I don’t remember the first time I met Evan, but I do remember the conversation with Hankus Netsky when he told me about a student of his at the Conservatory – the wonderful musician/composer he recommended I work with. Evan and I worked together in the dance studio and with my company Zellsworth Dancers, for the years those two entities existed – until 1984. I always thought of Evan as a partner in my work – both as an accompanist and as a composer. And the fact that he married one of the beloved dancers in the company – Renee Caso – was icing on the cake.
Of particular note in our professional life was what Evan contributed to the last piece of choreography I created for the company in 1983 – Weave of Women. It was after my daughter Alison was born, and I knew that I didn’t have the attention span or the time to work in my accustomed process. I decided that the longest strand of work I might be able to sustain was about 2½ minutes. I asked Evan to compose sections of that duration, and we talked at length about texture, rhythm, intent and what my process was likely to be working with the dancers. As he brought the sections to me – some after the choreography had been established, some that inspired the dance – it was clear to me that he had found the core of what I was trying to express. Weave of Women remains one of the pieces I hold most fondly in my heart. It exemplified the process I most enjoyed in working with Evan; it was a tribute to the dancers; and it was my farewell gift to the dancers in the company. And Evan’s music is what helped tie it all together and to make it a very special creation.