Hubbard Street announces Spring Series + World Premiere at Harris Theater

Johnny McMillan in The Impossible by Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo. Photo by Quinn B Wharton.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, under the artistic direction of Glenn Edgerton, announces today its third mainstage engagement of the 2015–16 dance season. March 17–20, 2016 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, the Season 38 Spring Series features a world premiere by choreographer and Hubbard Street Rehearsal Director Lucas Crandall, creator of numerous acclaimed works including Atelier, Gimme, and The Set.

A large-scale piece for Hubbard Street’s world-renowned ensemble, Crandall’s new work is inspired in part by stampedes. “I’m curious about what triggers this behavior in nature,” he explains, “and I’m especially interested in why — and how — stampedes end. Rather than looking at them from a dramatic perspective, I’m researching their mechanics. My creative process in the studio, in collaboration with the dancers, has been to construct complex, dynamic movement patterns with groups, then disrupt those patterns, or subject them to a variety of interventions.”

Generating complex rhythms and live percussion, the dancers wear boots as part of original designs by Jeff Award–winner Branimira Ivanova, who also created costumes for the two returning works in Hubbard Street’s Spring Series: The Impossible by Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo, and I am Mister B by Gustavo Ramírez Sansano. The Spring Series world premiere marks the fourth creative collaboration between Crandall and Ivanova, and is the 26th Hubbard Street world premiere for which Ivanova has designed costumes — among them, critical and audience favorites by artists such as Marguerite Donlon, Brian Enos, Jonathan Fredrickson, Cheryl Mann, Terence Marling, Andrea Miller, Penny Saunders, Toru Shimazaki, and Robyn Mineko Williams; nine original works by Hubbard Street Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo; and The Art of Falling, Hubbard Street’s blockbuster collaboration with The Second City (returning to the Harris Theater beginning June 9). Lighting for the world premiere by Lucas Crandall is by Jason Brown, Director of Production at Hubbard Street, adjunct faculty member atthe Theatre School at DePaul University, and lighting designer for works by choreographers Victor Alexander, Jennifer Archibald, Alexei Kremnev, Abdul Latif, and Stephanie Martinez.

For a 13th consecutive year, Hubbard Street holds its Bold Moves for Bold Women event before the opening-night performance on Thursday, March 17. This networking reception and fundraiser celebrates female leadership in business, the arts, and Chicago’s cultural communities, at the offices of Baker & McKenzie with cocktails, delectable hors d’oeuvres, and dazzling views of the city skyline and lakefront. For 38 years, Hubbard Street has remained dedicated to ensuring that women and their unique perspectives are seen and heard, by identifying and supporting female leadership onstage, in area schools, and at the Lou Conte Dance Studio. Honorary event chairsAurora Abella Austriaco, immediate past president of the Chicago Bar Association; Pamela Cullerton, wife of Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton; and co-chairs and Hubbard Street board members Karen H. Lennon and Sarah J. Nolan are joined by a 19-member host committee (as of January 25, 2016). Lead Sponsors are Baker & McKenzie LLP, Deloitte, and Exelon; and Event Sponsors are Citizens for John Cullerton, Gallery19, PhRMA, and Elizabeth Yntema. Bold Moves for Bold Women begins at 5:30pm at Baker & McKenzie LLP, located at 300 East Randolph Street, Suite 5000, in Chicago. $200 tickets include premier seating for the March 17performance at the Harris Theater; $150 tickets include main-floor seating; and party-only tickets are available for $100, by phone at 312-850-9744 ext. 130 or online at hubbardstreetdance.com/boldwomen. All proceeds from Bold Moves for Bold Women benefit Hubbard Street’s artistic, education, and community-supportive programs.

Originally premiered in Chicago in June 2014 and since presented at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival as well as the Joyce Theater in New York City, The Impossible is “beautifully designed, choreographed and danced to create glimpses of worlds beyond,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Its theatrical scenes and physical characterizations are “both a reminder of what has been lost over time,” says The Huffington Post, “and a spark of joy for what is still left of love…at once ghostly, sweet and sorrowful.” Performed by two lead couples, a male soloist, and a five-member ensemble, The Impossible combines music by international composers F. S. Blumm (Frank Schültge), George Crumb, Nils Frahm, Jonny Greenwood, Barry Guy, Nico Muhly, andFernando Velázquez.

Choreographed by Gustavo Ramírez Sansano in homage to George Balanchine, with gossamer, deep blue set designs by Luis Crespo and lighting by Jared B. Moore, I am Mister B is “a celebration of dance in tribute to the prolific choreographer who transformed the American ballet,” says German-American publication EXBERLINER; and “a knockout…bound to become one of Hubbard Street’s signature pieces,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times. I am Mister B is set to the final movement of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s third suite for orchestra in G major (op. 55, 1884), in reference to the score for Balanchine’s 1947 masterwork, Theme and Variations. The company also performs I am Mister B as part of April 2016 domestic touring engagements.

