Peter Chu & Hubbard Street Are Invading Chicago's Harris Theater
Peter Chu, the amazing dancer/choreographer first noticed in Crystal Pite's company Kidd Pivot, is teaming up with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago for an adventure in immersive installations. Back at the 2010 Dance Teacher Summit, when his piece This Thought exploded across the stage, he rightfully won the Capezio A.C.E. Award Competition for choreography. I was so dazzled by his dancers hurling themselves in jagged stop-start patterns that I wrote about him for our "Taking Off" cover feature on new choreographers in 2011.
Since then he has made some startling pieces for his own company, the Las Vegas–based chuthis. as well as for other groups like Orlando Ballet, METDance and Nederlands Dans Theater and for "So You Think You Can Dance." Now Chu is exploring new spaces in a project co-conceived with HSDC artistic director Glenn Edgerton. For Space, In Perspective, the 16 dancers of the company, plus 16 from HSDC's new professional program, will infiltrate the entire theater including lobbies, backstage and the loading dock, inhabiting what Chu calls "a reimagined performance area." In the final scene, both audience and performers engage in an interactive episode on the stage of the Harris Theater.
Kellie Epperheimer, Elliot Hammans, Adrienne Lipson and Andrew Murdock of HSDC, All photos by Todd Rosenberg
This production, which commemorates HSDC's 40th anniversary, has a musical score by Djeff Houle and projections by Sven Ortel. And of course, the Hubbard Street dancers are terrific. One of the newest additions to the roster is Rena Butler, who was a 2013 "On the Rise."
The series of seven performances goes from Sept. 21 to 24. Click here for tickets.
New York City–based choreographer and director Jennifer Weber once worked on a project with a strict social media policy: " 'Hire no one with less than 10K, period'—and that was a few years ago," she says. "Ten thousand is a very small number now, especially on Instagram."
The commercial dance world is in a period of transition, where social media handles and follower counts are increasingly requested by casting directors, but rarely offered by dancers up front. "I can see it starting to show up on resumés, though, alongside a dancer's height and hair color," predicts Weber.
If you think becoming a trainee or apprentice is the only path to gaining experience in a dance company environment, think again.
The University of Arizona, located in the heart of Tucson, acclimates dancers to the pace and rigor of company life while offering all the academic opportunities of a globally-ranked university. If you're looking to get a head-start on your professional dance career—or to just have a college experience that balances company-level training and repertory with rigorous academics—the University of Arizona's undergraduate and graduate programs have myriad opportunites to offer:
Yes, we realize it's only August. But we can't help but to already be musing about all the incredible dance happenings of 2019.
We're getting ready for our annual Readers' Choice feature, and we want to hear from you about the shows you can't stop thinking about, the dance videos that blew your mind and the artists you discovered this year who everyone should know about.
What happens during a performance is the product of the painstaking process of realizing an artistic vision. Whether held beforehand, afterward, offsite or online, audience discussions tend not to be so preordained, easily thrown off track without a skilled moderator at the helm.
"I'm someone who dreaded talkbacks and Q&As," admits Bill Bragin, former director of public programming at Lincoln Center. "While I was in New York, a lot of the time it was just audience members trying to show off how smart they were."
These events present a pile of difficult questions: How much do you reveal about a piece before it's shown? How can a conversation designed to hit key points feel casual and spontaneous? How do you cater to the needs of diverse attendees, from novice dancegoers to lifelong fans to scholars and critics? And how do you avoid smothering dance with language, flattening all its complexity?