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Wednesday, December 13

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Dance Mon Oct 13 2008

The Hubbard Aesthetic

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC) kicked off its 2008-2009 season with its Fall Series this past weekend. HSDC is providing Chicago four opportunities to see them at their home at the Harris Theater, so even if you missed the Fall Series, you have plenty more chances, and you really must see how these dancers move their bodies.

I imagine working with HSDC dancers must be a choreographer's dream. Refreshingly, there is no unifying body type in this company, no unifying personality; clearly, these dancers are permitted to be themselves. But there is an aesthetic of strength -- the kind of strength that allows for the appearance of physical abandon while maintaining complete control -- that runs through every dancer and every bit of choreography I've seen from Hubbard.

"Extremely Close" (choreography by Alejandro Cerrudo) provides a perfect example of this aesthetic. To begin with, the entire stage is covered in the fluffiest white feathers you can imagine, and there are three imposing rolling walls on the stage. Already we have the juxtaposition of lightness and strength. The choreography manages to be sharp and soft simultaneously, and the dancers move with a precision that is somehow gooey.

All of this and I haven't even touched on the "crowd-pleasingness" that is the true hallmark of Hubbard Street. I think it's impossible for even the most artsy-fartsy dance snob to turn up his nose at HSDC. And if you're the average Joe (or Joanna) trying to impress a date with your "high culture," give Hubbard Street a try. Your date will be impressed, and you'll find yourself enjoying the entertainment.

Keep an eye out for HSDC's future shows. The Winter Series isn't too far off, December 3-7. The Spring Series will be April 1-5, 2009, and the Summer Series is June 4-7, 2009.

 
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