(b Trinidad, Col., 23 Apr. 1909; d New York, 23 Nov. 1994)
US dancer and choreographer. He studied at the School of American Ballet and with Kreutzberg, making his debut with American Ballet in 1935. He danced with the company for two years as well as performing with Ballet Caravan (1936–9). In 1938 he joined Martha Graham's company as her first male dancer, and remained there until 1951 creating roles in American Document (1938), Every Soul is a Circus (1939), Letter to the World (1940), Punch and Judy (1941), Deaths and Entrances (1943), Appalachian Spring (1944), Dark Meadow (1946), Cave of the Heart (1946), Night Journey (1947), and Diversion of Angels (1948). He married Graham in 1948 but they were separated in 1950 and divorced in 1954. He formed his own company and after creating some early dramatic works began evolving the abstract style for which he is best known. Influenced by Greek and oriental art his choreography stressed natural, unforced movement. Some critics remained unimpressed by what they saw as the naïvety of his style, others saw in it a kind of innocent sensuality. He worked in close collaboration with his wife, composer Lucia Dlugoszewski, who accompanied his dances using prepared instruments, and with sculptor Ralph Dorazio. He created many works including Here and Now with Watchers (1957), Early Floating (1962), Naked Leopard (1965), Angels of the Inmost Heaven (1971), Plains Daybreak (1983), Avanti (1984), New Moon (1989), and Many Thanks (1994). He taught his Normative Theory of Movement at his New York studio and gave his first London season in 1980. His company continued to perform after his death and in 1999 premiered two works choreographed by Dlugoszewski, Radical Ardent and Taking Time to be Vulnerable. In 2001 Katherine Duke was appointed artistic director, overseeing both the teaching of Hawkins's technique and the preservation of his repertory.
http://www.erickhawkinsdance.org Official company website for Erick Hawkins Dance