Hilary Easton + Company
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Artist's Statement

From the Choreographer:

I am interested in the human condition, first and foremost, and look to create a forum through which to examine compelling, universal ideas. To that end, I am always looking for ways to answer certain choreographic questions: How can I distill an idea down to its kinesthetic essence? How does a dance's structure determine its impact? How does timing effect meaning? I observe my world with acuity, and translate that understanding to the work.

I am a true stickler for kinesthetic and dramatic clarity but every work is open-ended, asking the audience to determine its own response. You might discern what I, the choreographer, feel about a given subject or idea, but I don't steer you towards the same stance. At the heart of each dance is a challenging concept or question. My latest work, The Constructors, reflects upon the collaborative experience, chronicling the satisfactions and complications involved in "dancing together". Light and Shade is a meditation on intimacy: how it is experienced by individuals, as well as by performers and their audiences. The Short-Cut looks at issues of efficiency: the tension we all feel between the need to get things done and our need for reflection time. It's All True mines the subject of memory, and the ways we configure our personal histories to suit our sense of self. The Reclamation examines our relationship to nature, using the stage space as a metaphor for our tiny planet. I often use text as a tool to frame the work's message in ways that the choreography alone cannot.

But also, I love dancing. I love inventing movement, watching it, doing it. I spent many years dancing in the work of others and it taught me much about what the body can express. One can experience that kinesthetic engagement when watching my work. The movement is weighted, propulsive, inventive and full of contrasts. Movement choices are very much determined by the needs of the piece. The dancing is not secondary but it is rigorously imbued with meaning. When people refer to my work as "poetic", I believe that is what they are noting: the way the actions are fully at the service of the ideas.

I have been very blessed to work with many extraordinary performers and collaborators. I find the ongoing, shared dialogue, both spoken and unspoken, to be tremendously stimulating, and essential to the work. It is this dynamic interchange between myself as choreographer/director, and the dancers, actors, composers, writers and designers with whom I collaborate, that brings each dance to life.

© Hilary Easton 2010