For one weekend only, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago returned to the Auditorium Theatre’s historic stage for the first performance in twenty years. This special two-night engagement, co-presented with the Auditorium Theatre, was devoted entirely to the work by Hubbard Street’s beloved and critically acclaimed Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo.
The program weaved together both audience favorites from his past ten years choreographing for the company as well as an exciting world premiere. The performances took place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24 at the Auditorium Theatre.
“During our 40th anniversary season I wanted to highlight and celebrate the talent and longevity of Alejandro’s achievements as a choreographer during his ten years as resident choreographer,” said Artistic Director Glenn Edgerton. “The return to the Auditorium seemed an ideal occasion to showcase Alejandro’s work, an artist who has helped shape the aesthetic of the company for a decade.”
“We are thrilled to welcome back Hubbard Street Dance Chicago to the Auditorium after too-long of an absence,” said Auditorium Theatre CEO Tania Castroverde Moskalenko. “This company epitomizes the highest level of dance not only here in Chicago but nationally and internationally. We are excited to add them this year to our popular ‘Made in Chicago’ Series with a full evening of Alejandro Cerrudo’s work, which I have admired for many years.”
The program features works that span Cerrudo’s career as a choreographer including selections from the sensual Lickety-Split, thematic Off Screen, celebrated Silent Ghost, and a brand-new world premiere titled Out of Your Mind.
“The evening will encapsulate the progression of my choreography throughout my career, starting with early pieces like Lickety-Split and Off Screen and concluding with the Chicago premiere of Silent Ghost, as well as a world premiere,” remarked Alejandro Cerrudo. “The evening will balance both works that have not been performed by the company in many years with an exciting new piece that seeks to push the boundaries of the stage for Hubbard Street’s return to the Auditorium Theatre.”
Part whimsy, part poetry, part farce, part raw emotion… Hubbard Street brought down the house during the Spring Series. Threaded together with the spoken word soundtrack of “The Dream of Life” by Alan Watts, the performances flowed together from magic wonderlands where nothing is what it seems, to the reality as we know it. Sometimes comical, sometimes dramatic, the first half of the performance toyed with words and visuals, making us question what it was we saw. Unpredictable layers of love in Lickety-Split gave way to movie scores and their physical interpretations in Off Screen. Meditation on love and loss in the haunting Silent Ghost was almost palpably painful. The performance’s second half was the world premiere of the grand, full company piece Out of Your Mind.
“If you awaken from this illusion and you understand that black implies white, self implies other, life implies death (or shall I say death implies life?), you can feel yourself – not as a stranger in the world, not as something here on probation, not as something that has arrived here by fluke – but you can begin to feel your own existence as absolutely fundamental.
I am not trying to sell you on this idea in the sense of converting you to it, I want you to play with it. I want you to think of its possibilities, I am not trying to prove it. I am just putting it forward as a possibility of life to think about. So then, let’s suppose that you were able every night to dream any dream you wanted to dream, and that you could for example have the power within one night to dream 75 years of time, or any length of time you wanted to have.
And you would, naturally, as you began on this adventure of dreams, you would fulfill all your wishes. You would have every kind of pleasure during your sleep. And after several nights of 75 years of total pleasure each you would say “Well that was pretty great”. But now let’s have a surprise, let’s have a dream which isn’t under control, where something is gonna happen to me that I don’t know what it’s gonna be.
And you would dig that and would come out of that and you would say “Wow that was a close shave, wasn’t it?”. Then you would get more and more adventurous and you would make further- and further-out gambles what you would dream. And finally, you would dream where you are now. You would dream the dream of living the life that you are actually living today.
That would be within the infinite multiplicity of choices you would have. Of playing that you weren’t god, because the whole nature of the godhead, according to this idea, is to play that he is not. So in this idea then, everybody is fundamentally the ultimate reality, not god in a politically kingly sense, but god in the sense of being the self, the deep-down basic whatever there is. And you are all that, only you are pretending you are not.” ~Alan Watts “The Dream of Life”
When your soundtrack is this enigmatic, what can you do but be brilliant, am I right?
Hubbard Street Dance Spring Series were held at Auditorium Theatre at 50 E. Congress Pkwy on the heart of Chicago March 23 & 24, 2018. Stay tuned for the company’s other seasonal series.