BEST CHOREOGRAPHER - 2004
Kristin Van Loon and Arwen Wilder
Kristin Van Loon and Arwen Wilder have spent the past decade setting movement to the words of Gertrude Stein and harmonica practice tapes, diving into wading pools, finding new ways to improvise while grating carrots, creating works for casts of "thousands," and generally elevating the concept of the dance duo to a new level. Last fall the pair decided it was high time for a retrospective and they invited a bevy of lucky dancers to inhabit a HIJACK classic for a few nights. It was fascinating to watch other performers assume roles that were created out of Van Loon's unbridled athleticism and Wilder's intractable cool. At the same time, the retrospective proved that while a HIJACK work might not find its intended emotional or physical target on every try, the development of broader themes is just as important as the duo's desire to be seen onstage. HIJACK closed the anniversary shows with a new duet, "Fetish," a meditation on desire and fierce knee-high leather boots. Performed by the choreographers themselves, this piece subtly transformed the politics of power into the politics of play. Having recently scored a prestigious Bush Foundation Fellowship, Van Loon and Wilder should have more deep thoughts (and plenty of belly laughs) in store for their next retrospective in 2013.