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stg: hubbard street returns to seattle

Recently premiered: Bitter Suite. HSDC Dancers Robyn Mineko Williams and Terence Marling
(Photo by Todd Rosenberg)

I’m excited for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago…this Friday…at the Paramount Theatre at 8pm.

A wonderful fellow who was new to dance once told me that watching Hubbard Street perform had been life-altering for him.

Here’s what some folks who aren’t so new to dance have said about this company that has been around for 30 years:

Alastair Macaulay, in the NYT, said in 2007 that “Works like these [not the ones coming to Seattle, but the point is the company’s choice of works] give Hubbard Street its distinction as one of America’s foremost modern-dance repertory companies, showcasing the dances of a range of choreographers…”

Claudia LaRocco’s review of Lickety-Split‘s New York premiere in 2008. Lickety-Split is one of the works Hubbard Street is doing in Seattle. (She liked it.)

Gia Kourlas’ review of the company in 2008 said it reminded her too much of Nederlands Dans Theater. That’s a problem in NY but not, I think, in Seattle, where we’ve seen so little of their work. Bring it on.

In 2005, they were “entertaining” and “charming and sleek” in a Roslyn Sulcas review.

The Seattle program includes (cribbed from the press materials):
“Bitter Suite, choreographer Jorma Elo

Created for and premiered by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago at the Harris Theatre for Music and Dance, in Chicago on October 1, 2009.

[More info below…plus video]

Lickety-Split, choreographed by Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo

Combining sensual and fluid movement with playful gestures, Lickety-Split is a contemporary work danced by three couples enveloped in the unpredictable layers of love. Moved by the sounds of renowned Bay Area songwriter Devendra Banhart, it is an example of the multi-faceted talent of the company’s artists.

The Set, choreographed by Lucas Crandall, Associate Artistic Director of HSDC

Flirtation, deception and naiveté inspired this hilarious romp. Set to music by J.S. Bach, The Set features three dancers—and a divan.

Gnawa, choreography by Nacho Duato

Set to evocative Spanish and North African sounds, Gnawa captivates with its percussive power and sensual grace, combining the spirituality and organic rhythms from the Mediterranean.”

Gnawa by Nacho Duato

Lickety-Split by Alejandro Cerrudo

I sent a list of questions to the new artistic director yesterday, trying to get a sense of what distinguishes his dancers. While he’s penning a response, here’s something I thought was pretty telling. Take a look at Hubbard Street’s Jardí Tancat…a show Seattle has seen often (and could see again, and again!) Pretty thrilling, the way these dancers move. I wouldn’t give up the PNB performances of it in a swap, but it has a different, wonderful quality that makes me want to see more of what these dancers can do.

PS: PNB “friends” have access to 2-for-1 passes. Check the bottom of the “Next on Stage” e-mail they sent out October 21…to subscribers, I’m guessing.