Magazine article Dance Magazine

John Heginbotham: Reveals Why He's Drawn to Creative Mash-Ups

Magazine article Dance Magazine

John Heginbotham: Reveals Why He's Drawn to Creative Mash-Ups

Article excerpt

Back in 2012, after 14 years dancing with Mark Morris Dance Group, choreographer John Heginbotham ventured out on his own. Don't think of it as going solo, though. Almost from the outset, Heginbotham has embarked on a series of fruitful collaborations with other artists, via his namesake company, Dance Heginbotham, and through a stream of independent projects. His creative partners have covered a range of talents and genres: illustrator Maira Kalman (in 2017's The Principles of Uncertainty), opera director Peter Sellars (for Girls of the Golden West, which debuted at San Francisco Opera in November), and contemporary-music luminaries such as Tyondai Braxton and Alarm Will Sound.

When I left Mark Morris, I very specifically did not want to have my own company. But I found I was happy to work with the same people, have them consistently on the road with me, evolving together, developing aesthetic ideas.

We got a show at Jacob's Pillow, and they asked us to call ourselves something. We spent hours trying to come up with a name. I didn't want it to have my name, and I didn't want the word "dance." I wanted a band name, like Radiohead. But after talking to people whose advice I trust, I was convinced to call the dances exciting names, and leave the company name as something that people would understand.

I didn't know I'd be so focused on equal collaborators. And yet I've really welcomed that opportunity.

If you're reacting to something--whether it's text, a piece of music, a painting--you can go with it or go against it, but there is something really solid to respond to. …

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