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Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's Fluid Works

by Taylor Gordon
August 12, 2008
The Joyce Theater
175 Eighth Avenue (at the corner of 19th Street)
New York, NY 10011
212-242-0800

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Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (office)
1147 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607
312-850-9744
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Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's second program of its season at The Joyce this week can be described as a celebration of movement. With repertoire from four diverse choreographers, the evening featured the fluid, organic style of these dancers. They are natural movers.

All but one piece kept a similar kinetic tone of constant movement. The dancers use their bodies to undulate, circulating energy into peaks and troughs throughout. This was best demonstrated in Nacho Duato's piece, "Gnawa." Like much of his choreography, Duato's rhythmic steps were accompanied by Mediterranean music from several artists.

It featured a lush pas de deux for two nearly naked dancers, with Nicholas Fischtel's lighting design keeping it tasteful. Their rawness seemed to extend from each other as they moved together, particularly in partnered turns where the woman splayed out, being held by her feet to compete with centripetal force. They were immune to mortality and its weight.

The ensemble dancers often formed a series of horizontal lines linked by an elbow or wrist. In precise synchronization the 14 of them laced across the stage or into circles. In a wonderful moment, the men circled their hip and propelled the women's heads, leaning against them, to follow through with the motion. The waves of energy transferred from one to another.

Similar concepts were explored in "The Constant Shift of Pulse," a more dynamic, wilder work choreographed by Doug Varone. Here the dancers still remained in motion but were juxtaposed with stillness. Several of them remained on the floor making physical contact with each other while others darted across passionately. They may well have run straight out to 8th Avenue with all their drive.

"Lickety-Split," choreographed by company member Alejandro Cerrudo, was a more subdued but equally lovely work for three couples. Company Associate Artistic Director Lucas Crandall's humorous, "The Set," showed the dancers in a completely different light. A campy dance for a man, woman, and cross-dressing dreamer, the piece sat well with the audience. The company was stronger in its other works, but it was nice to have a laugh.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago: Lickety-Split

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago: Lickety-Split

Photo © & courtesy of Todd Rosenberg


Hubbard Street Dance Chicago: Lickety-Split

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago: Lickety-Split

Photo © & courtesy of Todd Rosenberg


Hubbard Street Dance Chicago: Lickety-Split

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago: Lickety-Split

Photo © & courtesy of Todd Rosenberg

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