New and exciting contemporary dance takes the stage when Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC) comes to Cal Performances on Friday and Saturday, February 1 and 2 at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall. Led by artistic director Glenn Edgerton, the company will bring three premiere works to Berkeley: a world premiere created by Alonzo King and performed by a supergroup of 28 dancers from both Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and King’s company, Alonzo King LINES Ballet; the West Coast debut of Alejandro Cerrudo’s Little mortal jump and the Bay Area bow of Sharon Eyal and Gaï Behar’s Too Beaucoup. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is celebrating its 35th year as one of the country’s most important contemporary dance companies. “This is the kind of dancing one always hopes to see,” raves the Los Angeles Times.
The centerpiece of the HSDC’s visit to Berkeley will be a yet-untitled new work from visionary San Francisco choreographer Alonzo King. King is creating a work that celebrates the merging of diverse aesthetics, rather than the inherent contrasts between the two companies. It is set to music from various sources, including original music by San Francisco composer Ben Juodvalkis.
Also on the program is Little mortal jump, created in 2012 for HSDC by its resident choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo. The work features diversely characterized couples, scenery that alternately serves as frames and obstructions for the dancers, and a score of wildly contrasting music by Beirut, Andrew Bird, Alexandre Desplat, Philip Glass, Hans Otte, and Max Richter. The third piece in the Berkeley program is Too Beaucoup, a full-company work commissioned in 2011 from Israeli choreographer Sharon Eyal and her co-creator Gaï Behar, who also designed the costumes. With a whimsical title meaning “too too much,” the work suggests 3D video through precise, robotic movements, costumes and lighting. Israeli musician and DJ Ori Lichtik designed the soundtrack using music by Gang of Four, Vicious Pink, Depeche Mode, Ivan Pavlov (COH), Leonard Cohen, Cole Porter, Vice, Bobby Timmons and Oren Barzilay.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago grew out of the Lou Conte Dance Studio, where, in 1977, several aspiring young dancers asked Conte for instruction. Within a decade the company was attracting nationally known choreographers to create works for it. Conte led the group for 23 years, developing relationships with choreographers including Margo Sappington, Daniel Ezralow, Nacho Duato, Jirí Kylián and Twyla Tharp, who shaped the company’s repertoire. Jim Vincent succeeded Conte in 2000, and in 2009, Glenn Edgerton took the helm as Artistic Director. Today Hubbard consists of a main company of 17 dancers, a preparatory company called Hubbard Street 2 (HS2), the Lou Conte Dance Studio, and a variety of education and community programs. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago also cultivates collaborative partnerships with Chicago’s leading cultural and academic institutions, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Illinois Institute of Technology School of Architecture and Rush University Medical Center.
Glenn Edgerton became artistic director of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2009, bringing a passion for new choreographic works and a deep desire for enhanced collaboration and communication with an international roster of musicians, choreographers, dancers, and artists. “Our eclecticism, our cultivation of new choreography is what makes Hubbard Street unique,” Edgerton recently told the Los Angeles Times. “We are poised to demonstrate what dance can be and where dance can go. We don’t even know where it is. Wherever it is, I want to be the catalyst.”
Choreographer Alonzo King has works in the repertories of the Swedish Royal Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Ballet Bejart, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Hong Kong Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre and Hubbard Street until 1980. In 1982 he founded LINES Contemporary Ballet, which was later renamed Alonzo King LINES Ballet. He has worked extensively in opera, television and film. In 2005, he was named a Master of Choreography by the Kennedy Center and in October 2012, the San Francisco Museum & Historical Society named Alonzo King a “San Francisco Treasure” in recognition of the significant contributions he has made to the historic fabric of San Francisco over the last 30 years.
Tickets for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago on Friday and Saturday, February 1 and 2 at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $30.00–$68.00 and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door. Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets. For more information about discounts, go to http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.