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In an industry like entertainment, perfection is rarely achieved. That’s why it’s especially difficult to start a new company, let alone maintain it. Yet against those odds, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago has not only thrived, it has created a 40-year legacy. Now, that legacy revisits the Wharton Center with a new show for its ruby anniversary.
Dancer Alice Klock, 29, has been dancing since she was 11 and has been part of the company for nine years. She will be part of three of the evening’s four dances, and said she enjoys working with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago because of the unique challenge it gives her as a dancer.
“I think the reason why this company has been successful for so long is because it has a great history, but it’s always evolving also,” Klock said. “Every season we get new choreography that we don’t have an understanding of yet. It’s so new but we have to adjust to it. I think is what has kept us current and successful for so long and that’s also why I’ve stayed with the company. I love that challenge.”
The show will begin with “Cloud Line.” It is a dance choreographed by former Hubbard Street Dancer Robyn Mineko Williams. The choreography of this piece is very fluid as it centers around the fabric of a parachute. Klock describes the dance as an atmospheric one.
“And it’s an emotional piece,” Klock said. “A lot of the performance of it is almost like an out of body experience. It’s demanding, but more than anything, it’s kind of an emotional journey.”
The second piece is a duet that has been described as “fun and witty,” entitled “Violonchelo.” The dance comes from choreographer Nacho Duato and describes Bach’s relationship with his violin. Difficulty is added to the already intricate piece because one dancer must play the violin as well.
Duato also incorporates a second piece into the performance “Jardi Tancat.” Klock is part of this Catalonian piece that tells a story about enduring through hardship.
“The third is incredibly physical and demanding,” Klock said. “It has a rooted, grounded nature based feel. And the fact that you have to move so much to get through it, is a journey. It uses a different part of myself than Cloud Line.”
Finally, the show will end with a prop-heavy performance of “One Flat Thing, reproduced.” The dance was choreographed by William Forsythe and includes the entire dance company. Klock said that performing it keeps her on her toes.
“The last piece is one that we produced and it’s just sort of his epic, communication extravaganza. We’re giving each other thousands of specific cues,” Klock said. “So, you have to be aware and focused at all times, and very tuned in to exactly what your colleagues are doing. You have to have the courage to make different choices every day, and you’re required to be on your toes every day.”
Pre- and post-performance, the audience is invited to chat about the individual dances to gain more insights about the works presented.
Klock said she looks forward to the dancer-audience interaction while she performs also, especially because of the variation in energy that can happen between shows.
“It’s a mutual feeling on stage, you’re giving a lot but you’re receiving a lot,” Klock said. “So there always is an evolution, even if it’s something that we have figured out to some extent. Every place is different and every audience has a different energy dynamic.”
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Tuesday, Oct. 10
Tickets start at $25
Wharton Center for Performing Arts
Cobb Great Hall
750 E. Shaw Lane,