100 Creatives 2012 Oliver Halkowich, Dancer and Performer

Categories: 100 Creatives

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Photo by Amitava Sarkar
Oliver Halkowich in The Nutcracker. (Choreographer: Ben Stevenson)

At the young and tender age of two, Oliver Halkowich, a transplanted "Floridian," began his dance training. Born in the Florida Keys, he studied with the Miami City Ballet School. At 14, he went to San Francisco and studied with the San Francisco Ballet School. After four years in San Francisco, he spent a year in Boston with Boston Ballet II. Boston Ballet II is a leading pre-professional program in residence at the Boston Ballet for performers aged 16 to 21. Ten years ago, he found his way to Houston, where he auditioned with Ben Stevenson. He landed the job and has been regularly seen with the Houston Ballet since.

What He Does: "I'm a dancer," says Halkowich. "I call myself a performer, and dance is an avenue for me to get onto stage and perform. That's what I love to do." However, there is more to his chosen career than just dancing. He wants "to entertain people," stating, "I'm out there to make people smile or to at least make them feel something for two hours." When he is onstage, his primary goal is to "get [the audience] out of their daily life and take them somewhere."

Why He Likes It: Performing is an obvious passion for Halkowich, who candidly affirmed, "I've always liked to be the center of attention." He enjoys dancing professionally because, simply put, he likes being onstage. Another motive is that he likes "to be someone else for a little while." He explains that when onstage, "you don't really see the audience" and that is how, like the audience, he can escape into his own world. This is what gives him his "chance to get away and pretend like [he's] somebody else, which is exciting."

If Not This, Then What: As a child and young adult, Halkowich was also involved in swimming, diving, gymnastics, karate, and the jazz and tap styles of dancing. "Before I went to San Francisco at 14, I was diving alongside of dance," he elaborates. "So, I'd kind of like to say that I would have been in London competing on the platform, but I doubt that would have been the case." Feeling that Olympic stardom wouldn't have been in his cards, he concedes that his "second big passion is food." With a sense of realism, he says, "I probably would have found a way to eat more, talk about food more and just surround myself in all things food."

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Photo by Valerie Reeves, Art Institute of Houston North
Oliver Halkowich in The Sleeping Beauty. (Choreographer: Ben Stevenson)
If Not Here, Then Where: Halkowich freely admits, "I've always wanted to live in Manhattan." With resounding practicality, he divulges, "my sister lives in Manhattan, and it's not as glamorous as I kind of have it in my head. I know she struggles every day with that city, but to me it's still the be-all, end-all." Looking past New York City, he feels that "Europe is also intriguing. The dancing over there is just huge and so different from America."

What's Next: With a busy schedule over the next few months, the first place Houston audiences will see Halkowich again is in WOMEN @ ART, which opens September 20. He'll be in all ballets. He's also looking forward to the big premiere by Canadian choreographer Aszure Barton. "We're all kind of in the unknown right now about what that ballet is going to be like, but it's definitely an extravaganza." In October, as a side project, he is joining forces with the contemporary dance group I.aM.mE, winners of America's Best Dance Crew's sixth season, to perform in Huntsville and New York City. He also asserts, "You'll see me as the prince in The Nutcracker in December."

More Creatives for 2012
(In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).

Lupe Mendez, poet and poem pusher

Jason Nodler, artistic director, playwright, director
Ana Treviño-Godfrey, musician

Matthew Detrick, classical musician
Travis Ammons, filmmaker
Florence Garvey, actress
Julia Gabriel, artist, designer and backpack maker

Rebecca French, choreographer and FrenetiCore co-founder

Kiki Neumann, found object folk artist
Flynn Prejean, Poster Artist
JoDee Engle, dancer
David Rainey, actor, artistic director and teacher
Geoff Hippenstiel, painter, art instructor
Jessica Janes, actress and musician
Dennis Draper, actor and director

Mat Johnson, novelist and tweeter
Orna Feinstein, printmaker and installation artist

Adriana Soto, jewelry designer
Domokos Benczédi, Noise and Collage Artist
Robert Boswell, Book Author, UH Prof
Patrick Turk, visual artist
Elizabeth Keel, playwright
Bob Martin, designer
Mary Lampe, short film promoter and developer
Nisha Gosar, Indian classical dancer
Jeremy Wells, painter
George Brock, theater teacher
Radu Runcanu, painter
Ariane Roesch, Mixed-Media
Sandie Zilker, art jewelry maker
Philip Hayes, actor

Patrick Palmer, painter
Ana Mae Holmes, Jewelry Designer
John Tyson, actor
Jerry Ochoa, violinist and filmmaker
Raul Gonzalez, painter, sculptor, photographer
Roy Williams, DJ of medieval music
Laura Burlton, photographer
David Peck, fashion designer
Rebecca Udden, theater director
Donae Cangelosi Chramosta, vintage designer handbag dealer
Paul Fredric, author
John Sparagana, photographer
Damon Smith, musician and visual artist
Geoff Winningham, photographer

Johnathon Michael Espinoza, visual artist
Jaemi Blair Loeb, conductor

Katya Horner, photographer
Johnathan Felton, artist
Nicoletta Maranos, cosplayer

Carol Simmons, hair stylist
Joseph "JoeP" Palmore, actor, poet
Greg Carter, director
Kenn McLaughlin, theater director
Justin Whitney, musician
Antone Pham, tattoo artist
Susie Silbert, crafts

Lauralee Capelo, hair designer
Marisol Monasterio, flamenco dancer
Carmina Bell, promoter and DJ
ReShonda Tate Billingsley, writer
Kiki Lucas, choreographer and director
J.J. Johnston, theater director
Mary Margaret Hansen, artist
Richard Tallent, photographer
Viswa Subbaraman, opera director
Emily Sloan, sculptor and performance artist
Sonja Roesch, gallery owner
Enrique Carreón-Robledo, conductor
Sandy Ewen, musician
Camella Clements, puppeteer

Wade Wilson, gallery owner

Magid Salmi, photographer
Carl Williams, playwright

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