Erick Hawkins Dance
Erick Hawkins Dance, photo by Tony Cenicola
Erick Hawkins Dance Company presents Elusive Pierce. This group work choreographed by Katherine Duke reflects a poetic method differentiating known associations, articulating unfamiliar structures of meaning beyond a formulated language, into which ideas can constantly rush.
The Erick Hawkins Dance Company, founded in 1951, has been touring the world since the 1960’s with unwavering integrity and uncompromising working methods. Based on a collaboration of music, design, and movement Hawkins’ dances are performed to live music composed especially for each piece along with commissioned sets by artists and sculptors. Known for a fluid, effortless style each dance is energetic yet poetic, serene and harmonious. The Company continues today to develop dances based on Hawkins’ pioneering movement theory which harmonizes body, mind and spirit.
Katherine Duke began studying with Erick Hawkins in 1983. She made her professional debut with the Erick Hawkins Dance Company in 1986 at Lincoln Center. She was a teacher at the Erick Hawkins School and taught composition for Lucia Dlugoszewski. Ms. Duke became a principal dancer under Hawkins’ direction and performed with the Company until 1991. Ms. Duke’s mercurial grace, purity of presence, and focused phrasing, as noted by Anna Kisselgoff of the New York Times, brought her critical acclaim. Jamake Highwater has written, “There is little doubt that Katherine Duke represents the idealization of Hawkins’s four decades of creating dance.” In 1995, Duke returned to the Hawkins Company as a guest artist and teacher. At that time she assisted Dlugoszewski in setting Hawkins’ Journey of a Poet for Mikhail Baryshnikov. She served as rehearsal director to the Hawkins Company in 1999 and assistant to the choreographer in 2000. Duke became the artistic director of the Erick Hawkins Dance Foundation in 2001. In an effort to preserve and perpetuate the musical, compositional, and choreographic legacies of both Dlugoszewski and Hawkins Ms. Duke facilitates the reconstruction of classic repertory for universities and professional companies. She set Early Floating on Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, produced Company performances honoring long-time collaborator Ralph Dorazio with a New York season for the Company at Lincoln Center, as well as performances with dance companies and universities throughout the US and internationally. Her passion is to share in its purist form the beauty of the technique, the unique approach to choreography, and the principles of this legacy through intensives, workshops, and commissions of new work. She continues to bring the Erick Hawkins Dance Company into the present with archival research that has enriched the Company’s repertory through unexplored works by Hawkins and Dlugoszewski, commissioned choreographers, and her own work.
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