The Music Center launches its 21st season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center with the return of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, one of the world’s most original forces in contemporary dance. Under the leadership of new Artistic Director Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell, the company will perform BUSK (choreography by Aszure Barton, 2009), followed by the West Coast premieres of Coltrane’s Favorite Things (choreography by Lar Lubovitch, 2010) and Dear Frankie (choreography by Rennie Harris, 2023) in The Music Center’s Ahmanson Theatre from September 29 to October 1, 2023.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, who last performed at The Music Center in 2015, will again captivate audiences with its extraordinary talent, precision and boundless creativity. “Hubbard Street Dance Chicago ought to bottle itself as a cure for the ills of the era,” writes The New York Times. The Boston Globe adds: “Oh, those dancers, the mighty Hubbard
Streeters, at once a unified force and a community of individuals.”
“Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is the consummate troupe to launch the 21st season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center—our boldest dance season in years. Audiences of all ages will discover the power of movement with such an extraordinary company and be left spellbound by the dancers’ raw energy, athleticism and undeniable beauty,” said Rachel S. Moore, president and CEO of The Music Center. “Throughout this season, we will proudly present works about strong, dynamic women as well as by strong, incredible women, beginning with the exhilarating vision of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Artistic Director Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell.”
BUSK is the 2009 creation of the company’s artist-in-residence Aszure Barton. The internationally renowned Canadian-American choreographer’s poignant work, called “nothing short of phenomenal” by Chicago’s PBS station WTTW, celebrates and scrutinizes the essence of what it means to perform, laying bare complex layers of human experience and emotion through mesmerizing, multitasking movements. BUSK was conceived at The Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, California, during a residency hosted by Dianne Vapnek’s DANCEworks. The work was further developed in residency at The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and premiered in 2009 at the Ringling International Arts Festival.
Coltrane’s Favorite Things was choreographed by Lar Lubovitch, hailed by The New York Times as “one of the 10 best choreographers in the world.” His work, making its West Coast debut, is inspired by and danced to John Coltrane’s 1963 Live in Copenhagen interpretation of the song My Favorite Things from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music. The backdrop for the dance is a reproduction of Jackson Pollock’s landmark painting Autumn Rhythm. With this dance, Lubovitch reimagines the choreographic possibilities of Jazz, creating a vibrant counterpart to the artistic impulsiveness of these two 20thcentury giants.
“In his time, the music of John Coltrane was described as ‘sheets of sound’, due to the aural environment created by his innovative wall-to-wall, top-to-bottom, overall constancy of sound,” explained Lubovitch. “Simultaneously, mid-century artist Jackson Pollock was creating pictures depicting a visual environment for which the entire surface of the canvas itself was an overall ‘action field,’ the term coined to describe his paintings. In this dance, I have sought to draw a parallel between Coltrane’s sheets of sound and Pollock’s field of action.”
Dear Frankie also will be making its West Coast debut at The Music Center following its world premiere in Chicago in May of this year. In fact, Los Angeles audiences will be the first to experience Dear Frankie outside of Chicago. Known for bringing social dances to the concert stage and coining the term Street Dance Theater, Rennie Harris has broken new ground as one of the first Hip-Hop choreographers to set works on ballet-based companies.
“This work is an homage to the city of Chicago, the godfather of House Music DJ Frankie Knuckles, the infamous dance club The Warehouse, and its club members,” said Harris. “Frankie Knuckles and the other noted Chicago DJs introduced House Music to the world. As a result, Chicago’s unique sound and dance have impacted not only music but fashion, television, film, radio and Pop, and underground culture as we know it today.”
During the company’s residency, The Music Center’s longtime community partner dublab (the L.A.- based, world renowned online radio station) will dedicate live DJ sets to the legendary musicians who helped to inspire two works performed by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago: Frankie Knuckles and John Coltrane. Additional details to be announced soon.
To engage and inspire students and educators with dance and movement, The Music Center’s Hubbard Street Dance Company residency will also include a special matinee performance for middle school and high school students on Friday, September 29.
Tickets to Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s performances are available for purchase now by visiting musiccenter.org/hubbardstreet or calling (213) 972-0711. The Music Center’s Ticket Buyer Assurance Program protects all advance ticket purchases for dance presentations through 2024. Ticketed patrons will receive, at their request, a full refund or a credit for a future performance if Los Angeles County or the State of California elects to restrict or prohibit large gathering events at venues, resulting in the cancellation by The Music Center of dance performances due to COVID-19-related conditions. If an event is postponed or rescheduled, ticketed patrons will be moved automatically to the new
performance date; however, patrons may request a refund or credit for the future. All changes must be handled prior to the purchaser’s scheduled performance date.