University Coordinator · Project Consultant
Manfred Fischbeck is the co-artistic and executive director of Group Motion Multimedia Dance Theater. Originally from Berlin, Germany, he studied literature and theater at the Freie Universitaet and was professionally engaged as an actor in theater and film before he moved to dance and joined the Modern Dance Company Motion Berlin in 1967. In 1968, he relocated with Brigitta Herrmann and Hellmut Gottschild, co-founders and co-directors of Group Motion, to Philadelphia. Since then, for more than 49 years, Fischbeck has been a vital force in the Philadelphia arts community, choreographing, composing, performing, teaching, and touring with Group Motion locally, nationally, and internationally. Together with co-founder and co-director Brigitta Herrmann, he created and conducts the famous Group Motion Workshop, held every Friday night at the Community Education Center, Philadelphia and in week-long retreats at various centers throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Other contributions to contemporary dance include innovative work in the areas of multimedia and technology and collaborations with national and international artists such as choreographers Wally Cardona, Rennie Harris, Masaki Iwana, Akiko Kitamura, Kenshi Nohmi, Carol Brown, Oscar Araiz, Silvana Cardell, and Susan Rethorst; composers Phil Kline, Andrea Clearfield, Niloufar Norbakhsh, Peter Price, Tim Motzer, George Crumb, and David Ludwig; visual artists Peter Rose, Harold Jacobs, Warren Muller, Joseph Wong, Tobin Rothlein, Quintan Ana Wikswo, and others.
He and Group Motion have traveled to Germany, France, England, Cyprus, Argentina, Japan, Taiwan, Poland, and Lithuania. In 2016, he served with Dr. Miriam Giguere as project co-director of the Dancing Dialogues project with Boris Charmatz, which was awarded a grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Fischbeck was awarded a travel grant by UArts to visit the Tanz Kongress 2016 in Hannover, Germany. In 2015 he received a faculty grant from UArts towards the completion of a book on Group Motion entitled "Group Motion in Practice. Collective Creation through Dance Movement Improvisation," which is expected to be published by McFarland Press in 2018. He has received various grant awards and fellowships, and, under his directorship, funding to Group Motion from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, William Penn Foundation, and other foundations. He is an adjunct associate professor in the School of Dance at UArts, where he has served on faculty since 1985, and he has served as lecturer in the Theater Arts Department of the University of Pennsylvania since 1977.