Acclaimed choreographer Ohad Naharin (photo courtesy of Mr. Naharin).
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Hubbard Street Dance Chicago will present a program of the work of acclaimed Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin for its Summer Series, June 7 – 10, 2018 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park (205 East Randolph Street). The renowned director of Batsheva Dance Company has been recognized worldwide for decades for the ineffable quality of his choreography, a composition of pure movement and theatrical elements that consistently catches the audience by surprise.
The program will feature two of Ohad’s best known works, reimagined for Hubbard Street’s current company: Minus 16 and Deca Dance.
Minus 16 was first premiered in 1999 by the Nederlands Dans Theater and made a well-lauded US debut performed by Hubbard Street in 2000. It features an eclectic score ranging from Dean Martin to mambo, techno and traditional Israeli music and offers a non-stop tour de force of wildly contrasting sequences, in both tempo and content, as well as audience participation and interviews with company dancers.
Deca Dance features excerpts from a number of Naharin’s previous pieces and is recreated every 10 years. This version, which is a company premiere of the work and will become the sixth piece by Naharin in Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s repertoire, is expected to include elements from the following works: KYR (1990), Mabul (1992), Anaphase (1993), Zachacha (1998), Naharin’s Virus (2001), Three (2005), George and Zalman (2006), Max (2007), Seder (2007) and Sadeh21 (2011). Describing Deca Dance, Naharin explained “it was like I was telling only either the beginning, middle or ending of many stories, but when I organized it the result became as coherent as the original, if not more.”
“Ohad Naharin’s return to Chicago is the perfect conclusion to our fantastic 40th season, which featured the stellar work of some of the most innovative voices in contemporary dance,” said Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s artistic director, Glenn Edgerton. “Minus 16 had its U.S. premiere with our company in 2000. Pairing a new version of this masterpiece with a company-specific version of Deca Dance will showcase both Ohad’s tremendous creativity and the dancers’ immense technique and talent.”
The New York Times has described Naharin’s signature style as “distinguished by stunningly flexible limbs and spines, deeply grounded movement, explosive bursts and a vitality that grabs a viewer by the collar.”
Visit harristheaterchicago.org for more details or to purchase tickets, which are priced $25-$110.
Naharin began his training as a dancer with Batsheva Dance Company and continued his studies at Julliard. He danced for one season in the Martha Graham Company and with Maurice Bejart. Between 1980 and 1990 Naharin was active in the New York dance scene and worked with various companies. Jirí Kylián of the Nederlands Dance Theater (NDT) saw Naharin’s work, which began a long partnership between the two and NDT. In 1990 Naharin became artistic director of Batsheva Dance Company and created KYR, a full-length work commissioned by the Israel Festival, Jerusalem, for which he composed the music with Israeli rock group The Tractor's Revenge. KYR was a first landmark in the succession of pieces which gave birth to the "new" Batsheva – bold, sweeping, and physically sensual. Naharin’s work is also in the repertoire of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The Cullberg Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet and Frankfurt Ballet, among a host of other internationally renowned dance companies.
The 40th Anniversary Spotlight Ball on June 6, 2018 will begin with a special performance of Hubbard Street’s Summer Series at the Harris Theater at 6 p.m. The performance will be followed by a dinner and celebration at the Fairmont Chicago beginning at 7:30 p.m. honoring Naharin. All proceeds go towards Hubbard Street’s performances, education and community programming.
Visit hubbardstreetdance.com/groups or call 312-850-9744 ext. 164 for more information. Tickets can also be obtained at the Hubbard Street Dance Theatre box office.