GroundWorks Dance Theater Kicks off Fall Performance Series

GroundWorks DanceTheater, Cleveland State University’s Professional Company in Residence, performed in the Outcalt Theatre last weekend. 

The five dancers from GroundWorks performed two pieces of work in this show. One by the company’s current guest artist, Pearlann Porter, and the other an adaptation of an original work by the company’s director, David Shimotakahara.

Porter’s piece, “The Visual Sound of Color,” explored color as something tangible, like a three-dimensional object. This was done through lighting projections and live music accompaniment. 

The piece by Shimotakahara was titled “Transcendence.” This work had been previously set as a dance film and was adapted for the stage in this performance. Both pieces were long,  ranging from about 30-45 minutes each, showcasing the dancers’ stamina. 

In addition to beginning the company’s performance series, on Sept. 30th, Groundworks held a field trip event for students from Bard High School and Cleveland School of the Arts. This was part of GroundWork’s exCHANGE program, one of the company’s outreach initiatives. The role of Education Director for GroundWorks has also recently been filled by CSU professor Joan Meggitt.

Both schools shared dances incorporating concepts learned during their sessions with Groundworks company artists. The Groundworks dancers then demonstrated choreographic elements in their piece, followed by a performance of “The Visual Sound of Color.” 

Cleveland State University theatre and dance students had the opportunity to help with the production in various ways. There were opportunities to volunteer with load-in or strike, assist with the exCHANGE field trip, or usher for performances. Porter also led a contemporary masterclass for CSU dance students this past week. Holding masterclasses for students is one way the dance program is seeking to uphold CSU’s commitment to engaged learning.

Image courtesy of DeAndra Stone

Having kicked off their fall performance series here at Playhouse Square, the company will take the show to Akron Civic Theatre on Oct. 7th and 8th. More information is available here. Note: the performance has parts that may provide difficulty for those with sensory issues.

Author: Trinity Stevens

Trinity Stevens is a current student at Cleveland State University majoring in Dance in Community, minoring in Theatre Studies, and pursuing a certificate in Arts Management & Community Development.