Hubbard Street's Andrew Murdock teaches repertoire during an HS Pro pilot program. Photo by Todd Rosenberg, Courtesy Hubbard Street.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Launches its New Professional Program

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.

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Courtesy Ava Noble

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Now more than ever, the students of USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance are embodying their program's vision: "The New Movement."

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, the dance world continues to be faced with unprecedented challenges, but USC Kaufman's faculty and BFA students haven't shied away from them. While many schools have had to cancel events or scale them back to live-from-my-living-room streams, USC Kaufman has embraced the situation and taken on impressive endeavors, like expanding its online recruitment efforts.

November 1 to 13, USC Kaufman will present A/Part To/Gather, a virtual festival featuring world premieres from esteemed faculty and guest choreographers, student dance films and much more. All semester long, they've rehearsed via Zoom from their respective student apartments or hometowns. And they haven't solely been dancing. "You have a rehearsal process, and then a filming process, and a production process of putting it together," says assistant professor of practice Jennifer McQuiston Lott of the prerecorded and professionally edited festival.

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