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Spotlight On dance(e)volve: New Works Festival

1/16 Arts & Culture - danc(e)volve - Jonny McMillan
Hubbard Street 2 dancer Jonny McMillan (credit: Todd Rosenberg)

by Amy Cavanaugh

Dancers usually perform works by outside choreographers, but at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, company members create dances for each other. The dancers of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Hubbard Street 2 (a training company for six dancers between the ages of 18 and 25) stepped up to the challenge, and the results are on view during the danc(e)volve: New Works Festival, held January 19 to 22 and January 26 to 29 at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

The festival grew out of Hubbard Street Dance's annual Inside/Out Choreographic Workshop, during which dancers choreograph each other, and Hubbard Street 2's National Choreographic Competition, which commissions original works by three emerging choreographers. Included in the shows is a world premiere for Hubbard Street 2 by Alejandro Cerrudo, who is the company's resident choreographer.

Glenn Edgerton, artistic director of Hubbard Street Dance, answered a few questions for about the performance.

1/16 Arts & Culture - danc(e)volve - Ana Lopez
Hubbard Street dancer Ana Lopez (credit: Todd Rosenberg) How did this show come together?

Glenn Edgerton: Each year we turn the dancers' work process inside out—they're normally in the middle of the room being a dancer, then we turn the tables so they're watching colleagues dancing. It's very informative for a dancer to feel what it's like to run rehearsal and be the creator, not the one being created on. We hold this workshop every year. It's important since choreography needs time, needs to be mentored and cultivated. We really want to see the next wave of choreography come out of Hubbard, and by giving the dancers time to choreograph like this we found so much creativity and talent in the troupe. So we wanted to give the dancers a broader opportunity to show their work in amore substantial way. How many works will be performed?

GE: There will be nine new pieces shown in some combination between the two programs. There will be Program A and Program B, and each program will be shown twice each weekend. There will be five pieces in each program, including Alejandro's piece, which is a duet about eight minutes long. I feel it's very representative of his style. What can you tell us about the other pieces?

GE: They'll be about 15 minutes each. We want to leave the inspiration to the choreographers and let them do a program that's substantial for the public and feels complete for that work. Then we'll put together a combination of pieces that work well together.

For more information, visit

Amy Cavanaugh, CBS Chicago
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