As part of Hubbard Street’s expanded programming for audience engagement, two special pre-performance events will be offered during the Season 38 Spring Series.

In the Harris Theater balcony on Friday, March 18 at 7pm, ticket-holders are welcome to attend“George Balanchine, The Man Behind the Curtain,” a casual conversation with Hubbard Street Artistic Director Glenn Edgerton and Manager of Communication Zachary Whittenburg, on the legacy of George Balanchine, his lasting influence on ballet and contemporary dance, his unique personal style, and Gustavo Ramírez Sansano’s I am Mister B. Admission is free and no advance reservations are required.

In the Harris Theater’s Level 2 Donor Room on Sunday, March 20 at 2pm, ticket-holders are welcome to attend “The First Dance” with Glenn Edgerton and choreographer Lucas Crandall. Complimentary wine and refreshments are included with this reception and conversation about Crandall’s new work, and longtime design partnership with Branimira Ivanova. Admission to “The First Dance” is $10 per person and space is limited; call 312-850-9744 for reservations.

Hubbard Street’s Season 38 Spring Series is at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park, located at 205 East Randolph Street in Chicago, and the complete performance schedule is as follows:

Thursday, March 17, 2016 at 7:30pm
Friday, March 18, 2016 at 8pm
Saturday, March 19, 2016 at 8pm
Sunday, March 20, 2016 at 3pm

Single tickets for the Season 38 Spring Series start at $30 and are available now, online athubbardstreetdance.com/spring. Season 38 “two-pack” subscriptions for Hubbard Street’s Season 38 Spring and Summer Series are also on sale, online at hubbardstreetdance.com/subscribe or by phone to the Hubbard Street Ticket Office at 312-850-9744. Discounted rates are available for groups of 10 or more patrons; visit hubbardstreetdance.com/groups or call 312-850-9744 ext. 164.

Lead Individual Sponsors of the Season 38 Spring Series are Marge and Lew Collens, J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation, and John and Jeanne Rowe. Corporate Sponsors of the Spring Series are Diversity Partner Baker & McKenzie, and Exelon. Bill and Orli Staley are the Leading Supporters of New Choreography Development. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago also extends special thanks to its 2015–16 Season Sponsors: Athletico, Official Provider of Physical Therapy; and Chicago Athletic Clubs, Official Health Club.

About Lucas Crandall
Lucas Crandall began his dance career with the Milwaukee Ballet in 1979. In 1980, he joined the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, then directed by Oscar Aráiz. Under the direction of Jiří Kylián, he danced with Nederlands Dans Theater for two years before returning to Geneva, as soloist and later rehearsal assistant, under the direction of Gradimir Pankov. Crandall has performed and originated roles in works by notable choreographers including Aráiz, Kylián, Christopher Bruce, Nacho Duato, Mats Ek, Rui Horta, Amanda Miller, and Ohad Naharin. In 2000, Crandall returned to the U.S. to join Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, as Associate Artistic Director and staff at the Lou Conte Dance Studio. His teaching and coaching career includes residencies at various U.S. universities; master classes and repertory workshops, both domestically and abroad; and guest positions at companies including Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Northwest Professional Dance Project, and the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève. Crandall’s choreographic work includes multiple premieres for Hubbard Street (Atelier, Gimme, The Set) and new works for Northwest Dance Project and Thodos Dance Chicago. Crandall was recently rehearsal director for Nederlands Dans Theater’s main company for three years, under the directorships of Paul Lightfoot and former Hubbard Street Artistic Director Jim Vincent. Crandall returned to Hubbard Street as Rehearsal Director in April 2013.

About Branimira Ivanova
Branimira Ivanova is a graduate of both the University of Connecticut (MFA, Costume Design) and of the International Academy of Design and Technology (BFA, Fashion Design). Since beginning her career in costume design for dance in 2002, with Hubbard Street, Ivanova has continued to work with the company, creating for renowned choreographers including Alejandro Cerrudo, Lucas Crandall, Marguerite Donlon, Andrea Miller, and Toru Shimazaki. In 2009 and 2010, Ivanova received Jeff Award nominations for her work for Lifeline Theatre’s productions of Treasure Islandand Wuthering Heights; her work for the Gift Theatre’s Cloud 9 received a Jeff Award for Best Costume Design (Equity Wing) in 2012. In 2007, Ivanova received a Certificate for Excellence in Theatre Design from the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, and her designs were included in the United States’ National Exhibit at the Prague Quadrennial World Stage Expo. In 2002, she received Fashion Group International’s “Design Your Future Award,” and the Driehaus Award for Fashion Excellence. Ivanova is also the founder of House of Idolatry Clothing.

