GroundWorks DanceTheater announces its annual performances at the Akron-Summit County Public Library at 7:30 p.m. on November 16 and 17.
Featuring the Akron premiere of a newly commissioned work by guest choreographer Doug Elkins, the program will also include dances by Artistic Director David Shimotakahara and Artistic Associate Amy Miller.
Tickets, $25 preferred seating, $20 general admission and $10 student, can be purchased at www,groundworksdance.org or by calling 216-751-0088.. The Akron-Summit County Public Library is located at 60 South High Street in Akron.
Elkins, whose new piece is titled “My Hummingbird at the High Line,” is renowned for blending traditional movements of ballet and modern dance with hip-hop and martial arts. Critics praise his skillful craftsmanship, his humor and timing. A two-time Bessie Award-winner and a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow, Elkins has created works for Batsheva Dance Company, Flying Karamazov Brothers, Pennsylvania Ballet and CanDoCo of London, among others. He is a graduate of SUNY/Purchase and received an MFA in Dance from Hollins University.
In “Lights Up,” which features jazz luminaries Howie Smith, Bill Ransom and Dan Wilson performing live, Shimotakahara collaborated with the entire company on the quirky and often humorous choreography. With combinations of duets and trios, “Lights Up” centers on the interplay of the dancing and the music.
Miller’s “Allow,” which explores the ideas of chaos and split-second coherence with short, deliberate moves and dancers passing between each other in thrusting patterns, is punctuated by a musical soundscape created by Oberlin alum Alex Christie.
In Shimotakahara’s “Circadian,” set to original music by Music Director Gustavo Aguilar, two dancers connect to the external and internal rhythms associated with the earth’s rotation, affecting our behavior and biology, and the deepest forces of attraction.
Doug Elkins' new work was commissioned with generous assistance from Chuck and Charlotte Fowler through their contribution to GroundWorks NewWorks Fund. The project was also supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Cleveland Foundation and the Kulas Foundation.
The Akron-Summit County Library performances feature new GroundWorks dancer Annika Sheaff, who earned a BFA from The Juilliard School. A four-year veteran of Pilobolus Dance Theater, she taught workshops and master classes for the company worldwide. Sheaff has worked with Inbal Pinto, Avshalom Pollak, Ohad Naharin, Paul Taylor and Aszure Barton, among others. Commercially she has collaborated with “ Sesame Street ,” “America's Got Talent,” Dance Magazine, and Extra.
Now in its 14 th season, GroundWorks was founded by Shimotakahara in 1998 and is dedicated to the development and presentation of new choreography and collaborations. The five-member Company performs new works by Shimotakahara and artistic assistant Amy Miller, as well as commissioned work by nationally and internationally acclaimed choreographers including Ronen Koresh, Dianne McIntyre, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Jill Sigman, Gina Gibney, David Parker and others.
GroundWorks DanceTheater’s annual programming is made possible with funding from The National Endowment for the Arts, The Ohio Arts Council, Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, The Cleveland Foundation, The George Gund Foundation, The Murphy Foundation, The Kulas Foundation, The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation, Cleveland City Dance, Individual Contributors, and Members of the GroundWorks Board of Trustees. The Akron/Summit Co. Public Library concerts are generously supported by the GAR Foundation, Akron Community Foundation and the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation, the Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation and the Knight Foundation.
GroundWorks Dance Theater is located at 13125 Shaker Square, Suite 102 in Cleveland, Ohio. For more information, visit www.groundworksdance.org.