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Erick Hawkins (1909–1994) was a leading American modern-dance choreographer and dancer. Born in Trinidad, Colorado, he majored in Greek civilization at Harvard University, graduating in 1930. A performance by the German dancers Harald Kreutzberg and Yvonne Georgi so impressed him that he went to Austria to study dance with the former. Later, he studied at the School of American Ballet. Soon he was dancing with George Balanchine's American Ballet. In 1937, he choreographed his first dance, Show Piece, which was performed by Ballet Caravan. The next year, Hawkins was the first man to dance with the company of the famous modern dancer and choreographer Martha Graham. The following year, he officially joined her troupe, dancing male lead in a number of her works, including Appalachian Spring in 1944. The two were married in 1948. He left her troupe in 1951 to found his own, and they divorced in 1954. Not long afterwards, he met and began collaborating with the experimental composer Lucia Dlugoszewski. They remained together for the rest of his life. After leaving the Graham Company, Hawkins' work developed in a unique and different direction. Hawkins moved towards an aesthetic vision detached from realistic psychology, plot, social or political agenda, or simple musical analogue. Important influences were the dances of the American Indians, Japanese aesthetics, Zen thinking, as well as the Greek classics. In some ways, he took dance in a similar direction that “abstract” painters were taking art, though he disliked the word “abstract.” This was coupled with a redefinition of dance technique according to newly understood principles of kinesiology, creating a bridge to later somatic studies. Hawkins famous statement was “The body is a clear place.” Hawkins championed contemporary composers, and insisted on performing to live music. The Erick Hawkins Dance Company toured with the Hawkins Theatre Orchestra, an ensemble of 7 or more instrumentalists plus conductor. In addition to Lucia Dlugoszewski, his collaborators include composers Virgil Thompson, Alan Hohvaness, Lou Harrison, Henry Cowell, Dorrance Stalvey, and Toru Takemitsu; visual artists include Isamu Noguchi, Ralph Dorazio, Ralph Lee, Louise Bourgeios, Helen Frankenthaler, and Robert Motherwell. On October 14, 1994, one month before he died, he was presented with the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton.

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Lucia Dlugoszewski (1925-2000) revolutionized the practice of creating music for dance through her sound composition, philosophical writing, and instrument inventions. After becoming the composer-in-residence of the Erick Hawkins Dance Company in 1953, she, along with Hawkins, embarked on an exploration of the relationship between sound and choreography; namely, the potential for both art forms to function at equal independence and in poetic juxtapositions. Dlugoszewski composed over twenty musical scores for Hawkins, including the masterpieces here and now, with watchers, 8 Clear Places, and Black Lake. In 1996, Dlugoszewski took over as artistic director of the Erick Hawkins Dance Company, a role that she continued until her death in 2000. She herself choreographed a number of works during this time; in particular Radical Ardent, Taking Time to be Vulnerable, Fountain in the Middle of the Room, and Motherwell Amor. Dlugoszewski was a student of the composer Edgard Varèse in the early 1950’s, and her early career was championed by those associated with Abstract Expressionism and/or members of the New York School, including David Smith, Herman Cherry, Willem de Kooning, Ad Reinhardt, John Ashbery, and Frank O’Hara. In 1958, several of these artists sponsored Dlugoszewski’s first solo New York concert, which featured the composer’s invented instrument, the “timbre piano.” Dlugoszewski would go on to design and create over one hundred new percussion instruments in collaboration with the sculptor Ralph Dorazio. These instrument inventions allowed Dlugoszewski to create new worlds of sound and musical texture in her composition - what the composer Virgil Thompson once called “Far out music of great delicacy, originality, and beauty of sound and unusually high level in its intellectual and poetic aspects.” In 1980, Dlugoszewski was the first woman to win the Koussevitzky International Recording Award for her orchestral work, Fire Fragile Flight. Her later work was commissioned by Pierre Boulez and the New York Philharmonic, Mikhail Baryshnikov and the White Oak Dance Project, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Recordings of her work have been released by Nonesuch (1972), Candide (1979), and CRI (1978/2000). Before her death on April 11, 2000, Dlugoszewski had begun preparations for a retrospective of her poetry since 1957.


