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 is 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.
In a masterful integration of verbal and musical guidance, the workshop has evolved, been modified, and informed by several factors: Manfred’s ongoing contributions and teaching at the University of the Arts and the University of Pennsylvania, and Brigitta’s teaching and studies in awareness and holistic healing practices, including a MA in Somatic Psychology/Dance/Movement Therapy from Naropa University.
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 space for building community.
Implemented and carried on by Group Motion trainees, Group Motion Workshops are also offered at the following locations:
Marameo, Berlin, Germany
with Heidi Weiss and Jenn Mann
Heidi Weiss and Jennifer Mann studied together at Philadelphia´s University of the Arts, where they earned a BFA in modern dance. During their time in Philadelphia, they both were members of the Group Motion Company. They have been living in Berlin, Germany for over 22 years, creating and teaching. In 1996, they founded the Zen in the Basement company and created many works that were performed in Europe and abroad. Through their creative work and developing their choreographic language, Heidi and Jennifer began to develop and codify exercises for teaching, which have evolved into the weiss-mann technique. Heidi and Jennifer have become certified leaders of the Group Motion workshop, under the tutelage of Laina Fischbeck, which now takes place monthly in Marameo, Berlin. Jennifer is also a certified yoga instructor, teaching throughout the EU in festivals and workshops. Both Heidi and Jennifer travel extensively, sharing their knowledge of and passion for dance.
Dancer, producer, choreographer, dance/movement educator, vocalist.
Laina is a facilitator of the Group Motion Workshop since 2010 in addition to her teachings of Experimental Dance through workshops and classes, locally and internationally, for over 20 years, and conducting workshops in various locations in Rennes, France, Germany, US. Born in Philadelphia, USA, she has been living in Rennes, France since 1998. She produces her own work, and performs locally, nationally, and internationally (USA, Poland, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Greece). As choreographer and collaborator, she is looking to bring to the surface the hidden, the unknown, the profound emotional and obscure side of human existence and likes to initiate and produce mixing of art forms, cultures styles, and ideas. Laina received her earliest dance training from her mother Brigitta Herrmann, a student of Mary Wigman, and from her father Manfred Fischbeck, performing dance at an early age. She graduated in dance from the University of the Arts, Philadelphia. Her studies in Butoh include five years with master Masaki Iwana.
CONTEMPRADANCE Center: with Laura Bertin
375 W Lancaster Ave
Strafford, PA 19087
Professional Mime, with a BFA in Sculpture/Performance Sculpture. As a student of sculpture at the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts, she first experienced a Group Motion workshop in 1976. In 1979 she and her husband, Micah began a 10-year career as full-time, professional Mimes and, settling in Philadelphia she continued as a solo Mime until the present. Laura attended COUNTLESS G.M.Workshops & Retreats, along w/ performing in G.M.’s "Community Performance Projects. During the 90's, Laura participated with G.M.’s "Young Audience" Programs in schools, and for a decade she was on the roster for Young Audiences of Southeastern PA as "Mimely Yours, Laura". Certified as a Group Motion Workshop Facilitator she "Founded" Group Motion on the Main Line in 1999, where she serves as facilitator and co-director. She participates frequently in both 'Arden in Motion' in DE. and the Friday Night Workshop (FNW) in Philadelphia.
Arden Gild Hall
2126 The Hwy
Arden, Delaware 19810: with Megan King and Nina Sherak
Megan Murphy King
A scientist in cancer prevention by day, during her spare time Megan combines dance, music, and art to create innovative workshops and performances. She co-directed “Dancing Twelfth Night,” a dancing version of the Shakespeare play, and is currently working on “Poetry in Motion.” Megan is a fan of all things Group Motion™. She is a Group Motion™ workshop certified facilitator and leads workshops in Arden, Delaware. Megan sings and plays flute and saxophone at these workshops and at the Mainline Group Motion™ satellite. She is board president of Group Motion™ and secretary of the Community Arts Center in Wallingford.
Nina received a BFA in dance from Temple University followed by an MS in Exercise Physiology. She also studied jazz in NYC at the Alvin Ailey Dance school, at Paul Sanasardo school of dance, and studied/performed Isadora Duncan technique with Anna Roth with the DLDE dance company. In the early 1980's she studied with Manfred and Brigitta, performed with the Group Motion Dance company in the Philadelphia area, and taught children's movement and jazz dance at their studio. She is ever grateful to have been part of Group Motion since her teens. As a certified Group Motion facilitator, she now leads workshops in Arden Delaware. Her fascination with the mind-body connection led to becoming a certified positive psychology practitioner and coach, deepening her appreciation of the transformative power of Group Motion workshops.