Denise Szykula is Founder, Artistic Director and Choreographer of Dance Nonce, a major dance troup in Michigan.

She is also a powerful creative spirit with unerring instinctual insights.

Therefore, in the winter of 1997, when I asked her let me do a hitchhiker of her I knew she would contribute something original.
After considering several variations of the hitchhiking pose, she settled on this body language poem that says to me that this person is going to get there whether they get any help or not. The Hitchhiker is photographed in front of St. Columbia Episcopal Church in Detroit which serves as Nonce's rehearsal space.


Denise studied under Martha Graham, Jose Limon and Merce Cunningham in the 1960's and 70's. Szykula is the 1984 recipient of the Michigan Arts Award for Excellenc from the Arts Foundation of Michigan. Her recent works include;

LIFE RHYTHYMS (1996) is the sojourn through life's rhthyms followed by all. Our individual uniqueness determines the direction of the journey. Original music composed by Dana Newhouse.
PALADINS (1995) explores courage which might be private, heroic or called upon for corrupt pursuits.
THE OTHER SELF (1994) reveals the secret character flaws, fantasies and horrific realities of four individuals. The "public selves" are portrayed by actors and the "other selves" by dancers. Original music composed by Dana Newhouse.

STRIKING OUT (1998) A suite of four dances related to "striking out" in love, in life, in baseball, and (in collaboration with me), in anger. Original music by Dana Newhouse.

Choreographing Carl Orf's great choral work,"Carmina Burana", and raising funds for its production currently occupies Szykula's life.

It's hard being a creative spirit in Detroit.

Sometimes it's cold.


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