Hubbard Street's Summer Series: So Different, So Good

acqueline Burnett and Jesse Bechard in Malditos.  Photo by Todd Rosenberg

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago opened their Summer Series at the Harris Theater Thursday, presenting three very different works from three inspired choreographers. Alejandro Cerrudo's Malditos opens the program, followed by William Forsythe's Quintett. Batsheva Dance Company Artistic Director Ohad Naharin's THREE TO MAX completes the evening, and "completes" is an understatement. The three works cover an unbelievable range of choreography and music, but what they all have in common is that Hubbard Street is performing them. In all three works the Hubbard Street dancers look like they invented the concert stage; it doesn't seem to matter what artistc vision they find themselves inside of, they're always at home.

Malditos is so effective they could do it three times in the same concert and you might still go see the show twice. The Harris Theater holds more than fifteen hundred people and Hubbard Street always packs it, but when Cerrudo brings his complex and beautiful soundtrack down to complete silence in a few places, there's absolutely nothing making a sound anywhere in the whole place. That's because Malditos never stops taking your breath away.

Quintett is a legendary work; in the nearly twenty years since it was first created, very few dance companies in the world have been chosen to perform it. Hubbard Street isn't just one of those that has; the Company has been invited to perform Quintett when The American Dance Festival presents Forsythe with the 2012 Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement.

THREE TO MAX is a concert all by itself; it was crafted by Naharin for Hubbard Street as a collage of his past works, and the Company calls it "a study in singular, uncompromising choreographic invention." That doesn't even begin to convey how rich it is; there are whole sections in it where you see movement and movement imagery that capture an entire world --- worlds that you can only visit when Naharin's at work.

Summer Series runs through Sunday, June 3. One of the many good reasons for going to see it is that if you do, you'll sure be glad you didn't miss it. For ticket information check out the Harris Theater site.

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