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American dancer, choreographer, and company director
. . . the important essence of all dancing is movement quality, and its excellence or lack of excellence. I discovered that the wondrous, immediate knowledge of existence that you get in the pure fact of movement can come only if you find that inner quality.
Erick Hawkins (From The Modern Dance, Seven Statements of Belief, p. 36)
Born Trinidad, Colorado, 1909. Died November 23, 1994.
A deeply spiritual man, Hawkins has often been called a “poet” of modern dance. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in classics from Harvard University in 1932, Hawkins began to study ballet, and in 1934 he made his debut in George Balanchine’s Serenade. After a short balletic career, he began his study of modern dance with Martha Graham. The two formed an intense artistic partnership that lasted twelve years. While working with Graham, Hawkins maintained his independent choreographic voice, frequently dealing with Native American imagery and masks, as well as the fusion of American and Asian cultures. Hawkins formed his own company in 1952, expanding opportunities for his unique vision through collaborative work with many composers and artists.