Founded in 2017, Hawkinsdance is a Tucson-based contemporary dance company that works on a project-by-project basis. We produce work for both proscenium and non-traditional spaces, performing for our Tucson community and beyond.
Hawkinsdance contributes to the Tucson arts community and the collective American cultural landscape through its commitment to the propagation of new choreographic works.
By providing a platform for artists, curating impactful programs, and cultivating community engagement, we create opportunity for human connection, fundamental to a rich culture and essential to the exchanging of the ideas and values of this age.
As we lift up our dance artists and connect with our community, we pursue the horizons of our creative potential and contribute to the forward progression of the universal and ageless art form of dance.
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Shelly Hawkins is a dancer, teacher and choreographer who has called Tucson her home since 2003. Shelly has danced for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and was a principal dancer with Tucson’s Artifact Dance Project. She has choreographed for both the proscenium stage and non-traditional spaces, including the Tucson Museum of Art and the Phoenix Art Museum. Shelly received her Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Arizona School of Dance with an emphasis in choreography and performance, and was the recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award for the College of Fine Arts. She has taught both major level and non-major level dance classes at University of Arizona and the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
Shelly’s choreographic style is contemporary, inventive, and expressive, influenced by Giordano Jazz and Lewitzky modern techniques. Her work is often non-narrative, though typically expresses an evolution or journey. Thematically, her work reflects ideas of feminism, transformation, the afterlife, and an exploration of truth and reality.
"By its very nature, dance is of the moment. It is performance art, made of flesh and blood, living and dying in the same breath. It is an intrinsically compelling expression of contemporary art that belongs in residence alongside other forms of visual art, to be experienced, enjoyed, and critiqued in much the same manner. I am interested in how the impermanence of dance can find residence alongside other forms of visual art and be accessible to the community without diminishing its resonance, for example in a museum or gallery setting. For the proscenium stage, elements of installation or sculptural work can recalibrate a viewer’s expectation to see the art of dance as more than an isolated occurrence outside of the greater art world. Dance speaks to our bodies. It is my desire to create work for my community which inspires a physical knowing, as much as it tells a story and evokes thought."
Founder and Artistic Director, Shelly Hawkins
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