Erin Halloran Principal Dancer with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and choreographer for Texture retires from dancing - By Alan Obuzor
Erin Halloran is a Principal Dancer with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre who is retiring after over 20 years of dancing with the company.
I owe a large debt off gratitude to all of the teachers that I have had throughout the years and all of the choreographers that I have worked with, they have all played a big role in shaping me to be the dancer that I am today. But I would say that something that has maybe had a larger influence on me is watching and learning from other dancers. It is amazing to watch videos of great dancers, but there is nothing that can describe what it is like to be able to watch, learn, and be in the same studio with greatness everyday. For me to have seen Erin Halloran dance everyday in the studio and on the stage I have witnessed greatness.
When I first started training at PBT school Erin was in the corp de ballet of the company. The entire company was inspiring to me, but Erin was one of the few really special dancers that I knew I could learn a lot from. Starting from
when I was a student and continuing through to today I love to watch and learn from different dancers. I watch people that I like as dancers and try to figure out why I like them, I watch people that I don't like and try to figure out why I don't like them. From watching different dancers I try to pick, choose, and borrow all of the aspects that I like about their dancing, while leaving out everything that I don't like. I believe that learning from fellow dancers and
being surrounded by dancers that you admire and are inspired by is one of the best tools that person can have to grow themselves as a dancer. When I joined the company I got to know Erin better as a person and found out that she is one of the sweetest most humble people that you could ever hope to meet and she has always been extremely supportive and nurturing to her fellow dancers.
When I first got into the company PBT had two small performances coming up where one guy was doing Don Q Pas de Duex with Maribel Modrono one weekend, and then doing the same Pas with Erin the next. With a full rehearsal schedule the guy didn't always have time to rehearse the Pas twice everyday, and with Erin being one of the hardest working and most prepared dancers that you could every meet she wanted to rehearse everyday. So it turned out she was looking for a rehearsal partner. When she asked me to be her partner it was unreal, like a dream come true. Someone that I had looked up to so so much since I came to PBT School had that much faith and confidence in me, when I had just joined the company, was incredible to me. Her being a Soloist and having that much faith in me is probably one off the reasons that Terrence Orr, Artistic Director of PBT, trusted me enough to cast me in Snow Pas in Nutcracker that first year of mine in the company.
A few years after that Erin and I decided to dance together for the Dancers' Trust performance. We looked through PBT's repertoire and found something that we both wanted to do, it was from "Indigo in Motion," a pas choreographed by Dwight Rhoden for Ying Li and Steve Annegarn(Erin's husband). It was Erin and my first time dancing together on stage and we both had a wonderful time. When next years Dancers' Trust performance came along we decided to choreograph on ourselves for it. We created "Fix You." It was an amazing experience! We
work really well together, and as a choreographer I really like creating pieces with other choreographers because it kind of pushes you outside of your box, or your own way of thinking, and it leaves you with a piece the neither
choreographer could have come up with by themselves. The next Dancers' Trust we created "I Know."
When I started Texture I knew that I wanted to have more than just my choreography, and one person that I definitely wanted to have was Erin. When she said yes I was thrilled to have her on board. For our premiere she choreographed a duet for Elysa Hotchkiss and myself, it was a beautiful piece, it was a thrill to dance, and it was great to work with Erin in a new way, her choreographing on me.
One of the things that I admire most about Erin, which is the mark of a true artist, is that she never stops growing. Sometimes artists lose sight of that but Erin is always growing, learning, pushing herself, trying new things. As an
artist I think that you need to have that hunger for more and that striving to further yourself or else you lose one of the things that make your art compelling to others.
A hip ailment has given Erin too much pain to be able to do a farewell performance, and I have heard some fans say that that is a real shame. I see it differently, a farewell performance would be nice but it wouldn't mean that much. The thing about Erin's career that has meant a lot is the countless number of people that she has touched with her dancing, teachers that got to see her grow, dancers that got the opportunity to dance with her, ballet masters that
got to work with her, dancers that have been able to witness her beauty, diligence and work ethic, children seeing ballet for the first time that have been inspired to become dancers, young people that have have been dancing for
many years inspired to continue their pursuit to become dancers, audiences that have been left breathless..........
Erin is now teaching in PBT school, and I know that she will continue to touch and inspire many many more people whether it be through teaching ballet, pilates, choreography, being a mother, or anything else that she chooses to
Erin congratulations on an absolutely phenomenal career! I wish you the very best on everything that comes next!