Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Hubbard Street dancers Jessica Tong and Michael Gross in Lucas Crandall’s Imprint (photo by Todd Rosenberg).
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, under the artistic direction of Glenn Edgerton, has announced full programming for their Season 39 Spring Series at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. Highlighting the engagement are two works by globally renowned choreographer Nacho Duato, Crystal Pite’s mesmerizing Solo Echo, and Lucas Crandall’s full-company work, Imprint.
One of the first dance companies in the U.S. to perform work by global choreographer Nacho Duato, Hubbard Street pays tribute to its two-decade relationship with the Spanish-born artist by reviving his plaintive, pastoral Jardí Tancat, for three couples and set to Catalan music recorded by vocalist María del Mar Bonet.
Catalonian for “Closed Garden, Jardí Tancat is based on a collection of ancient Spanish folk songs. In this piece, originally choreographed in 1983 for the Nederlands Dans Theater, Duato reveals this appeal in the movements of sowing, planting, and threshing, of the barren Catalonian land.
The Spring Series also features the Hubbard Street debut of the duet, “Violincello” from Duato’s evening length work, Multiplicity and Forms of Silence and Emptiness (1999), a two-act tribute to composer Johann Sebastian Bach, performed to Bach’s Suite No. 1 in G major.
Says Edgerton: “Nacho Duato has been a groundbreaking force in contemporary dance for over 30 years. Jardí Tancat, his first choreography, was also the first European work to be brought to Hubbard Street by Lou Conte which broadened both the audience's and the dancer's perspective on contemporary dance. I am excited for our audiences now to revisit Jardí Tancat, first performed by Hubbard Street in 1997, alongside the Hubbard Street premiere of an excerpt from Duato’s signature work Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness.”
Solo Echo by Crystal Pite was originally created for Nederlands Dans Theater in 2012. Inspired by poet Mark Strand’s "Lines for Winter" and set to excerpts from two sonatas for cello and piano by Johannes Brahms, opuses 38 and 99, Solo Echo is exemplary of the fluidity with which Pite’s choreography shifts between dance and theater, using classical and contemporary techniques. Hubbard Street was the first dance company to present Solo Echo in the U.S. during the Season 38 Winter Series in December 2015. Excerpts of the piece were also performed during the 10th annual Chicago Dancing Festival in August 2016.
Solo Echo “presents a man reckoning with himself at the end of his life,” explains Pite. “The character is echoed — copied, reiterated, by seven different dancers. He is portrayed through both male and female bodies, and through various physiques and strengths. Each performer is a distinct and nuanced version of the character, and the connections between them evoke a man coming to terms with himself.”
Completing the Season 39 Spring Series is Hubbard Street rehearsal director, Lucas Crandall’s 2016 full-company work, Imprint. Inspired in part by stampedes, with improvised live percussion by Hubbard Street Dancer David Schultz, Imprint “seeks to create an experience both visceral and visual – one which expresses a collective consciousness by exploring the dancer’s instinctive responses to natural and urban imagery,” Crandall said. “My creative process in the studio, in collaboration with the dancers, has been to construct complex, dynamic movement patterns with groups, then disrupt those patterns, or subject them to a variety of interventions.”
Hubbard Street’s Season 39 Spring Series is at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park, located at 205 East Randolph Street in Chicago, and runs Thursday, March 16 through 19.Single tickets for the Season 39 Spring Series are $30–$102 and available online at hubbardstreetdance.com/spring.