Hawkins, Erick (1909–94) By Morris, Gay
Erick Hawkins was a major twentieth-century American choreographer who created a poetic form of modern dance based on free-flowing movement. He also was an early proponent of objectivist or plotless dances that did not attempt to express an emotion or intellectual concept, but existed for their own sake. Hawkins had three distinct phases to his career: the first in ballet as a dancer and fledgling choreographer with Lincoln Kirstein’s interwar American Ballet and Ballet Caravan, then between 1939 and 1950 as a dancer and choreographer with the Martha Graham Company, and finally, from the 1950s onward, as a dancer, choreographer, and director of his own company and school. It was in this final and longest phase of his career that Hawkins created a personal movement vocabulary and a sensuous dance whose goal was direct, unmediated experience.