Ellen Hansen Award Winner, 2009, Hilary Bryan
hilary@hilarybryan.com ~ 510.599.6014


Citizen.Soldier (2008)
Choreography by Hilary Bryan in collaboration with the performers
Performance by Christine Bowden
, Tania Peterson
Photographs by Becky Finley

left foot in army boot and right foot in sport shoe





As Citizen.Soldier begins, this enormous black and white image masks the entire stage. Soft light gradually illuminates two figures on stage behind the image, one changing from combat fatigues into civilian clothing, and the other meandering across upstage in casual athletic gear. The image fades, the scrim rises, and the dancers take off into breathless, athletic partnering and poignant role reversals that showcase the power of these citizen soldiers (both performers are combat veterans) and explore the complicated matrix of their lives as citizens, as soldiers and as women.



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killkillkill (2007)
killkillkill is an 18 minute dance theater work exploring the interiority and immediacy of violence.

Directed by Hilary Bryan
Created in collaboration with the performers: Krissy Barcenas, Christine Bowden, Tamera N. Claunch, Elspeth Erickson, Michelle Hamilton, Jennifer Hart, Lyndsay Lunsmann, Jessica Prachyl, Kristen Roberts, Heather Samuelson, Allen Truong, Jamie Zahradnik

Music by Glen Velez, Wimme Saari, Zoe Keating
Text by Christine Bowden
Set design by Andy Karavitis
Sound engineered by Pavmire Records
Special thanks to Jesus Acosta, Tania Peterson
Photographs by Becky Finley
Commissioned by Sam Houston State University
Première November 29, 2007, Huntsville, TX

Program note from restaging of this work at California State University Fresno, January 2008:
This piece comes out of my confusion that my country is at war, and yet I hear very little discussion of it. What is our relationship to this violence we have initiated? What is the emotional work we do to distance ourselves each time we see images or hear of more carnage and displaced people? And if we are not actively engaging with each other on the topic, how deeply are we each supressing it within ourselves? Not only is our administration keeping quiet about this war -- so are we all. This war seems to be something we are integrating -- each one of us -- in private.

I'm also curious how we differentiate violence against terrorists (and others we name as such) and violence against ourselves. I think that the violence we are seeing in the Middle East is not actually something out there far away. It's right here, inside of each one of us.

The movement for this piece comes from conversations and journal writing by collaborating dancers both here in Fresno and in Texas, where the dance department shares a building with the department of military science. I have borrowed the diagonal structure for this piece from choreographer Steve Paxton (also known as the originator of the contemporary dance form Contact Improvisation). His 1967 choreography Satisfyin Lover features 30 pedestrians (not trained "dancers" in the traditional sense) walking across the stage with all their individual quirks and raw beauty. I appreciate the humanity and the populist stance of this gesture.

We are all here -- living, loving, killing.

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killkillkill photos by Becky Finley (scroll down)


killkillkill by Hilary Bryan, Photos Beckey Finley

killkillkill by Hilary Bryan, photo Becky Finley

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