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How Hez Stalcup Became a Dancer

Hez Stalcup
Hez Stalcup (Photo: Jamie Hopper for The Lucky Penny)

Self-described experimental dance artist Hez Stalcup also engages in some linguistic pioneering through a preference for the gender-neutral pronouns “they,” “them,” and “their” in place of  “he,” “she,” “him,” and “her.” Stalcup has created dance and performance works for Elevate, WonderRoot, and Dance Truck, among others. We met through Dance Chance Atlanta, a showcase that WonderRoot used to hold at the Atlanta Ballet’s West Midtown headquarters. MINT Gallery named Stalcup a 2014/2015 Leap Year artist in residence, and they are a current Work Room artist in residence with the Lucky Penny. Stalcup’s choreographic efforts include Theoria (2013-14), which was part of the Sumptuary series at MINT; Momentum (2015), presented as part of their fellowship at the Hambidge Center in Rabun Gap, Georgia; and Polari-Tease (2016), staged at Ginkgo in Philadelphia. In Nick Cave’s 2015 Upright: Atlanta, Stalcup performed inside the nascent Ponce City Market as one of the somber dressers. To quote from Stalcup’s artist statement, “Their goal is to create smart, queer, emotionally condensed, compelling work.”

We discussed their homeschooled childhood in Virginia and Detroit, how they came to dance at the age of 35, the dance community in Atlanta, and what it was like to be a part of Nick Cave’s 2015 performance.

[This is a condensed eight-minute excerpt of the hourlong conversation.]

Thanks to our partner:

StoryCorps

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