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Katherine Duke began her study with Erick Hawkins and Lucia Dlugoszewski in 1983. She made her professional debut in 1986 with the Erick Hawkins Dance Company at Lincoln Center. As noted by Anna Kisselgoff of the New York Times, "Ms. Duke’s mercurial grace, purity of presence, and focused phrasing" 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.” She assisted Dlugoszewski in setting Hawkins’ Journey of a Poet for Mikhail Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project (1997). Duke became Artistic Director of the Erick Hawkins Dance Company in 2001. To preserve and perpetuate the musical, compositional, and choreographic legacies of both Dlugoszewski and Hawkins, Duke has facilitated the reconstruction of classic repertory and new works for many universities and professional companies. Some of these include Hawkins' Early Floating (1960) for White Oak Dance Project (2002), several seasons of the EHDC at Lincoln Center (2004-2005), and performances celebrating Hawkins' work throughout the US and internationally. Charles Reinhart invited Duke to set Hawkins' New Moon (1989) for the American Dance Festival's seventy fifth Anniversary in 2008. Jacob's Pillow brought the Company to perform for Hawkins' centennial in 2009 where Duke restaged Hawkins & Dlugoszewski's groundbreaking here and now, with watchers (1957). Her passion is to share, in its purest form, the beauty of the technique, the unique approach to choreography, and the principles of this legacy through intensives, workshops, and commissions. She continues to bring the Erick Hawkins Dance Company into the present with archival research enriching the Company’s repertory through unexplored works by Hawkins and Dlugoszewski, commissioned choreographers, and her own work. Duke contributed to The Bloomsbury Handbook of DANCE and PHILOSOPHY (2021) highlighting the methods behind Hawkins and Dlugoszewski 's creations. Most recently, Duke embraced film with her newest reimagining of Hawkins' Stephen Acrobat (1947) with original set design by Isamu Noguchi.

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Kristina Berger is an internationally renowned dancer and teacher. Currently a principal with the Erick Hawkins Dance Company and an Assistant Professor of Dance at Dean College, Kristina's professional career ranges from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Showgirl to First Female and Westerner to perform the virtuoso solo Hanuman The Monkey King in Bali, Indonesia and worldwide. Berger is a soloist of Lester Horton Dance Theatre (Artistic Director Don Martin). Ms. Berger has also danced with Molissa Fenley & Company, Joyce Trisler Danscompany, and the Washington Opera Ballet. She is a founding member of SWATT in Paris and Zurich, the Dance Series at The Ballery in Berlin, and the Lake Tahoe Dance Collective. Kristina’s latest collaboration with Catherine Cabeen, Glitter in the Gutter, is performed regularly at Pangea Cabaret in NYC to delighted audiences and continues to conjure virtual laughter via their channel @glitterintheguttertv. As a two-year scholarship student at Jacob’s Pillow, Kristina developed a rich history returning to the Pillow as assistant/ demonstrator for master teacher Milton Myers, whom she traveled the world with in this prestigious position. At the Pillow, Berger has performed with BALAM Dance Theatre and Erick Hawkins Dance Company (featured in the Pillow's virtual views), and recorded an oral history for the Jacob’s Pillow Archives. Kristina has been on dance faculty at Marymount Manhattan College, Steps on Broadway, Joffrey School of Ballet, Peridance Capezio Center, Ballet Arts at City Center, with guest artist positions at Taiwan National University of the Arts, La Guardia High School of Performing Arts, Tecniche di Danza Moderna in Rome, Italy, Boston Youth Moves, Boston Arts Academy, Harvard-Radcliffe Modern Dance Co., and Lake Tahoe Dance Festival.

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Jacquelyne Boe is Houston based professional choreographer, dancer, and educator interested in collaboration and experimentation. A graduate of the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, she received a BFA from the University of Oklahoma, where she graduated as the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts, Graduate of the Year. She is currently a company member of the Erick Hawkins Dance Company, Frame Dance, and Hopestone Dance. Boe has also worked with organizations and individual artists such as Houston Grand Opera, Noble Motion Dance, Open Dance Project , Sean Curran, and Rob Ashford. Creating original works since 2014, her work has been commissioned by the Society of the Performing Arts and has been funded by the City of Houston, City Initiative Grant through the Houston Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs and Houston Arts Alliance. Boe is a founding member of a choreographer collective: Perspective Exchange that brings cross-country choreographers together for an annual live performance. Boe was named Houston Press’ 100 Creatives and was a recipient of Dance Source Houston's Artist in Residence Program. She has recently received residency through Lawndale Studio Artist Program 2019-2021. Jacquelyne teaches a wide range of technical levels and ages for organizations such as Frame Dance, The Hope Project and the Houston Ballet. She is also a Romana Kryzanowska, 3rd Generation Classical Pilates Instructor.

