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Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Celebrates 30 Years at Spotlight Ball

by Jill Chukerman
April 4, 2008
Harris Theatre for Music and Dance
Millennium Park
205 E. Randolph Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
312.332.7777

Featured Dance Company:

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (office)
1147 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607
312-850-9744
www.hubbardstreetdance.com

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC) celebrated 30 years as one of the world's leading contemporary dance companies at the Spotlight Ball, its annual gala benefit, April 4, 2008. Hosting a crowd of more than 700 loyal fans and festive partygoers, the Spotlight Ball served as the crowning event of the company's 2008 Spring Series. The evening included a performance featuring works created by HSDC choreographers and a post-show party, raising nearly $600,000 from a combination of ticket sales, silent auction and raffle proceeds and contributions.

The black-tie evening began with a special performance by HSDC at 6:30 p.m. at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park, featuring Extremely Close by HSDC dancer Alejandro Cerrudo and The Set by HSDC Associate Artistic Director Lucas Crandall, both of which received their world premieres during the 2008 Spring Series, as well as HSDC Artistic Director Jim Vincent's Palladio (2007). For this performance only, HSDC performed Extremely Close with live music provided by pianist Bruce Brubaker, chair of the piano department at the New England Conservatory of Music. Ron Magers, news anchor and reporter for ABC7 News, served as master of ceremonies.

The world premiere of Extremely Close was commissioned by The Joyce Theater's Stephen and Cathy Weinroth Fund for New Work, with principal corporate support from the Sara Lee Foundation and additional support from Meg and Tim Callahan and the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation. Philip and Marsha Dowd are the exclusive underwriters of The Set. Palladio was underwritten by Meg and Tim Callahan, Karen and Peter Lennon, and Timothy R. Schwertfeger and Gail Waller.

The post-performance festivities included cocktails, dinner, dancing and music by Maggie Speaks at The Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. The evening's true "stars," the HSDC dancers, were introduced to guests via a DVD produced by former company member Tobin Del Cuore, who also screened a special 30th Anniversary DVD featuring past and present dancers, staff and board members. Guests had the opportunity to participate in a silent auction that featured air travel to Europe (winning bid: $4,600) and U.S. destinations; personal chef Shannon Kinsella making a meal in the winner's home ($2,800) and other dining experiences; a Ming Dynasty terracotta horse and rider ($2,750); accommodations from coast to coast; and more items in fashion, sports and entertainment. Raffle prizes included a $5,000 Neiman-Marcus gift card, a Caribbean vacation, a White Sox Skybox, a Chicago Dine Around featuring eight restaurants and tickets to 10 of Chicago's finest theatre, music and dance venues. At midnight, guests moved into the Limelight after-party, also at the Sheraton.

Maggie Speaks played everything from the '70s forward — meant to reflect the 30 years of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's existence. Having a partner with you was not necessary. Many people danced with other guests or just in big groups on the dance floor. While a few engaged in formal social dancing, others did their own thing. There were times when everyone danced in small groups and even a large group did the electric slide at one point. The dancing was just for fun and it was very informal. The floor was a standard hotel ballroom floor assembled from tiles. Ticket prices for the Spotlight Ball range from $500 to $1000 per person. The Spotlight Ball had teenagers there as well as guests in their 70s and 80s — and everything in between.

Supporting the Spotlight Ball were CBRichard Ellis, Northern Trust and Denise L. Stefan as contributing sponsors; American Airlines as the official airline; Gemini Graphics as the official printer; Cramer-Krasselt as the official advertising agency; Flower Firm as the official florist; and Bottlenotes as the official wine sponsor.

