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GroundWorks 25th Anniversary logo in white
GroundWorks 25th Anniversary logo in yellow

GroundWorks DanceTheater is a vibrant and sustainable organization, nationally recognized for making a unique contribution to the art form and enriching human experiences through the creation of original contemporary dance.


GroundWorks DanceTheater creates and presents groundbreaking contemporary dance as a leader in engaging, educating and enlivening communities.


GroundWorks DanceTheater is a contemporary dance company formed  in 1998 by Founding Artistic Director, David Shimotakahara. Entering its 25th Anniversary Year, GroundWorks is nationally recognized for its contribution to the art form and the enrichment of human experiences in collaboration with some of the most innovative voices in dance today. Work that is created, produced, and supported in Northeast Ohio. GroundWorks’ collaborative philosophy informs its work, in the studio, on stage, and in community. It expands the ways dance is shared and engages with and enlivens the communities we serve.

Fundamental to GroundWorks is the fostering of new choreography and challenging preconceptions about dance. This group of outstanding artists has introduced dance lovers and neophytes alike to an experience that is unconventional, yet deeply human and resonating.


Company dancers partnering each other a piece titled temperance, choreographed by Sidra Bell

The desire to push boundaries is evident in Shimotakahara’s bold initiative: To constantly seek collaboration and input from ground-breaking choreographers of the highest caliber and to make certain that the repertoire of the company is constantly evolving.

The company performs new works by Shimotakahara, as well as commissioned work by nationally and internationally acclaimed choreographers including GroundWorks Artist in Residence Antonio Brown, Rena Butler, Sidra Bell, Peter Chu, Dianne McIntyre, Robyn Mineko Williams, Adam Barruch, Gina Gibney, David Parker, Brian Brooks, James Gregg, and many others. 

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 Cleveland Plain Dealer has described as the “smoldering brilliance” of one of “Cleveland’s cultural gems.”



GWDT is committed to fostering a community that embraces diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, among our employees, students, artists and audiences, on our stages and off.

Through our programming, our engagement with students and the communities of the Northeast Ohio (greater Cleveland and Akron) region, and our efforts to create and amplify a culture based on acceptance and inclusivity, we believe these values will contribute toward a more equitable society.

We see this as just the beginning of ongoing work, and our web page will serve as a living document subject to change as our staff and programs develop new strategies.

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