Hubbard Street's 30th Anniversary Opener Delivers
If I had ever forgotten why Hubbard Street Dance
Chicago has been one of my favorite dance companies to watch for over a decade,
their recent performance would have been a sure and swift reminder. HSDC
just completed their 2007 Fall Series at
For those of you who have somehow been sheltered from
The company's Program B, performed October 3-7, presented four independent works by an eclectic mix of international choreographers (another reputation the company holds that works so well to their advantage). The evening included B-Sides (12" Mix) by the American choreographer and HSDC dancer Brian Enos, Passomezzo by Israeli-born choreographer Ohad Naharin, Rassemblement by Spanish choreographer Nacho Duato, and Sechs Tänze by Czech choreographer Jirí Kylián.
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, the program did not start with an extremely strong piece. Safe, yes. Strong, no. Enos' B-Sides (12" Mix) premiered during the fall series, and while it was good and entertaining for the first half, it seemed to lack that extra layer of substance. The work was aesthetically pleasing, with a slithering morphing that accentuated the lithe and precise dancers. But while I did not find myself particularly drawn to the piece, I will chalk it up to the fact that it was competing with works I have seen multiple times before and have had the opportunity to observe and connect with.
One of the characteristics of
Sechs Tänze, on a similar level, is a playful work that gets the audience giggling every time. (I've seen it several times and witnessed the same reaction.) In an octet created just over twenty years ago and set to Mozart's "Sechs deutsche Tänze," Kylián creates a set of vignettes full of overdramatic, flamboyant physical comedy. The dancers first appear onstage looking rather dignified with powdered wigs with a courtly renaissance air about them, yet soon remind me more of children playing cops and robbers than ladies in waiting. And let me point out there are rolling ball gowns (not worn by the women) and swords involved; you really have to see it to believe it.
Yet in this particular program, the work that stood out the most was Duato's
Rassemblement, an emotionally stunning piece created back in 1990 and
first performed by
If you are a lover of dance, if you hate dance, if you have never been to a
dance performance or if you have been to a million
if you think anything
outside of ballet or jazz is weird, you must see
Hubbard Street dancers in Palladio, performed in Fall Series program A. Todd Rosenberg Photography, courtesy of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.