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Antonio Fini is an Italian born modern dancer, choreographer, and director. Stylistically, Antonio merges athleticism with art, bringing fluid energy to the simplest of intentions. He marries romance with animalistic movement, creating elegance and poise on stage and film. Antonio has been a guest artist for the Erick Hawkins Dance Company, Kosovo Ballet, Staten Island Ballet, Long Island Ballet, Boca Ballet Theater, Mare Nostrum Elements and the Martha Graham Dance Ensemble. As choreographer he created works for the National Ballet of Kosovo, Roi Escudero, the Players of the Square Company, and La danza dei camorristi for the New York City Opera. He has performed as a principal dancer for the Michael Mao Dance Company in New York City since 2010. In 2010 he was awarded Emerging Choreographer at Stefano Valentini Award III Edition. He received the Altomonte Dance Award, and in 2014  the Teatro Carcano Award. Antonio has choreographed for Talent on Stage in Milan, for Siris Festival of Nova Siri Diego e Isabella, Ethno-show in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Milan, and in 2005 he won the Olympics Game of Dance in Milan. In 2013 Antonio was commissioned by Kosovo Ballet to create Where the Light Falls. Antonio has taught dance at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, SLK Ballet and throughout Italy, in Spain, Switzerland, France, Kosovo, and Alaska. He is also a certified Pilates Instructor as well as a Reiki healer. In 2011 he founded AJD-Alto Jonio Dance Festival in his native Villapiana to provide a platform for young dance talents of Italy. In 2013 Antonio created the Italian International Dance Festival. 

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Erin Jennings relocated to the Hudson Valley from Manhattan where she was active in film, dance, and theater. Jennings has performed leading roles in touring, international and regional productions which include A Chorus Line (Kristine), West Side Story (Graziella), Carousel (Louise), My Fair Lady, The Who’s Tommy, and Grease. Jennings also danced with Pilobolus CS, Germaul Barnes in ViewsicEx, Olsi Gjeci in Sublime Dance Co, Erica Essner, Charles Moulton, Gaspard Louis, and for many years with CEule Dance and Shadowbox Theatre. Her choreography, presented on various stages and venues, has been noted in the NYTimes. Movement and its ability to create connection continues to inspire Erin’s teaching, choreography, and contact improvisation. A teacher of dance and yoga at The Dance Conservatory, Barefoot Dance Center, and OCSOD, Jennings is thrilled and grateful to dance, create and co-present modern dance performances with family, friends, and guests for Putnam County Dance Project. Erin is a member of the Actor’s Equity Association and a graduate of Bucknell University (B.A. Psychology) and New York University (MA Dance/Ed).

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Louis Kavouras began studying Hawkins dance technique in 1983. He has been a principal dancer of the Erick Hawkins Dance Company and faculty member of the Erick Hawkins Schoolof Dance since 1996. Louis received his MFA from Case Western Reserve University where his mentors in Hawkins were Katherine Karipides and Kelly Holt. At Case Western Reserve he apprenticed with Henry Kurth, a scenic designer for Hawkins, Martha Graham and Arch Lauterer. Louis has studied with modern dancers Erick Hawkins, Kelly Holt, Katherine Duke, Cathy Ward, Douglas Andresen, Katherine Karipides , Betty Jones, Lucas Hoving, Donald McKayle, Peter Pucci, Gus Solomons, Rudy Perez, Claire Porter, John Malashock and Clay Taliaferro. Louis is accomplished as a dancer, choreographer, designer, visual and graphic artist. His dances have been showcased across the United States as well as internationally in Australia, Scotland, England, China , Korea, Japan, Denmark, Russia, Nova Scotia, Turks and Caicos, Monaco, and Jamaica. He comes from a total theater tradition and explored all interdisciplinary avenues between the arts. Louis joined the University of Nevada Las Vegas Dance Faculty in 1992. In 1994 he was elected chair of the department. At UNLV, he has established the Erick Hawkins West Institute with he goal of archiving, preserving, reconstructing and studying the profound contributions of Erick Hawkins and Lucia Dlugoszewski. UNLV is home the the Erick Hawkins Collection of Masks, Scenic Designs, Costumes and Hawkins Design Properties.

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Leighann Kowalsky is an NYC & Hudson Valley based dance artist. Having toured internationally as an Irish Dancer at an early age, Kowalsky trained in contemporary and modern before dancing with a number of choreographers and companies. Kowalsky currently travels        the globe performing, producing, choreographing and educating. More recently, Kowalsky has been engaged in an MFA in Choreography      program at Jacksonville University while training as an aerialist and acting as the Director of Operations at the Contemporary Circus and Immersive Arts Center.

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Jeff Lyon was given ballet lessons and a motorcycle at age 6. A graduate from the dance conservatories of Interlochen Arts Academy and SUNY Purchase, Lyon has been working with the Erick Hawkins Dance Company since 2003. Lyon has also performed with Sens Productions, AMDaT, Gina Gibney Dance Company and Siren Modern Dance in parking garages, on escalators, in and on top of theaters, museums, military forts and swimming pools. He was an original cast member of Punchdrunk's Sleep No More, and Third Rail Projects The Grand Paradise. Lyon performed in classic plays from Shakespeare, Chekov, and Agatha Christie in Baby Head Production’s episodic immersive theater drama Here. Dancing with fire is Lyon’s most recent adventure as a member of the Pyro Department.

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