Cyprus, Taiwan, Poland, and Lithuania.
Group Motion also has a long history of collaboration with prominent national and international artists, including choreographers Carol Brown (New Zealand), Kenshi Nohmi and Akiko Kitamura (Japan), Oscar Araiz (Argentina), Wally Cardona (NYC), Rennie Harris (Philadelphia), Silvana Cardell (Philadelphia/Buenos Aires), Kun Yang Lin (Philadelphia), composers Phil Kline (New York), Andrea Clearfield (Philadelphia), Peter Price (Philadelphia), Tim Motzer (Philadelphia) and visual artists Peter Rose (Philadelphia), Joseph Wong (China), Tobin Rothlein (Philadelphia) and Quintan Ana Wikswo (New York).