Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Holds Season 36 Spotlight Ball Honoring Mikhail Baryshnikov

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Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Holds Season 36 Spotlight Ball Honoring Mikhail Baryshnikov

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, one of the world's premier dance organizations, together with event chair Richard L. Rodesand Meg Siegler Callahan, chair of Hubbard Street's board of directors, hosted the Season 36 Spotlight Ball on Monday, May 19 at theFairmont Chicago Millennium Park.

The event raised more than $775,000 for Hubbard Street's artistic, community-focused, education and youth programming. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel attended to present Hubbard Street's Spotlight Award to renowned performer Mikhail Baryshnikov, for his innumerable contributions to dance appreciation and artistic excellence in the United States. More than 550 additional guests included Nora Daley Conroy, senior advisor at Metropolis Strategies and chair of Steppenwolf Theatre Company's board of trustees; Sean Conroy, vice president of Grosvenor Capital Management; Kenneth Griffin, founder and CEO of Citadel LLC; Steve "Mac" MacLellan, Central Region president for Northern Trust Wealth Management; Gabrielle Rousso, executive and school director for the Art Center-Highland Park; fashion designerKahindo Mateene, season 12 contestant on Project Runway; and Peter Taub, director of performance programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

The event began at 6:00 pm with cocktails and a VIP reception with Mr. Baryshnikov. Following the hosts' remarks and a video produced byEmmy Award-winning HMS Media, featuring Hubbard Street's 18-member main company of dancers, attendees enjoyed a three-course dinner, Tito's Handmade Vodka and Astrolabe wines, plus an exclusive sneak preview of Hubbard Street's collaboration in progress with The Second City, to premiere October 16-19 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance.

Introducing the preview performance, Artistic Director Glenn Edgerton said: "It is significant to note as well all the other collaborations with our peer organizations around the world, in dance and the performing arts, and those incredible individuals who are advocates for the importance of what we do. Thanks to all of you here tonight for being a part of the collaboration called Hubbard Street."

Calling Hubbard Street among "the greatest ambassadors around the country and around the world for the cultural quality of life we have here in the city of Chicago," Mayor Emanuel welcomed Mr. Baryshnikov to the stage. For a select few performers, observed Emanuel, "the world is their audience. You have been one of those artists." Mr. Baryshnikov then accepted the company's Spotlight Award, thanking Emanuel for advocating for the importance of the arts, and praising Hubbard Street for building "a brand name" recognized around the world. "It's a stamp of excellence," said the Tony- and Oscar-nominated performer, Kennedy Center Honoree in 2000 and recipient of the National Medal of Honor.

Ellie Bednarz, in the fourth grade at Ellen Mitchell Elementary School, where Hubbard Street provides in-classroom dance education, said: "I get to make my own choreography and learn how to be an effective collaborator and leader. Even if I don't become a dancer, I will still be able use those skills in whatever I choose to do." Cynthia Bednarz explained that fostering her daughter's interest in dance, by enrolling her inHubbard Street's Youth Dance Program, "wasn't in our budget, but Ellie's scholarship made it possible. There are hundreds of families like ours, all over the city of Chicago, who love how Hubbard Street strengthens our communities and enriches all of our lives through the experience of dance."

Silent bidding and a live auction helmed by Jason Lamoreaux raised more than $150,000 the night of the event, by offering VIP access toLollapalooza, the Emmy Awards and Watch What Happens Live with Bravo TV star Andy Cohen; the opportunity to run dinner service at award-winning Chicago restaurant Embeya; luxury getaways to the Mediterranean, Quebec City, Nantucket Island and Park City, Utah; and much more. The gala evening concluded with dancing to music by DJ Konsept.

Season 36 Spotlight Ball Benefactors included Meg and Tim Callahan, Michael and Jacky Ferro / The Sun-Times Foundation / The Chicago Community Trust, Paul and Ellen Gignilliat, Kenneth Griffin, Sarah J. Nolan, and Denise Stefan-Ginascol and John Ginascol.

Season 36 Spotlight Ball Sponsors included Allstate Insurance Company, Archer Daniels Midland Company, Ross Bricker / Jenner & Block, Marge and Lew Collens, Michael and Janet Colleran, Patti Selander Eylar and Charles Gardner, Elizabeth Yntema Ferguson and Mark Ferguson, David Herro and Jay Franke, ITW, JPMorgan Chase & Co., David and Suzu Neithercut, Northern Trust, Ellis and Sally Regenbogen, Lauren Robishaw, Camille E. Rudge / The PrivateBank Corporation, Deborah and Kelly L. Stonebraker, Jane and Michael Strauss, and USG Corporation.

