Magazine article Dance Magazine

Erick Hawkins Dance Company

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Erick Hawkins Dance Company

Article excerpt

Audience members who left early or arrived late during this evening of dance would have seen drastically contrasting performances. In Intensities of Space, and Wind (1991) and Each Time You Carry Me This Way (1993), which began the program, the dancers looked ill at ease, their upper backs inflexible, their balance unsure, and their elevation less than resilient. Each work seemed composed of sporadic phrases performed in a spatial vacuum. Choreographic ideas evaporated as the dancers vanished offstage to be replaced by others. The fragmentation was disconcerting rather than intriguing. Was it the choreography or the performance?

One saving grace in this disheartening beginning was the presence of Brian Simerson, a small dancer with cropped red hair whose every move is compelling. Simerson is able to inflect the nuances of Hawkins's dynamics with extraordinary finesse. As for technique, his air work is buoyant, his arms strong and lyrical, and his upper body effortlessly, generously open. He exudes both charm and dignity, drawing attention to himself by simultaneous absorption in what he does and forthright communication of it to the audience.

A transformation in energy and invention ensued for the second half of the evening. Hawkins's new work, Many Thanks, which was performed in silence (the commissioned score by Lucia Dlugoszewski not having materialized), resonated with lively, kinetic wit as unusual decorative gestures of the feet and hands contrasted with expansive strides and leaps. …

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