Hubbard Street Dance Chicago: Forging New Dance

Written By Diana Dunbar
October 6, 2017 at 7:43 PM

Glenn Edgerton is committed to presenting his audiences with the work of some of the best choreographers today. As Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s artistic director, he feels it’s his job to “push dancers to the next level. It’s important to work with emerging as well as established choreographers,” he explained during a phone call from New York, where the company is performing at the Joyce Theater.

“With emerging choreographers the dancers may need to guide the choreography, while established choreographers push the dancers to develop a different set of skills.” This all makes for compelling repertory.

Hubbard Street will hold auditions in Miami at the New World School of the Arts on Jan. 31.

Edgerton also prioritizes collaboration with other artists and institutions. Hubbard Street has worked with numerous choreographers, including Alonzo King of Lines Ballet, as well as the Art Institute of Chicago and The Second City comedy troupe. While comedy has been the subject of various ballets, such as The Fille mal Gardée, Hubbard Street took it to another level with The Second City. Together they created The Art of Falling, a dance/comedy collaboration that places dance and comedy in an innovative dialogue. Resident choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo’s Excerpt from Second to Last emerged from this collaboration.

When the company takes to the stage this weekend, it will present an eclectic program, including a work by the renowned choreographer William Forsythe. N.N. N. N., with original score by Thom Willems, is an ensemble work for four dancers — two men and two women. The dancers are intertwined, with each passage developing from the previous into a reactionary flow of movement. The New York Times described it as “astonishingly intense.”

Gnawa, choreographed by Nacho Duato, exudes the essence of the Mediterranean and the choreographer’s native Spain. Created for Hubbard Street in 2005, it’s an ensemble piece for 16 dancers. Duato’s work is hauntingly beautiful and was described by the Chicago Tribune as “gorgeously classical and pertly idiosyncratic.”

Longevity is not often associated with dance; dance is, after all, an ephemeral art form. Yet this is the 38th season for Hubbard Street. It began with founder Lou Conte and four dancers performing in parks and community centers. “Conte established a level of quality which is still maintained,” says Edgerton.

Also on the program is a piece by Penny Saunders, a 1995 graduate of the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton. Out of Keeping is a work that deals with the constantly changing world and draws from an expansive range of music from classical to contemporary. Saunders created Out of Keeping after a two-year absence from Hubbard Street. This hiatus “led to some interesting discoveries about the fact that every place is always changing and moving forward, whether or not you are there,” explains Saunders. “Out of Keeping is my part of forging a dance within that truth.”

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago performs on Friday, Jan. 22, and Saturday, Jan. 23, at 8:00 p.m. at the Duncan Theatre, 4200 Congress Ave., Lake Worth; tickets $45.00. Auditions will be held on Jan. 31, ages 14-24 starting at 10:00 a.m. at the New World School of the Arts, 25 NE Second St., Miami.;


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