Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and The Second City to Present World Premiere of New Collaboration, 10/16-19

Related: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The Second City

Hubbard Street Artistic Director Glenn Edgerton and Kelly Leonard, Executive Vice President of The Second City, Inc. are delighted to announce a collaboratively devised production by the two performing arts organizations, to receive its world premiere October 16-19, 2014, kicking off Hubbard Street's 2014-15 season at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park.

Internationally renowned soprano Renée Fleming, creative consultant for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, initiated a similar collaboration in 2012 between Lyric Opera and The Second City. The resulting revue of comedic sketches and satirical vignettes, The Second City Guide to the Opera, premiered at Chicago's Civic Opera House in January 2013, emceed by Fleming and stage, film and television actor Patrick Stewart, in collaboration with Second City Theatricals. Its critical and popular success in cross-pollinating audiences and fostering appreciation for opera played a central role in inspiring Hubbard Street and The Second City's joint venture, in progress with director Billy Bungeroth, and writers Carisa Barreca, Kate James and Tim Mason. (Bungeroth received a 2013 Joseph Jefferson "Jeff" Award for directing The Second City Guide to the Opera.)

Says Glenn Edgerton: "All of us here at Hubbard Street are so excited about this project, for so many reasons. We have a deep commitment to innovation in contemporary dance, and many of our works created in-house, by company artists or guest choreographers, are devised in collaboration in ways quite similar to how The Second City's members create their shows. Improvisation is a key part of our DNA on both sides. So it's a natural fit for us to join forces and I'm thrilled to watch this project make its way to the stage."

Says Kelly Leonard: "Our project with Lyric Opera was so creatively inspiring - not to mention such a business success - that our team met to discuss what other artistic mash-ups might be similarly satisfying. The first idea proposed was that we collaborate with contemporary dancers, and Hubbard Street was the overwhelming choice for this partnership. The fact that Hubbard Street's team had the exact same idea at the same time only proves that some projects are meant to be."

Says Anthony Freud, General Director, the Lyric Opera of Chicago: "It was a thrill to work with The Second City both for our sold-out gala with Renée Fleming and Patrick Stewart, and for our on-stage cabaret. Renée was the one who originally suggested we pair up with the world-renowned comedy troupe to see what kinds of creative sparks might fly. We weren't quite sure what to expect, but it was a close and fruitful partnership that taught us that sometimes the least obvious collaborations can be the most exciting and productive. Lyric Opera is passionate about collaboration with a variety of organizations, to achieve together what would be impossible to achieve individually. I'm eager to see what comes of this new partnership between two great Chicago arts institutions."

Hubbard Street and The Second City's collaboration will involve performers from both companies, plus Hubbard Street 2, in the creative process as well as onstage. Further details about the creative team, pilot engagement and the remainder of Hubbard Street's 37th season will be announced at a later date.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, under the artistic leadership of Glenn Edgerton, celebrates its 37th season in 2014 and 2015. Among the world's top contemporary dance companies and a global cultural ambassador, Hubbard Street demonstrates fluency in a wide range of techniques and forms, and deep comprehension of abstract artistry and emotional nuance. The company is critically acclaimed for its exuberant and innovative repertoire, featuring works by master American and international choreographers. Hubbard Street's artists hail from four countries and 12 U.S. states, and comprise a superlative ensemble of virtuosity and versatility. Since its founding by Lou Conte in 1977, Hubbard Street has grown through the establishment of multiple platforms. Each is dedicated to the support and advancement of dance as an art form, as a practice, and as a method for generating and sustaining communities of all kinds.

Hubbard Street 2, directed by Terence Marling, cultivates young professional dancers, identifies next-
generation choreographers, and performs domestically and abroad, in service of arts education, collaboration, experimentation and audience development.

More On: Patrick Stewart, Kate James, Joseph Jefferson, Kathryn Humphreys, Viola Spolin, Paul Sills, Howard Alk, Mike Nichols, Elaine May.

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