GROUP MOTION HISTORY
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.
“Powerful strong readiness to take on movement and explore its directions.” -- NEW YORK TIMES
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).