Civic Marquee

Groundworks Dance Theater:

Spring Performance 2023


Groundworks Dance Theater: 

Spring Performance 2023
April 14 & 15, 2023 7:30 PM
The Knight Stage
Two show dates. Please click on the link for the day you would like to purchase:

Be captivated by a world premiere work by renowned choreographer Sidra Bell, the first black female choreographer commissioned by New York City Ballet. Also premiering, will be the world premiere of GroundWorks’ Artist in Residence Antonio Brown's Floating Walls. The contemporary dance work explores the physical and psychological space that one encounters when feeling surrounded by walls. Both in the literal sense and within the imagination.

Two show dates. Please click on the link for the day you would like to purchase:

4/14/23 -

4/15/23 -

GROUNDWORKS DANCETHEATER is a professional contemporary dance company located in Northeast Ohio. Now in our 24th season, GroundWorks DanceTheater is continually pushing the boundaries of what is possible through dance by engaging, educating, and enlivening our community. We are committed to presenting unique opportunities for engaging the community through work-in-progress showings, masterclasses, artist talks, and educational outreach to school age children, college students, and senior adults, along with the development and presentation of new choreography and collaborations. Fundamental to GroundWorks is the fostering of new choreography and challenging preconceptions about dance, for which founding artistic director David Shimotakahara provides the vision. Beginning in 1998, from its Northeast Ohio base, this group of outstanding artists has introduced dance lovers and neophytes alike to an experience that is unconventional, yet deeply human and resonating. GroundWorks enriches its work with subtle layers of meaning that deepen the impact and enjoyment for the audience. GroundWorks’ repertoire includes 60 commissioned works from nationally and internationally acclaimed choreographers including GroundWorks Artist in Residence Antonio Brown, Amy Miller, Rena Butler, Kate Weare, Robert Moses, Ronen Koresh, Dianne McIntyre, Peter Chu, Adam Barruch, Gina Gibney and Robyn Mineko Williams, as well as 52 new works by Shimotakahara. Now in its third decade, GroundWorks looks toward its future, having earned solid support and a growing audience base as more and more people discover what the Plain Dealer has described as the “smoldering brilliance” of one of “Cleveland’s cultural gems.”

ANTONIO BROWN (Choreographer) is GroundWorks Artist in Residence and the artistic force behind AntonioBrownDance, a native Cleveland, Ohio, where he began his dance training at the Cleveland School of the Arts and received his BFA from The Juilliard School. While there, he had the opportunity to perform works by Jose Limon, Ohad Naharin, Jiri Kylian, Eliot Feld, Aszure Barton, Jessica Lang, Susan Marshall, Larry Keigwin, among others. Mr. Brown has also worked with Camille A. Brown & Dancers, The Dash Ensemble, Sidra Bell Dance New York and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company for 11 years. Antonio has choreographed works for Verb Ballets, The Juilliard Dance Ensemble, MOVE(NYC), August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble, Jacksonville University, Cleveland State University, Hunter College, Perry Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp, The Arden Theater Company’s production of “The Bluest Eye”, Drama League DirectorFest, Earl Mosley’s Dancing Beyond and is currently the movement director for The Public Theater’s Shakespeare Initiative and Associate Choreographer for upcoming Broadway musical “Black No More”.   

SIDRA BELL (Choreographer) is the founder of Sidra Bell Dance New York (EST 2001) and a dancer, choreographer, and educator who is currently a Master Lecturer at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, an Adjunct Professor LINES Ballet/Dominican University and an Adjunct Professor at Ball State University in Indiana. She has been an artist in residence at University of Oklahoma (Brackett Distinguished Visiting Artist Chair), Harvard University, and an Adjunct Professor at Georgian Court University, Marymount Manhattan College and Barnard College.  Bell received a BA in History from Yale University and an MFA in Choreography from Purchase College Conservatory of Dance. She is the founder and creative director of the award winning MODULE Laboratory, a New York City based immersive platform for movement and theater artists. Bell has won several awards, notably a First Prize for Choreography at the Solo Tanz Theater Festival in Stuttgart, Germany and a National Dance Project Production Award from the New England Foundation for the Arts. In 2017 Mayor Thomas Roach named February 3 “Sidra Bell Day” in White Plains, NY. Her work has been seen throughout the United States and in Denmark, France, Austria, Bulgaria, Turkey, Slovenia, Sweden, Germany, China, Canada, Aruba, Korea, Brazil, and Greece. Bell has created over 100 works notably for Nevada Ballet Theater, BODYTRAFFIC, Ailey II, The Juilliard School, Whim W'Him, Boston Conservatory at Berklee College, River North Dance Chicago, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Sacramento Ballet, Boulder Ballet, New Dance Partners Kansas City, Ballet Austin, Springboard Danse Montréal, Boulder Ballet and Alonzo King's LINES Ballet School, among many others. She was the first Black female choreographer commissioned to create work for New York City Ballet where she created two works for film and the Lincoln Center stage (Fall Fashion Gala 2021 and Innovators & Icons Program). She has been nominated for a 2022 Bessie NY Dance & Performance Dance (Outstanding Choreographer) for 2021’s SUSPENDED ANIMATION for New York City Ballet.

