Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Dance Company Founder to Speak for Distinguished Lecture Series at WT


CANYON, Texas— Choreographer Kathryn Sydell Pilkington will offer audiences insight into the broader possibilities of dance during a Distinguished Lecture Series event that coincides with her residency at West Texas A&M University.

Pilkington’s “Creating Connections: Dance, Film, and the Art of Cultural Diplomacy” will begin at 6 p.m. Jan. 25 in the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex Recital Hall as the first Distinguished Lecture Series event of the semester. The event is free and open to the public.

Pilkington, who is the co-founder and co-artistic director of Company E, will discuss her expertise in producing dance film projects, including international collaborations and engagement with diplomatic missions around the world.

“The popularity and visibility of dance film is thriving and offers dancers another way to showcase their work,” said Crystal Bertrand, WT’s director of dance. “Having Kathryn on campus exposes our students to the real-world experience of international collaborations and cultural diplomacy, particularly through dance film projects.”

Pilkington will discuss her collaboration with original works for the camera, documentaries of both her travels and the creative process. Through Company E, she works in partnership with leading technologists in North America and programming partners at the U.S. Department of State, the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival, Games 4 Change and the Serious Games Institute.

Her week-long visit is hosted by the WT Dance Program within the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities, with help from the WT Guest Artist program.

While here, Pilkington also will teach modern and contemporary classes to WT Dance students and work directly with the program’s majors in creating a dance for the camera in conjunction with a choreographed stage piece titled “The State Between.” There will be an informal showing of the work at the conclusion of her week on campus.

The dance film will be showcased at The Arts at WT Subscription Series event “Dances from the Heart” on March 7, and both the film and staged work will be performed live at the program’s spring dance concert, “Portraits of Dance,” set for April 25 to 28 in the Happy State Bank Studio Theatre in the Fine Arts Complex.

Bertrand said Pilkington has been teaching a cast of WT dancers the choreography through Zoom since October.

“It’s been an incredible experience for them,” Bertrand said. “The piece she is creating for the dancers is contemporary modern and displays great athleticism.”

Pilkington earned her bachelor of fine arts from The Juilliard School. She has worked with D.C. dance companies including DanceSmith, Karen Reedy Dance, and CityDance Ensemble. Her choreography has been performed around the world, from the Grand Foyer of the Kennedy Center to opera houses in Kazakhstan. Pilkington also serves as an adjunct faculty member at George Mason University.

Fostering an appreciation of the arts is a key component of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic One West comprehensive fundraising campaign, which reached its initial $125 million goal 18 months after publicly launching in September 2021. The campaign’s new goal is to reach $175 million by 2025; currently, it has raised more than $150 million.


About Company E

Company E is a Washington, D.C.-based contemporary dance and interdisciplinary arts organization founded in 2011. Company E Cultural Diplomacy is about engagement as artists, people, performers, educators and, critically, as storytellers who take the American experience overseas and bring the international experience home.  The company explores not just live performance but film, imagery, and Augmented and Virtual Reality to bring dance to as wide an audience, and with as rich an experience, as possible.


About WT’s Distinguished Lecture Series

The Distinguished Lecture Series was created to enhance education in the classroom by inviting people of national prominence to speak to WT students and the community about important issues. For information, visit

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The PRAIRIE Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *