HIJACK

HIJACK is the choreographic collaboration of Kristin Van Loon & Arwen Wilder. Van Loon & Wilder each grew up in Chicago, met at Colorado College, and established their collaboration in Minneapolis in 1993. HIJACK's roots in a liberal arts setting isolated in the mountains laid the foundation for experimentation, invention without precedent, and making dance out of everything but dance.

“Our dances embrace juxtaposition. Believing work left in dialogue form opens itself to dialogue with the audience, we present two individuals’ point-of- view, yet unreconciled. We ask “how can two different or contradictory elements (people/values) exist together?” with our idealistic belief that they can. In this way we avoid didactic treatment of sociopolitical issues striving, instead, for subtlety and wit when addressing serious subjects. “

HIJACK is best known for “short-shorts”: pop song-length miniatures designed to deliver a sharp shock and collaborations with po-mo hero Scott Heron. HIJACK actively questions where and for whom dance is performed by choosing unconventional venues and projects. Specializing in the inappropriate, they toy with audiences’ expectations through their interpretation of venue. They perform each HIJACK dance in both social and theatrical spaces. Pieces bear the imprints of the places they’ve been.

HIJACK has taught and performed in New York (at DTW, PS122, HERE ArtCenter, Catch/Movement Research Festival, La Mama, Dixon Place, Chocolate Factory), Japan, Russia, Central America, Ottawa, Chicago, Colorado, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, at Fuse Box Festival in Austin Texas, and Bates Dance Festival in Maine. In spring, 2014, Contact Quarterly published the chapbook "Passing For Dance —a HIJACK reader".

To mark HIJACK's 20th anniversary as a collaboration, Walker Art Center commissioned redundant, ready, reading, radish, Red Eye. Development of the kaleidoscopic nonet began at MANCC in 2011. It premiered with full theatrical fabulousness at Walker Art Center in December 2013. This season, HIJACK is pulverizing the work into a trio for small/awkward spaces, calling it Tchotchke, and touring it to Legion Arts (Iowa) and Colorado College.

Partnership Project: McKnight Artist Fellow | March 29 - April 11, 2015

HIJACK's Aftermath

HIJACK returns to MANCC, entering their twenty-first year as a company, initiating a new project that interrogates their process of making work.  To challenge their approach to performance, HIJACK is creating an exploratory residency, essentially a laboratory that investigates their relationship to improvisation. To initiate these investigations, HIJACK has invited Lisa Nelson to join them for their first week in residence.  Nelson, an early participant of structured improvisation, has developed a practice called Tuning Scores that explores the physical senses in imagination, performance and observation in movement.  Along with Nelson, HIJACK is gathering a group of dancers from around the country to experiment with the skills and material they will be developing.

The second half of the residency will allow HIJACK to integrate the experiences of the first week into their practice.  Additionally, the two are interested in researching Library Science and examining the approach to organizing and storing an immense amount of material and relating their findings to composition and choreography. Aside from the investigation of how libraries hold and make sense of and categorize past information, HIJACK will explore methods of organizing and understanding the future (ie. astrology, personality tests) to consider the connections in time.

This residency supported, in part, by the McKnight Artist Fellowships for Choreographers, a program funded by The McKnight Foundation and administered by Northrop that supports Minnesota individual artists.

  • Photo Coming Soon

Collaborators in residence: 

Choreographic Fellows | January 14 – February 1, 2011

redundant, ready, reading, radish, Red Eye

While at MANCC, choreographers Kristin Van Loon and Arwen Wilder (HIJACK) began the development of a new work based on the investigation of verbal narratives.  Their research included working in the studio with writers Jennifer Portman, Senior Writer for the Tallahassee Democrat, author Pam Ball and author and American Book Award Winner Bob Shacochis as well as FSU School of Dance students. As part of Kristin's focus on journalism HIJACK toured Florida's capital city newspaper The Tallahassee Democrat and discussed issues relating to the endangered status of the print newspaper, the public record and writing history with Democrat staff.  Arwen was specifically interested in researching the area of language development and explored the linguistic rhythm of dance and creation of narrative when viewing dance during the residency.    

During the process of development they addressed their approach to collaboration – as a duet they have a successful model for artistic union, but wanted to challenge their assumptions and reliable structures for co-creating. To this end, they looked at the mythology of HIJACK, the story of nearly 20 years of collaboration with photographer Bill Starr who has been following their work since 1991.  

In addition, they participated in a panel discussion about their collaborative work process with choreographer and MANCC Visiting Artist Juliette Mapp and shared their early work-in-progress at a public Informal Showing.             

  • Kristin Van Loon and Arwen Wilder lead Movement Workshop.
  • FSU Dance Students in HIJACK Movement Workshop.
  • FSU dance students in HIJACK's Movement Workshop.
  • FSU dance students in HIJACK's Movement Workshop.
  • FSU dance students in HIJACK's Movement Workshop.
  • Kristin Van Loon and Arwen Wilder discuss their choreographic process at Informal Showing.
  • Kristin Van Loon and Arwen Wilder perform during Informal Showing.
  • Kristin Van Loon and Arwen Wilder perform during Informal Showing.
  • Kristin Van Loon and Arwen Wilder perform during Informal Showing.
  • Van Loon, Wilder and Morgan Thorson perform during Informal Showing.
  • Kristin Van Loon and Arwen Wilder perform during Informal Showing.
  • Van Loon, Wilder, Morgan Thorson and Jennifer Arave perform during Informal Showing.
  • Kristin Van Loon and Arwen Wilder perform during Informal Showing.
  • Morgan Thorson and Jennifer Arave perform during Informal Showing.
  • Kristin Van Loon performs during Informal Showing.
  • Van Loon and Jennifer Arave perform during Informal Showing.
  • Morgan Thorson performs during Informal Showing.
  • Morgan Thorson and Jennifer Arave perform during Informal Showing.
  • Van Loon and Jennifer Arave perform during Informal Showing.
  • Kristin Van Loon and Arwen Wilder perform during Informal Showing.

Collaborators in Residence: Bill Starr [photographer, writer, archivist and dramaturg], Morgan Thorson, Jennifer Arave [performers]. Slideshow photos by Bill Starr.

Featured Artist

Ralph Lemon

Scaffold Room
November 21 - 23
Center for the
Performing Arts at
Bard College, (NY)

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