Hubbard Street 2: Not Second Class

July 24, 2007
Hubbard Street 2, the second company of HSDC, has an action-packed schedule. Six dancers between the ages of 17 and 25 work for 44 weeks a year rehearsing and performing in schools, colleges, and community theater. They have toured in the U.S. and internationally to Canada, Switzerland, and South Africa; this year they go to Germany. The co-directors are Julie Nakagawa Böttcher, a former member of the Twyla Tharp Company, and European-trained Andreas Böttcher, formerly of Ballet Chicago. They challenge the dancers with a repertoire that includes works by Lou Conte (the founder of HSDC), Robert Battle, and Alex Ketley. In addition, HS2 holds an annual choreographic competition, and the winners create a new work for the troupe.
“You have to be very versatile,” says Miguel Perez, a member of HS2. “It’s not only about the end result; it’s also about the process, about what you invest. It will be a sad day when I have to leave, because everyone—dancers and staff—have had a hand in molding me.”
Some of the dancers are drawn from the Lou Conte Dance Studio, which opened in 1974 in the heart of Chicago’s Loop. The school offers 60 classes a week ranging from ballet and modern to hip hop, jazz, and tap. No wonder the dancers of HSDC and HS2 have a reputation for being able to do just about anything.
Since 1997, when HS2 started, a dozen HS2 grads have joined HSDC. Others dance with William Forsythe, Lar Lubovitch, Buglisi/Foreman, and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.
                      —Carrie Stern