Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Hubbard Street Dance has physical language that resembles Morse Code. Long, sinuous combinations are punctuated by jerks of the head, pelvis, arms, a kick. In an evening that featured three choreographers, two particularly evidenced this with the third successfully traveling off path.

Coltrane’s Favorite Things – Choreography Lar Lubovitch
Staged by Jonathan E. Alsberry
Stand-out dancers – Alexandria Best, Shota Miyoshi, Elliot Hammans

Alexandria Best, Jack Henderson, Shota Miyoshi, Elliot Hammans, and Abdiel Figueroa Reyes

Much like the saxophonist’s freewheeling jazz, a Jackson Pollack serves as backdrop. Costumes are loosely layered grey and ochre. The company moves in waves with solos and duets breaking free like rebellious colts. Overall feeling is expansive. Limbs constantly extend, move. Pony tails whip. Unfettered figures suddenly spasm. Shoulders shake, heads bobble, torsos buckle. Lifted bodies bend arms and/or legs as they do leaping. Smooth, contort, smooth, smooth, contort. It’s an exuberant piece, yet only some dancers smile. A bit unformed.

return to patience – Choreography Azure Barton. Music – Caroline Shaw—Performed by Ruogu Wen
Staged by Jonathan E. Alsberry
Lighting= Set Design – Nicole Pearce

Alysia Johnson, Cyrie Topete, Abdiel Figueroa Reyes, Matt Wenckowski, and Alexandria Best

The company wears loose white shirts and pants. They are expressionless. Invisible wind seems to bend planted forms. Movement is subtle. Heads jerk down. Shoulders rise. Again, the company moves in union with twos and threes escaping. Bodies often appear to be puppeted, as if figures have no control. Lots of floor work offers variety of visual levels. Transitions are smooth. Feet flex as couples step in pairs. Groups are more connected, holding hands, arms, almost tumbling over one another. There’s a sense of community here.

Aguas Que Van, Quieren Volver – Choreography by Rena Butler
Music – Milton Aguilar, Miguel Angel, Marcelo Barbel, Jane May, Valladares, Rebolledo.
Composed by Darryl Hoffman

Shota Miyoshi, Abdiel Figueroa Reyes, and Cyrie Topete

This is the most interesting of the three pieces. Dancers Alysia Johnson, Shota Miyoshi, and Cyrie Topete work as one organism. They intertwine, pull and push as if opposite magnetic poles trying to permanently connect. The program says, “Waters that go, want to return.” Hips and haunches are paramount. Infectious Portuguese vocal and rhythmic drums propel arms and buttocks. Dancers bounce. Some body part is almost always connected to that of another figure. Somersaults and cartwheels whoosh forms back when separated. Arms wave above heads or extend in front loose-fisted. Positions sometimes resemble insects. Arm over arm they hold, then pull apart kinetically.

Photos Courtesy of the company
Opening: Alexandria Best
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Artistic Director – Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell
Executive Director – David McDermott
Founder – Lou Conte

Through March 24, 2024
Joyce Theater
175 8th Avenue

About Alix Cohen (1726 Articles)
Alix Cohen is the recipient of ten New York Press Club Awards for work published on this venue. Her writing history began with poetry, segued into lyrics and took a commercial detour while holding executive positions in product development, merchandising, and design. A cultural sponge, she now turns her diverse personal and professional background to authoring pieces about culture/the arts with particular interest in artists/performers and entrepreneurs. Theater, music, art/design are lifelong areas of study and passion. She is a voting member of Drama Desk and Drama League. Alix’s professional experience in women’s fashion fuels writing in that area. Besides Woman Around Town, the journalist writes for Cabaret Scenes, Broadway World, TheaterLife, and Theater Pizzazz. Additional pieces have been published by The New York Post, The National Observer’s Playground Magazine, Pasadena Magazine, Times Square Chronicles, and ifashionnetwork. She lives in Manhattan. Of course.