Chairing the Spotlight Ball was HSDC board member Denise L. Stefan (Streeterville), That's A Wrap. Committee members included Denise Ashurst (Winnetka); Arthur Ashley (Evanston), STATS; Jamie Breslin (Western Springs), Four Seasons Hotel; Jan Brown (Gold Coast); board members Meg Siegler Callahan (Highland Park) and Carolyn Clift (Chatham), Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois; Katie Petric Cory (Wilmette); Trudy Giesel (Clybourn Corridor); Jonathan Goldman (Sheridan Park), MB Real Estate; Linda J. Krivkovich (Gold Coast); Board Chair Karen Lennon (Streeterville), Somercor 504, Inc.; Board Vice President of Marketing Marcus C. Miller (Lincoln Park), Home Preview Channel; Kay Nixon (Glenview); board member Dina Norris (River North), PricewaterhouseCoopers; Maria Pinto (Gold Coast); board member Byron Pollock (Gold Coast), Ideal Box Co.; Sally Regenbogen (Gold Coast); board member Deborah Stonebraker (Lincoln Park); and Taylor Todd, Four Seasons Hotel.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC), under the dynamic leadership of Artistic Director Jim Vincent, is celebrating 30 years as one of the most original forces in contemporary dance. Critically acclaimed for its exuberant, athletic and innovative repertoire, HSDC presents performances that inspire, challenge and engage audiences worldwide. The company's ensemble of dancers displays unparalleled versatility and virtuosity, allowing HSDC to expand its eclectic repertoire with works by master American and international choreographers. HSDC also contributes to dance's evolution by developing new choreographic talent and collaborating with artists in music, visual art and theatre. Since Lou Conte founded the company in 1977, HSDC has expanded beyond its main company to include Hubbard Street 2, which cultivates young professional dancers and choreographers, serves as the foundation of HSDC's education initiatives and performs nationally and internationally with a diverse and engaging repertoire; extensive Education & Community Programs, under the direction of Kathryn Humphreys, which offer city- and state-accredited professional development for teachers to incorporate movement into curriculums and expose young people to dance; and the Lou Conte Dance Studio, under the direction of Lou Conte and Claire Bataille, one of the original HSDC dancers, which offers a wide variety of classes weekly in jazz, ballet, modern, tap, African, hip-hop and Pilates at levels from basic to professional, as well as workshops and master classes.
Jonathan Goldman, Spotlight Ball Committee member, with HSDC dancer Meredith Dincolo

Jonathan Goldman, Spotlight Ball Committee member, with HSDC dancer Meredith Dincolo

Photo © & courtesy of Joan Hackett


Stacie Hartman and Robert Rizzo of Sara Lee Corporation, which provided principal corporate support for the world premiere of HSDC dancer/choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo's Extremely Close, part of the evening's performance

Stacie Hartman and Robert Rizzo of Sara Lee Corporation, which provided principal corporate support for the world premiere of HSDC dancer/choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo's Extremely Close, part of the evening's performance

Photo © & courtesy of Joan Hackett


HSDC dancers Pablo Piantino and Penny Saunders on the dance floor

HSDC dancers Pablo Piantino and Penny Saunders on the dance floor

Photo © & courtesy of Joan Hackett


Spotlight Ball committee member Taylor Todd of Four Seasons Hotel

Spotlight Ball committee member Taylor Todd of Four Seasons Hotel

Photo © & courtesy of Joan Hackett


Dr. Wanda Knight and Dr. Ricardo Knight

Dr. Wanda Knight and Dr. Ricardo Knight

Photo © & courtesy of Joan Hackett


HSDC Individual Giving Coordinator Nima Shetty and fiancé Naveen Nallapareddy

HSDC Individual Giving Coordinator Nima Shetty and fiancé Naveen Nallapareddy

Photo © & courtesy of Robert F. Carl


HSDC board member Linda Hutson and Director of Development Martin Grochala

HSDC board member Linda Hutson and Director of Development Martin Grochala

Photo © & courtesy of Joan Hackett


Claire Bataille, one of the four original HSDC dancers and currently Associate Director of the Lou Conte Dance Studio at the Hubbard Street Dance Center, dances with former HSDC dancer Geoff Myers and Spotlight Ball committee member Jonathan Goldman

Claire Bataille, one of the four original HSDC dancers and currently Associate Director of the Lou Conte Dance Studio at the Hubbard Street Dance Center, dances with former HSDC dancer Geoff Myers and Spotlight Ball committee member Jonathan Goldman

Photo © & courtesy of Joan Hackett


Stephanie Martinez dances with former HSDC dancer Massimo Pacilli

Stephanie Martinez dances with former HSDC dancer Massimo Pacilli

Photo © & courtesy of Joan Hackett

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