about the work

"What is it?" 

It's dance. (That is to say: physical, performance-based art.)

It's all an experiment, it's all improvisational.

It doesn't always "work". It's not always "good." It's not always easy to watch. Sometimes it is. That's okay.

It's research based. It starts and ends with questions.

It's practice-based. I just keep making things. Studies.

It's physically based, and philosophically based; because movement is metaphor for being.

It's sometimes very messy and unpolished. I like messes. Messes are situations, and situations are interesting.

It's super-mediated, saturated, and mercurial. 

Sometimes it's choreographed, sometimes it's improvised. It all depends on the space, the situation, and the people involved. Which is another way of saying it's all an improvisation. 

It is mostly not supported by big corporations or wealthy donors. 

It's all available online for free, mostly.

It's aesthetically chameleon. Mostly "in-between". In the "ecotone of uncertainty" where biomass is the richest and most diverse. Like a creative estuary. [1]

It's queer, very often homoerotic, or homo-sensual.

It exists both in live form (performances) and in archived form (photographs, sounds, videos, costume pieces, memories).

It's often visceral, sensual, and spiritual.

It's mostly made with my own music.

It's about learning, cultivating responsiveness, instict, impulse self-knowledge, and "response-ability." Responsibility. [2]

It's heavily influenced by the environment, nature, and an awareness of other living things.

It's elements-based. Trying to get at the distilled essence of a thing rather than the concept of a thing.

It's a work in progress.

1. From author and teacher, John Elder

2. From author and teacher, Andrea Olsen

                                                        photo by Chelsea Rowe, edited for unibody by Scotty Hardwig

                                                        photo by Chelsea Rowe, edited for unibody by Scotty Hardwig

about the artist

Scotty Hardwig is a dance and digital media artist, choreographer, improviser and teacher originally from southwest Virginia. With a specialization in digital dance, projection design, and motion capture for live performance, he works with dance videography/photography, projection design, Kinect, Processing, Isadora, and Ableton Live to create rich environments of visuals and sound influenced by the movements of the performing body. He has served as a faculty member at the University of Utah and Middlebury College, where he has taught a variety of courses in contemporary technique, improvisation and contact improvisation, anatomy and kinesiology, dance media, as well as site-specific dance and composition. Recent international projects include the Body & Earth webseries with Andrea Olsen (www.body-earth.org) and the Dance Company of Middlebury: Border | Zones in collaboration with the escuela profesional de danza de Mazatlán (EPDM). He received his MFA in Dance from the University of Utah where he received the Scott Marsh Mentorship and Teaching Award, and was most recently an artist-in-residence at Middlebury College (2014), a resident emerging artist at Bates Dance Festival (2015), and the artistic director of the Dance Company of Middlebury (2016-17). He is also a certified Gyrotonic© Trainer, and a freelance artist creating works for screen and stage across the U.S. and abroad.

photo by Alan Kimara Dixon

photo by Alan Kimara Dixon

methods & inspirations

contact improvisation continues to inspire. From the physicality of weight-sharing, falling, rolling and on-the-spot decision making, to the metaphors of communication and community within the art form, it constantly awakens my sensations and keep me asking questions about humanness and the life within the dance, or the dance within life. 

digital dance and dance for camera is like an contact improvisation between the body and technology. We're saturated in mediated imagery, sound, and cyber-connections - I like to tease apart those frames and relationships, because so much of our information and concepts of being come from a medium or multiplicity of media. It's a delicate, complex, and ever-evolving dialogue.

community engagement and the idea that dance and movement is for every body, and that movement has the power to bring human beings together across borders. Maybe idealistic, maybe naive, but it takes a lot of naiveté and idealism to imagine a better, more peaceful world.

expressionism, meaning that dancing and art-making expresses emotion as well as idea. I go back to the ideas of ausdruckstanz that seeded ideas about movement vocabulary as emerging from state, rather than objective aesthetic frameworks, from impulse and intention rather than dance dogma or lineage truths. And from Pina Bausch, who said: "I'm less interested in how my dancers move than in what moves them."

nature & the environment, and the constant reminder that we are a part of it. Human beings are mammals, and though we often forget it, our fate as a species is tied to this planet. We are a part of it, and every day this becomes more a part of my practice, because "body is earth, not separate but same." [2]

teaching, because everything I bring to my classes becomes a part of my work as an artist, and I'm inspired by dance pieces made by my students, their comments, their ideas, and helping bring their visions to fruition. And because teaching reminds me that this art form is complex, powerful, very very old, and immeasurably deep. 


2. From author and teacher, Andrea Olsen