10 minutes with Hilary Clark

Hilary Clark culminates her DTW Studio Series residency tonight and tomorrow with showings at 6pm. In addition to being a 2008-09 Fresh Tracks artist, Clark was awarded a Bessie for her body of work as a performer with Tere O’Connor, Fiona Marcotty, and Luciana Achugar. She’s also danced with Jon Kinzel, Larissa Velez and Miguel Gutierrez and is presently working with Young Jean Lee.

I loved that your piece is called Working in process since that’s what pulled me into wanting to talk to all the Studio Series artist, this commitment to process based work. Can you talk a little bit about what that means in this work? I heart Studio Series, seriously. I feel like this process allowed me to feel free in terms of the constraints of time and money. With that it has shaped the way I use the time and consider the space. In a lot of ways it has felt like something can unfold in the research of an idea. It has felt luxurious in that way! I am not performing in the piece. Because that is generally the role I play, I wanted to understand how I might shape something form the outside. I understand how to locate and go deeply in the context of another structure or even my own structure, but I wanted to place that challenge on myself, and to understand and embody an experience of being an eye to it. Being inside is something different and I am able to direct and communicate something different and holistic. The material comes from me and the dancers interpret it. In that way we have been building it together and I am embodied in it, but they get to go where they will with it as performers.

Can you talk a little more about this process with your performers? Do their personal histories come into play for you? The dancers are Molly Poerstel, Mary Read and Niv Acosta. I began in September with Mary and Molly and made a duet. I added Niv in February and it’s been a trio since then. I decided to add another person because I really liked Niv and was considering other ideas than the ones in the duet. I felt that this was in the spirit of going with impulses and appreciating the freedom that the Studio Series sets up. For the duet, I find that Molly and Mary (and Niv!) are so compelling. They go really deeply and I was exploring exposure and they have really gone with me on weird tangents and the like. The initial impulse was to explore exposure, in it’s multiple interpretations. I had been moved by this Joni Mitchell documentary in which they are talking about her album Blue and how people had thought that she had gone too far. I wanted to explore the “too far” and what that might mean to me. I am still exploring it. Where the piece situates itself at the moment is that I made this equation that exposure equals truth and truth equals sadness. So I explored that in various ways. We explored that improvisationally and through the body and through a song I developed for them. Those were some of the impulses but the work has taken many divergences. For the trio, I wanted to explore my physical history, and how movement is generated in me and what I like and despise and why. I wanted to break my own rules and figure them out.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: