Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Celebrates 40th Anniversary At Jacob's Pillow

On the occasion of their 40th anniversary, world-renowned Hubbard Street Dance Chicago returns to Jacob's Pillow with a diverse program featuring today's leading contemporary choreographers including Ohad Naharin, Crystal Pite, resident choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo, and founder Lou Conte. Praised as "a near-perfect storm of movement, music, and choreography" (Los Angeles Times), Hubbard Street brings an eclectic repertoire performed by an impeccably strong, technically-driven ensemble of dancers to the Ted Shawn Theatre, August 1-5.

"Hubbard Street's history is closely entwined with Jacob's Pillow. The program they're bringing in celebration of their 40th anniversary celebrates the versatility and depth of this world-renowned company. We're excited that Hubbard Street's founder, Lou Conte, will be on hand alongside Glenn Edgerton, the company's revered Artistic Director," says Jacob's Pillow Director Pamela Tatge.

The program begins with excerpts from Ohad Naharin's Decadance/Chicago, the latest iteration of the popular Deca Dance series, which the acclaimed Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company recreates around every 10 years. Created on the dancers of Hubbard Street, Decadance/Chicago weaves together choreography from Minus 16 , Naharin's Virus, Three, George and Zalman, and Max, producing a result described by Naharin "as coherent as the original, if not more" (Splash Magazine). Drawing upon Gaga technique, the Hubbard Street dancers embrace the"physically demanding work with every corpuscle of commitment, technical virtuosity, and artistic nuance, demonstrating once again their extraordinary versatility as a company" (See Chicago Dance).

Following, Hubbard Street performs Grace Engine, a dynamic work by Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite. Commissioned around the world, Pite's choreography has been performed by prestigious companies including Nederlands Dans Theater, National Ballet of Canada, and her own Kidd Pivot. Grace Engine invites audiences into an abstract world where the dancers battle unknown forces and struggle with inner demons. The Chicago Tribune praises "you can feel the blood pumping through the dancers-but you also intuit that the forces you're watching are far larger than anything in your mind's eye." The dancers link and become intricate human chains, creating geometric formations, and moving as a unit. Through their silent screams, they powerfully portray the human psyche in anguish.

Spanish choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo's Lickety Split, "threads deft, mysterious arm gestures throughout his easy, generous choreography, which is also marked by touches of humor" (The New York Times). As Hubbard Street's first resident choreographer, Cerrudo's choreography has been performed throughout the United States, Australia, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Algeria, Canada, Morocco, and Spain. Combining fluid movement with playful gestures, Lickety-Split is a contemporary work danced by three couples enveloped in the unpredictable layers of love. Set to the music of renowned Bay Area songwriter Devendra Banhart, Lickety-Split combines elegant partnering with mysterious narratives.

Lastly, founder Lou Conte's signature work The 40s closes the show-Conte founded Hubbard Street in 1977 and directed the company until his retirement in 2000. Dressed in tuxedos and bowler hats, the dancers pay tribute to the swing-era dance and music. Through upbeat songs and classic jitterbug steps, The 40s has a timeless appeal that "comes from its constant changing motion, unearthing an abundant vocabulary of goofy antics, fantastic tableaus, incredible rhythm and lots of fun" (Star Tribune). This revival brings home the company's 40th anniversary and celebrates Conte's legacy.

Jacob's Pillow Connections

An audience favorite since their Pillow debut in 1983, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago has performed at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival more than a dozen times. Most recently, Hubbard Street performed at Jacob's Pillow as part of the 2016 season.

Related video on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive:

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in Nine Sinatra Songs from 1993:

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in N.N.N.N. from 2016:


Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's core purpose is to bring artists, art, and audiences together to enrich, engage, educate, transform, and change lives through the experience of dance. Now celebrating its 40th season under the artistic leadership of Glenn Edgerton, Hubbard Street continues to innovate, supporting ascendant creative talent while presenting repertory by internationally recognized living artists. Hubbard Street has grown through the establishment of multiple platforms alongside the Lou Conte Dance Studio, now in its fifth decade of providing a wide range of public classes and pre-professional training, while extensive Youth, Education, Community, Adaptive Dance, and Family Programs keep the organization deeply connected to its hometown. As one of the only professional dance companies to perform year-round, Hubbard Street has appeared in celebrated dance venues in 44 states and 19 countries.

Tickets are on sale now; online at, via phone 413.243.0745, and at the Jacob's Pillow Box Office at 358 George Carter Road, Becket, MA, 01223.

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