Scotty Hardwig

Dancer, choreographer, educator, and digital media artist
Oakland, CA

Scotty Hardwig is a dancer, choreographer, educator, and digital media artist originally from the Appalachian mountains of southwest Virginia and currently based in Oakland, CA. As a performer, he has had the honor of working with internationally recognized choreographers like Stephen Koester, Johannes Wieland, Joe Goode, Eric Handman, Yannis Adoniou, Satu Hummasti, and Stephan Koplowitz. His own artistic practice melds an articulate, athletic movement vocabulary with a specialization in digital dance, photography, video, projection and sound design for live performance. As an educator he has served on the faculty of the University of Utah and Middlebury College, teaching improvisation, aesthetic theory and dance history, anatomy and kinesiology, dance media, as well as contemporary technique and composition. He received his MFA in Dance from the University of Utah, and was most recently a resident emerging artist at Bates Dance Festival (2015), as well as the artistic director of the Dance Company of Middlebury (2016-17). More info at

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.”

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.

With Scotty Hardwig

  • Tuesday, April 3: Media & Mythos: The Power of the Image in Intercultural Ethics and AestheticsLecture 10:00 a.m-11:45 a.m. Simoneau House, Van Buren, Street, Monterey.
  • Thursday, April 5: Movement and Media workshop, 7-9 p.m. at DLC D-Space, 420 Calle Principal.
  • Friday, Saturday, April 5-6: NATIONAL WATER DANCE FILM PROJECT. See website to register!
  • April 14: Made at MIIS: See National Water Dance film screenings: