Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Launches its New Professional Program
Hubbard Street's Andrew Murdock teaches repertoire during an HS Pro pilot program. Photo by Todd Rosenberg, Courtesy Hubbard Street.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago enters its fifth decade with a new training program designed to propel young professionals toward careers in dance. The Hubbard Street Professional Program (nicknamed "HS Pro") provides a two-year postsecondary alternative to university dance programs.
HS Pro dancers in cohorts up to 25 will have opportunities to take class and perform with the main company, similar to those of dancers in the recently disbanded Hubbard Street 2. Artistic director Glenn Edgerton says HS Pro is an educational program, not a company, and its genesis was planned independently of HS2. The goal is to provide a well-rounded training experience that prepares dancers to audition and work anywhere—including Hubbard Street. "We're going to be able to reach dancers in a broader way," says Edgerton. "They'll be learning different techniques, and more about the functioning of an institution." HS Pro dancers will have a number of performance opportunities of their own and produce outreach programming, such as lecture/demonstrations for schools.
Artistic associate Meredith Dincolo laid the initial groundwork for HS Pro, investigating similar programs and conducting two five-week pilot programs. Dincolo has since parted with Hubbard Street, prompting Edgerton to call on Alexandra Wells, who will continue as artistic director of Springboard Danse Montréal. As director of artist training, Wells will keep an eye on all of Hubbard Street's educational and outreach programming and ensure that each of the company's programs provides a cohesive experience. "The idea is for a 3-year-old to come into Hubbard Street, and 20 years later join the company," says Edgerton.
This season, HS Pro will premiere works by Peter Chu, Aszure Barton & Artists' Jonathan Alsberry, and Hubbard Street dancer Alice Klock, named the company's inaugural choreographic fellow for the 2017–18 season. Future plans may include an accredited certificate program, and perhaps an eventual four-year BFA option in collaboration with a university.
Pacific Northwest Ballet principals Rachel Foster and Jonathan Porretta took their final curtain call on June 9, 2019. Photo by Lindsay Thomas, Courtesy PNB
We all know dance careers are temporary. But this season, it feels like we're saying goodbye to more stars than usual.
Many have turned to social media to share their last curtain calls, thoughts on what it feels like to say farewell to performing, and insights into the ways that dancing has made them who they are. After years of dedicating your life to the studio and stage, the decision to stop dancing is always an emotional one. Each dancer handles it in their own way—whether that means cheekily admitting to having an existential crisis, or simply leaving with no regrets about what you did for love.
We will miss these dancers' performances, but can't wait to see what awaits each in their next chapters.
A previous lab cycle. Photo by Evan Zimmerman/MurphyMade, Courtesy RRR Creative
Choreographic incubator Broadway Dance Lab has recently been rechristened Dance Lab New York. "I found the nomenclature of 'Broadway' was actually a type of glass ceiling to the organization," says choreographer Josh Prince, who founded the nonprofit in 2012.