DAVID SHIMOTAKAHARA (Executive Artistic Director) has been a member of the Atlanta Ballet, Boston Repertory Ballet, Kathryn Posin Dance Company, and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. He performed with Ohio Ballet under the direction of Heinz Poll from 1983-1999. He has been awarded 8 Individual Artist Fellowships for Choreography from the Ohio Arts Council from 1996 to 2016. Mr. Shimotakahara received the 2000 Cleveland Arts Prize for Dance. In 2002 his work with GroundWorks DanceTheater was voted “One of 25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine. In 2007, he received the OhioDance award for Outstanding Contributions to the Advancement of the Dance Artform. Mr. Shimotakahara was a 2008 recipient of the first COSE Arts and Business Innovation awards as the founder of GroundWorks DanceTheater. In 2010 and 2013 Shimotakahara received a Creative Workforce Fellowship, a program of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture, funded by Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.

AHNA BONNETTE (Dancer) grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona where she trained, taught, and set solo competition dances at Dance Connection Scottsdale. At 18, she was accepted into SUNY Purchase to pursue a BFA in dance. In 2021, she traveled with choreographer Peter Chu, répétiteur Roger Van der Poel and Jenni Gordon to aid in setting repertoire and host dance intensives at competition dance studios in Texas, Florida, and California. She then spent 5 weeks assisting Chu and Van der Poel in Germany as they set a work on Augsburg Ballet. In addition to performing, Bonnette over her career, has also developed a deep passion for creating with, and teaching young dancers.

MADISON PINEDA (Dancer) began her early dance training in Sacramento, CA and Keller, TX. At age 16, she attended The Joffrey Ballet School’s New York City Jazz and Contemporary Program, and in 2021, graduated with a BFA degree from The Juilliard School where she received the Martha Hill Award and the Juilliard Career Advancement Fellowship Grant. She has also trained at the Jacob’s Pillow Contemporary Dance Festival, the Nederlands Dans Theater Summer Intensive, and the Arts Umbrella Summer Dance Intensive. Madison has performed the dance works of Martha Graham, Crystal Pite, Paul Taylor, Ohad Naharin and Rena Butler. She appeared in the 2021 Warner Brothers film, “In the Heights.”

TEAGAN REED (Dancer) is a Saint Petersburg, Florida native and started training and competing in Scottish Highland dance at age 12. “Tea” then trained in ballet at the Patricia Ann Dance Studio, attended the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and The Hubbard Street Professional Program in Chicago. Tea has been a freelance dance artist with Fukudance, Adam Weinert & Company, the A.R.T. at Harvard University, Dance in the Parks Chicago, and Aerial Dance Chicago. In 2021, Tea founded the inaugural pro.noun dance festival to help queer dance artists gather and create. 

VICTORIA RUMZIS (Dancer) is a Chicago native and began dancing at age 14 at Dancenter North. She continued her studies at Point Park University where she received her BFA in dance, graduating magna cum laude. Additionally, Tori received training at Axis Connect, Movement Invention Project, ODC and Salt Contemporary Dance. She has also had the privilege of performing as a company member with Aerial Dance Chicago, Ensemble180, Dance in the Parks, Hedwig Dances and New Dances (under the direction of Melissa Thodos and Julie Nakagawa). Along with performing, Tori has enjoyed working as a dance teacher, choreographer, and certified yoga instructor.

MATTHEW SAGGIOMO (Dancer) grew up in the small town of Sayre, Pennsylvania where he began his dance training of all styles, starting at the age of 6. At 18, he continued his dance training at Elite Danceworx in Ontario, Canada. Matthew then attended Point Park University where he earned a BFA in Dance in 2022. Additionally, Matthew has attended dance training programs at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and Utah’s SALT Contemporary Dance. He has also worked as a company member with Pittsburgh’s The Pillow Projects. He has performed at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Open Air dance series, and at the Pittsburgh Opera Fashion Show.

Facebook: @GroundWorksDanceTheater
Instagram: @groundworksdance

The Akron Civic Theatre thanks these
foundations and corporations for their support:

Knight Foundation
PNC Bank
Akron Community Foundation
Ohio Arts Council
Peg's Foundation
Corbin Foundation
Lehner Family Foundation
Thomas & Lisa Mandel Family Fund
Akron Civic Commons
Huntington National Bank
City of Akron
County of Summit
ICF Foundation
Akron Civic Theatre Women's Guild
Knox Marketing
Sisler McFawn Foundation
Synthomer Foundation
FirstEnergy Foundation
M G O'Neil Foundation
GPD Group
Printing Concepts
Calhoun Charitable Trust
Akron Childrens Hospital
Greer Family Foundation
Harwick Standard
Steere Enterprises
Hilton Garden Inn
The Berroteran Group
Cohen & Company
Ernst & Young
Great Lakes Honda
Greater Akron Chamber
Malco Products
Maynard Family Foundation
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United Way of Summit and Medina
The University of Akron
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Crystal Dental Lab
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