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Hubbard St Closes the Jacob's Pillow Festival with 2 Premieres by Alejandro Cerrudo

Hubbard_Street_Dance_Chicago_Concludes_the_2010_Jacobs_Pillow_Dance_Festival_with_Two_Premieres_by_Alejandro_Cerrudo_20010101

Popular with both critics and audiences, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago returns to Jacob's Pillow August 25-29 in a stirring Festival 2010 finale. Hubbard Street is recognized as one of the nation's leading contemporary dance companies, with the Chicago Sun-Times stating, "The troupe's power has to do with far more than bravura technique; flawless dancing is simply a given at Hubbard Street. Rather, it is about mood-spinning and emotional intensity-about the preoccupations of the choreographers this company chooses to work with, and about the ability of the dancers to interpret these artists' fever dreams."

In the company's thirteenth appearance at Jacob's Pillow in 27 years, Hubbard Street presents four diverse works by three choreographers: Batsheva Dance Company director Ohad Naharin, acclaimed contemporary choreographer Aszure Barton, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's resident choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo. The company's program for Jacob's Pillow includes two premieres by Cerrudo. An extra performance has been added on Thursday, August 26 at 2pm to accommodate the high demand for tickets.

Ohad Naharin's Tabula Rasa opens the program with swirling, fluid movement and gestural hand-work to a dramatic score by Arvo Pärt. Tabula Rasa means "blank slate" in Latin, and refers to the philosophical theory that individuals are only the sum of their experiences and environment. "Ohad Naharin's choreography is notable for its movement quality-especially for its smoothness within technical difficulty," says Anna Kisselgoff of The New York Times. "But there is also an undercurrent of feeling that makes itself evident at all times." Artistic Director of Israel's Batsheva Dance Company since 1990, Naharin's talent has been recognized by numerous organizations and countries; he was awarded the "Chevalier de l'Ordres des Arts et des Lettres" by the French government (1998), the Israel Prize for Dance (2005), and the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement in Dance (2009).

HSDC's resident choreographer, Alejandro Cerrudo, has choreographed two new works in the company's program for Jacob's Pillow. Originally from Madrid, Spain, Cerrudo is known for his fluid, loose-limbed style as both a choreographer and a dancer for the company. Blanco is a world premiere set to music by Felix Mendelssohn and Charles Valentin Alkan. This abstract work for four women is the companion piece to Cerrudo's Deep Down Dos, which is also being presented at the company's Jacob's Pillow engagement.

Deep Down Dos enjoyed its orchestral premiere earlier this year with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Jacob's Pillow audiences will be the first to see the work in its full theatrical setting. Clean and architectural in aesthetic, the work is set to a multi-layered score by electronica and classical composer Mason Bates. When the dance was previewed as part of an orchestral concert, John von Rheinwrote in the Chicago Tribune, "Much of the score is driven by twitching techno-rhythms that periodically morph into quirky aural surprises-piano, harp and celesta sparkling like a city of diamonds, double basses shuddering like the shock waves from a temblor deep on the ocean floor. The kinetic activity packed into Bates' music calls to mind sleek bodies hurling themselves through space, and that's the dynamic energy Cerrudo has infused in his dancers...This breathless new ballet is another winner for the gifted Cerrudo."

The evening is concluded by Aszure Barton's work Untouched; a dramatically-lit work for twelve dancers. The work is set to a layered score by an array of musicians Russian-born, New York City-based violist Ljova, Toronto-based pianist and composer Njo Kong Kie, and New York City-based sound designer, saxophonist and producer Curtis Macdonald. "Barton builds a world of bodily language suggesting rapidly-shifting power structures lightly dusted with the folkloric. The ambiguity of the work's title echoes in your head as you watch: they're immaculate... It features beautiful ideas about how and when dancers can enter and exit the stage. Its closing duet is spellbinding." (Time Out NY). Aszure Barton's own company has appeared at the Pillow on the Inside/Out stage in 2004, and the Doris Duke Theatre in 2005 and 2006. She has choreographed new works for many prestigious individuals and companies worldwide including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Fang-Yi Sheu, The National Ballet of Canada, American Ballet Theatre, Sydney Dance Company, The Juilliard School, and The Martha Graham Dance Company.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago was founded in 1977 by dancer/choreographer Lou Conte who, for the next 23 years, served as Artistic Director. Originally the company's sole choreographer, he developed relationships with emerging and world-renowned choreographers as the company began to grow, adding works by a variety of artists such as Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Margo Sappington, Daniel Ezralow, and Twyla Tharp, as well as international choreographers Jirí Kylián, Nacho Duato, and Ohad Naharin.

Current Artistic Director Glenn Edgerton joined HSDC in 2009 after an international career as a dancer and director. He began his dancing career at The Joffrey Ballet where, mentored by Robert Joffrey, he performed leading roles in the company's contemporary and classical repertoire for 11 years. In 1989, Edgerton joined the acclaimed Nederlands Dans Theater, and after dancing for five years retired from performing to become artistic director of the main company, leading NDT1 for a decade and presenting the works of Jirí Kylián, Hans van Manen, William Forsythe, Ohad Naharin, Mats Ek, Nacho Duato, Jorma Elo, Johan Inger, Paul Lightfoot and Sol Leon, among others.

Pillow audiences will have a chance to hear Edgerton speak about Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in a free PillowTalk discussion on Thursday, August 26 at 5pm.

Performance and Ticket Information
Wednesday, August 25 through Saturday, August 28 at 8pm
Thursday, August 26, Saturday, August 28 and Sunday, August 29 at 2pm
Free Pre-Show Talks with Jacob's Pillow Scholars-in-Residence are offered in Blake's Barn 30 minutes before every performance.
A free Post-Show Talk will take place in Blake's Barn on Thursday, August 26 directly after the performance.
Tickets range from $58.50-$69.50
Tickets on sale now online jacobspillow.org, via phone at 413.243.0745, or in person at Jacob's Pillow.
Jacob's Pillow is located at 358 George Carter Road in Becket, MA, 01223 (10 minutes east on Route 20 from Mass Pike Exit 2). The Jacob's Pillow campus and theaters are handicapped-accessible.


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by Barnett Serchuk