About Alejandro Cerrudo
Hubbard Street Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo was born in Madrid, Spain and trained at the Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza de Madrid. His professional career began in 1998 and includes work with Victor Ullate Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, and Nederlands Dans Theater 2. Cerrudo joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2005, was named Choreographic Fellow in 2008, and became the company’s first Resident Choreographer in 2009. Fourteen works choreographed to date for Hubbard Street include collaborations with The Second City, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Nederlands Dans Theater. These pieces and additional commissions are in repertory at companies around the U.S. as well as in Australia, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands; touring engagements have brought his work still further abroad, to audiences in Algeria, Canada, Morocco, and Spain. In March 2012, Pacific Northwest Ballet invited Cerrudo to choreograph his first work for the company, Memory Glow, upon receiving the Joyce Theater Foundation’s second Rudolf Nureyev Prize for New Dance. Additional honors include an award from the Boomerang Fund for Artists (2011), and a Prince Prize for Commissioning Original Work from the Prince Charitable Trusts (2012) for his acclaimed, first evening-length work, One Thousand Pieces. In March 2016, Switzerland’s Ballett Basel premieres his second evening-length work, Sleeping Beauty, at Theater Basel. Cerrudo was one of four choreographers invited by New York City Ballet principal Wendy Whelan to create and perform original duets for “Restless Creature,” and he is United States Artists’ 2014 USA Donnelley Fellow.

About Gustavo Ramírez Sansano
Gustavo Ramírez Sansano was artistic director of Chicago’s Luna Negra Dance Theater from 2009–13 following four years directing proyectoTITOYAYA in Valencia, Spain. Awards and recognitions he’s received for his choreography include first prizes at the Ricard Moragas competition in Barcelona, the Prix Dom Pérignon in Hamburg, and Las Artes Escénicas de la Comunidad Valenciana. International companies that have commissioned new works by Ramírez Sansano include Balé Teatro Guaíra, Ballet BC, Ballet Hispanico, Ballet Junior de Genève, BalletMet Columbus, Balletto dell’Esperia, Budapest Dance Theater, Compañía Nacional de Danza, Gyori Ballet, the Hamburg Ballet, IT Dansa, Nederlands Dans Theater, No(one. Art HouseLos Angeles, Norrdans, Otra Danza, Tanz Luzerner Theater, and TanzTheater München. During his career onstage, Ramírez Sansano performed works by choreographers Jacopo Godani, Johan Inger, Jiří Kylián, Paul Lightfoot, Hans van Manen, Ohad Naharin, Victor Ullate and others, often originating roles, at Ballet Joven de Alicante, Ballet Contemporáneo de Barcelona, Ballet de la Comunidad de Madrid, Nederlands Dans Theater 2, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Ramírez Sansano was named one of 15 choreographers to watch by POR LA DANZA magazine for its 15th anniversary, one of “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine, and a Chicagoan of the Year in the arts and entertainment by the Chicago Tribune in 2012.

About Hubbard Street
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, under the artistic leadership of Glenn Edgerton, celebrates its 38th season in 2015 and 2016. Among the world’s top contemporary dance companies and a global cultural ambassador, Hubbard Street demonstrates fluency in a wide range of techniques and forms, and deep comprehension of abstract artistry and emotional nuance. The company is critically acclaimed for its exuberant and innovative repertoire, featuring works by master American and international choreographers. Hubbard Street’s artists hail from four countries and 12 U.S. states, and comprise a superlative ensemble of virtuosity and versatility.

Since its founding by Lou Conte in 1977, Hubbard Street has grown through the establishment of multiple platforms. Each is dedicated to the support and advancement of dance as an art form, as a practice, and as a method for generating and sustaining communities of all kinds.

Hubbard Street 2, directed by Terence Marling, cultivates young professional dancers, identifies next-generation choreographers, and performs domestically and abroad, in service of arts education, collaboration, experimentation and audience development.

Extensive Youth, Education and Community Programs, directed by Kathryn Humphreys, are models in the field of arts education, linking the performing company’s creative mission to the lives of students and families. Hubbard Street also initiated the first dance-based program in the Midwest to help alleviate suffering caused by Parkinson’s disease. Youth Dance Program classes at the Hubbard Street Dance Center include Creative Movement and progressive study of technique, open to young dancers ages 18 months to 18 years.

At the Lou Conte Dance Studio, directed by founding Hubbard Street Dancer Claire Bataille, workshops and master classes allow access to expertise, while a broad variety of weekly classes offer training at all levels in jazz, ballet, dance fitness, modern, tap, African, hip-hop, yoga, Pilates® and more.