This weekend Hubbard Street Dance Chicago presented its Summer Series, including the HSDC premiere of Following the Subtle Current Upstream choreographed by LINES Ballet's Alonzo King.
With a unique score of thunderstorms, bells, and African-like beats, Following the Subtle Current Upstream portrayed the "subtle currents that exist in the body as the path to liberation." I always love abstract descriptions from the program. Originally set on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2000, the piece was complex choreographically and physically demanding, but well-set on 14 HSDC dancers.
My favorite piece of the night was Untouched, a repertoire piece
that premiered on HSDC in 2010. This was my first time seeing the work,
which was specifically created for Hubbard Street dancers. It reminded
me of Crimson Lounge in Hotel Sax, summoning ideas of vampires with
underground lairs made entirely of red velvet. Creepy and yet warm and
gooey inside, with sexual tension seeping from the stage. Outstanding
performance by Kellie Epperheimer, tiny until she moves and becomes
bigger than her body.
The evening ended with another repertoire
piece, 27'52". With choreography by Jiri Kylian, the piece had its HSDC
premiere in 2010. Certainly the most forward-thinking, abstract work of
the night, Kylian played with space using the push and pull among six
dancers. The piece is full of surprises, at times jarring, and dialogue
played backwards was nightmarish but in the way modern art is often
disturbing when pushing limits.
Congrats to HSDC for pulling off a must-see! Two performances are left, today and tomorrow at Harris Theater. Get your tickets here!
P.S. Have you guys seen Hubbard Street's new web site? Love it!