Post image for Dance & Music Preview: HUBBARD STREET DANCE CHICAGO & THIRD COAST PERCUSSION (The Wallis)

by Tony Frankel on December 21, 2018

in Dance,Music,Theater-Los Angeles,Tours


As one of the world’s most important contemporary dance companies, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago encompasses a vast array of techniques and forms, as well as an understanding of abstract artistry and the emotional nuances of movement. With an exuberant, athletic, and innovative repertoire, Hubbard Street presents performances that inspire, yes, but also challenge how we look at dance. Under Glenn Edgerton’s artistic direction, this contemporary ballet company’s ensemble of 16 dancers displays unparalleled versatility and virtuosity, allowing Hubbard Street to expand its eclectic repertoire with works by American master dance-makers (their 39th Summer Series proved that) and internationally renown choreographers (such as an all-Jiří Kylián program) as well as emerging talent from under its own roof (see our review of this month’s Winter Series in Chicago).

One of the only companies in America to perform year-round, domestically as well as overseas, it’s nonetheless a rare opportunity to catch this amazing company in L.A. I’ve seen them on their home turf three times now, so I urge you to hightail it to The Wallis in Beverly Hills, where, luckily, there are three chances — Jan. 10-12, 2019 — to catch excerpts from a new collaboration between Hubbard, making their Wallis debut, and Third Coast Percussion (above), also from Chicago, a Grammy-winning classically-trained quartet that will perform live on stage.

The first half of the program includes two works that are inspired by the “principal of sustainability.” Loosely intertwined, the works by L.A. choreographers — “For All Its Fury” by dance video sensation Emma Portner (pictured above ), and “Everything Must Go” by Teddy Forance (So You Think You Can Dance) — feature a powerful, rousing score by British singer/songwriter/composer Devonté Hynes, with a solo interlude by Hynes opening the evening.

Additionally, Hubbard Street performs three works from its established repertoire. The effervescent, all-male Pacopepepluto (photo above) by resident choreographer Alejandro Cerruto is a florid floor exercise performed to hit songs by Dean Martin. Dressed in flesh-covered, tightly-clinging costumes that in the dim lighting strongly suggest nudity, three superb athletes rush about, flailing their arms and kicking their legs with sheer abandon and unashamed bravado, tumbling and spinning with all the crazy freedom of “That’s Amore.”

Next, “Ignore,” an excerpt from “Decadance/Chicago” choreographed by Ohad Naharin for Hubbard Street in June 2018 features five female dancers. Set to the music of Arvo Pärt, it includes spoken word by Bobbie Jene Smith (contains explicit language). Naharin, the former artistic director of the Tel Aviv-based Batsheva Dance Company, developed the dance style known as Gaga.

Last is “Solo Echo” (pictured above and below), a 2012 piece originated by Nederlands Dans Theater to a sensuous chamber-music score by Johannes Brahms. This is Crystal Pite’s very original take on a serene poem, “Lines for Winter,” by Mark Strand. Seven elaborately interconnected dancers/warriors in dark green khaki erupt in what Stage and Cinema‘s reviewer called “‘frieze-framed’ tableaux, seemingly group statues or fragments from a Greek temple depicting the ‘agon’ of battle. Recalling Army Rangers caught in the throes of combat, this unit constantly freezes in formation or full flight.”

photos by Todd Rosenberg

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago & Third Coast Percussion
Bram Goldsmith Theater
Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
9390 N. Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills
Thursday, January 10, 2019, 7:30 pm (post-performance talk-back with the artists)
Friday, January 11, 2019, 7:30 pm
Saturday, January 12, 2019, 7:30 pm
for tickets ($35-$105), call 310.746.4000 or visit The Wallis

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