Season 36 Spotlight Ball Patrons included ARI, Athletico Physical Therapy, Baker & McKenzie LLP, BakerHostetler / David & Hosfield Consulting LLC, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois / HCSC, John DeBlasio / GPD Charitable Trust, Dirk Denison and David Salkin, Allan and Ellen Drebin, John W. Higgins / Higgins Development Partners, Caryn Jacobs and Dan Cedarbaum, JLL, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Marc Miller and Chris Horsman, Byron and Judy Pollock, Richard L. Rodes, Schiff Hardin LLP, Mary Kay Shaw, Richard and Barbara Silverman, Richard and Ann Tomlinson, Randy and Lisa White, Winston & Strawn LLP, and Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP.

About Hubbard Street
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.

Extensive Youth, Education and Community Programs, directed by Kathryn Humphreys, are models in the field of arts education, linking the performing company's creative mission to the lives of students and families. Hubbard Street also initiated the first dance-based program in the Midwest to help alleviate suffering caused by Parkinson's disease. Youth Dance Program classes at the Hubbard Street Dance Center include Creative Movement and progressive study of technique, open to young dancers ages 18 months to 16 years.

At the Lou Conte Dance Studio, directed by founding Hubbard Street Dancer Claire Bataille, workshops and master classes allow access to expertise, while a broad variety of weekly classes offer training at all levels in jazz, ballet, modern, tap, African, hip-hop, yoga, Pilates® and Zumba®. Visit hubbardstreetdance.com to learn more.

Mikhail Baryshnikov, a native of Riga, Latvia, began studying ballet at age nine. As a teenager, he attended the Vaganova Choreographic School in Leningrad, graduating from student to principal dancer of the Kirov Ballet in 1969. In 1974, he left the Soviet Union to dance with major ballet companies around the world including the New York City Ballet, where he worked with renowned choreographers including George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. In 1980 he began a ten-year tenure as artistic director of American Ballet Theatre, nurturing a new generation of dancers and choreographers. From 1990 to 2002, he was director and dancer with the White Oak Dance Project, which he co-founded with choreographer Mark Morris. In 2005, he opened the Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC), a creative home for local and international artists to develop and present work. He has appeared on Broadway in Metamorphosis, for which he received a Tony nomination and Drama Desk Award, and Off-Broadway in Forbidden Christmas or The Doctor and the Patient (Lincoln Center Festival), Beckett Shorts (New York Theatre Workshop), In Paris (Berkeley Rep, the Broad Stage, Lincoln Center Festival, and an international tour), and most recently in The Old Woman (international tour) directed by Robert Wilson. Film and television credits include The Turning Point (Oscar nomination), White Nights and three Emmy Award-winning specials. His many awards include the Chubb Fellowship, the Commonwealth Award, the Jerome Robbins Award, a Kennedy Center Honor, the National Medal of Honor, and rank of Officer of the French Legion of Honor.

About The Second City
Rooted in the improvisational games of Viola Spolin, The Second City opened in Chicago in December 1959 and began developing its entirely unique way of creating and performing comedy. Founded by Spolin's son, Paul Sills, along with Howard Alk and Bernie Sahlins, The Second City was experimental and unconventional in its approaches to both theater and comedy, railing against conformist culture with scenes that spoke to a younger generation.

Broadway successes for Mike Nichols and Elaine May - members of The Second City's predecessor, The Compass Players - put attention on the fledgling company. Alumni such as Alan Arkin, Barbara Harris, Robert Klein, David Steinberg and Fred Willard cemented the theater's reputation for developing multiple generations of comedic voices. The original October 1975 cast of NBC's Saturday Night Live included alumni John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and Gilda Radner, and The Second City became internationally recognized.

The Second City's sister theater in Canada developed its own sketch comedy series, SCTV, hailed as one of the greatest of all time with an all-star cast including Martin Short, Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, John Candy, Eugene Levy, Dave Thomas, Joe Flaherty and Rick Moranis. By the mid-1980s, The Second City began a new era as Second City Toronto proprietors Andrew Alexander and Len Stuart bought out Bernie Sahlins' interest in The Second City Chicago and set in motion a new era of innovation for the company.

Today, The Second City continues to produce premier comic talent, its imprint felt across the entertainment industry, as represented by alumni Mike Myers, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey and many others. The organization has diversified as it's grown, launching Second City Training Centers in Chicago, Toronto and Los Angeles; four touring companies performing Second City revues across North America and abroad; Second City Communications, an industry leader in bringing improv-based methodologies to the corporate sector; and a growing commitment to producing innovative, original content for film, television and the digital realm. Visit secondcity.com to learn more.

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