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Dance Fri Mar 18 2011

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's 2011 Spring Series

HSD110310_445.JPGHubbard Street dancers Penny Saunders and Jonathan Fredrickson in Ohad Naharin's THREE TO MAX.

THREE TO MAX, a new work incorporating elements of past works Three and Max by artistic director Ohad Naharin, was an innovative representation of anti-dance but ultimately fell short of its promise, due in no small part to the varying skill of the performers. The repetitions of the moves highlighted the imbalance of certain performers. Naharin's choreography is built on strength and one fall or wobbling limb was apparent and a distraction during the show.

Despite this situation, the choreography was, at many times, humorous and a frank play on elements of different dance genres. Each vignette not only deconstructed the dancer's body but also how the audience views and engages with dance performances. A dancer would conform to the dancers around him or her, and then break apart from the crowd. Despite the action surrounding him or her, the audience would ultimately feel compelled to focus on the individual. As a statement to the ethos (if there is any) to anti-dance, it was a compelling one.

HSD110310_581.JPG

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in Sharon Eyal's Too Beaucoup.

Too Beaucoup, created for the company by Batsheva House Choreographer Sharon Eyal, was a much more cohesive and enjoyable performance. The choreography coupled nicely with the music, a love letter of sorts to the brittle brilliance of post-punk (through the frenetic first notes of Gang of Four's "At Home He's A Tourist"), synth-pop, and jazz of the late 1970s and 1980s. The performers were dressed in beige body suits, a smart gesture that upon first glance, made it difficult to distinguish one sex (and one performer) from the other.

There was no break and the driving rhythm of the music complimented the too-short yet still worthwhile performance, a testament to coordination and the strength of the group.

The Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's 2011 Spring Series continues tonight and Saturday at 8 pm, and on Sunday, March 20 at 3 pm.

 
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