Dance Kaleidoscope's David Hochoy is honored in D.C. 

Dance Kaleidoscope's David Hochoy is honored at The Institute of Caribbean American Heritage Awards

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The DK announcement reads: “Dance Kaleidoscope's Artistic Director, David Hochoy, will be honored in Washington D.C. on Friday, November 18 at The Institute of Caribbean American Heritage Awards. A native of Trinidad, West Indies, David will be honored for his long career in dance with the Excellence in the Arts Award.

“As we head into Thanksgiving next week, this is our chance to say again how thankful we are to have David leading DK's artistry for over 25 years.


David Hochoy was appointed DK’s artistic director in 1991. Founded in 1972 by Young Audiences of Indiana, Dk’s earliest seasons featured works by top-ranked choreographers from elsewhere, with the company of dancers interpreting these differing artistic voices.

Hochoy’s arrival and tenure have been marked by his commitment to build a distinctive company on a foundation of finding their own truth, their own voice. Though grounded in the discipline of the Martha Graham Dance Company, and though embracing much of Graham’s aesthetic philosophy, Hochoy nevertheless set aside Graham’s sense of darkness and mined the sense of joy to be found in all aspects of life. His oeuvre over a quarter century has brought us to find and engage with sparks of wonderment.

Over the years of writing about DK, I came to recognize Hochoy’s choreography as reflecting and refracting a multi-faceted layering of experiences; growing up in Trinidad, emigrating to the US and gaining insights from living in multiple locations before coming to Indianapolis 25 years ago—to me, the birth-place music in his bones consistently brought something special to his concept of movement as a way to engage us viscerally and intellectually.

Over the years David has been gracious with sharing his thoughts, his approach to developing an ever-changing roster of dancers equally noted for longevity — some dancers have spent an entire professional career with DK — while simultaneously growing new generations of patrons to support contemporary dance on a variety of platforms and in different venues.

On Nov. 17, Hochoy replied to an email interview en route to Washington, D.C to receive one of nine Caribbean American Heritage awards.

NUVO: At this moment when an election campaign has taken us into a darker side of relationships with each other, could you comment on your life-long mantra on the essentiality of the Arts in general and dance in particular as a way to lead each of us into our 'best selves' and by extension into greater understanding of the beauty and dignity of our diverse humanity as a unifying tradition.

David Hochoy: As a young boy growing up on the sunny island of Trinidad, I had no idea that the multicultural abundance of life which surrounded me at the time would have such a profound influence on what I chose to do with my life, and the passion for dance which has held me in its grip all of these years. The path to self-actualization has produced an artistic life that has been filled with joy, wonder and celebration of the marvels of existence.

NUVO: Why, at this very moment in time, this Heritage recognition has special meaning for you?

Hochoy: This Heritage recognition is special because it comes from an unfamiliar source, and also because to me it recognizes the Indianapolis community which I inhabit, and to whom I am eternally grateful for having received my work with open and loving arms.

NUVO: You have brought 25 years of memorable 'stories' to life with your choreography yet the one that most touched me, and holds me in its grip [I still see the work unfold in my head, and feel it in my gut] is the story of and with/ your Father. In sharing this intimate slice of your life, what was/is your best hope for each of us to find our special personal place within our ancestry, our lineage, and our divergences from and enduring connections with them

Hochoy: Martha Graham never tired of saying to us, "What makes you special? How many drops of blood went into the making of you? What is in that blood that is seen and not seen?" For all of my friends and colleagues, I celebrate our differences and diversity, our individuality and our shining lights, because in revealing them, we make the world a richer and more vibrant place.

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Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn

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Rita Kohn has been covering craft beer and the arts for NUVO for two decades. She’s the author of True Brew: A Guide to Craft Beer in Indiana.

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