WBEZ | Hubbard Street Dance Chicago http://www.wbez.org/tags/hubbard-street-dance-chicago Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Who is the next great Chicago choreographer? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-10/who-next-great-chicago-choreographer-108899 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/QBW_MG_4028.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="(Hubbard Street Dance Chicago/Quinn B Wharton)" /></div><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-271bb232-a792-4f1a-927b-ed29b298b4b0">Robyn Mineko Williams does not know if she is a great choreographer, or even a good one. She is hesitant to take on the distinction so early in her career. But as an emerging Chicago choreographer, her public successes far outweigh any failures. And to see one of her works in person is to understand dance on its most visceral level. Never failing to create works that appear more like dance theater than just merely dance, Mineko Williams&rsquo; small output signals a choreographer on the rise. Her latest work, <em>Fluence</em>, in the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago <a href="http://www.hubbardstreetdance.com/index.php?option=com_k2&amp;view=proditem&amp;id=211:fall-series&amp;Itemid=58" target="_blank">fall program</a> at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance and runs through Sunday, Oct. 13.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>A 2013&ndash;14 Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship Award winner, <a href="http://www.robynminekowilliams.com" target="_blank">Mineko Williams</a> is from the city and her dance career flourished as a member of River North Dance Chicago before joining Hubbard Street Dance Chicago for 12 seasons. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s my people. It&rsquo;s my community,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;Choreography is quite competitive in general and I feel taken care of and supported by Chicago.&rdquo;</span></p><p>Unlike other artistic communities, Chicago&rsquo;s dance community is one of the city&#39;s strongest and therefore, greatness does not seem to be a matter of if, but when. Chicago allows its performers to make work in an environment fueled by both their vision and a home-grown team of support.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-271bb232-a792-4f1a-927b-ed29b298b4b0">&ldquo;In a way, I feel that I have a lot of people with me,&rdquo; Mineko Williams said. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re supporting me as a growing artist. I just feel really lucky. I don&rsquo;t think that happens a lot.&rdquo;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-271bb232-a792-4f1a-927b-ed29b298b4b0"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/HSD130916_078.JPG" style="float: left;" title="(Hubbard Street Dance Chicago/Todd Rosenberg)" />Since premiering her first Hubbard Street Dance Chicago work <em>Recall</em> as part of the company&rsquo;s <em>danc(e)volve: New Works Festival</em> at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Williams has focused more on refining her choreography</span>.</p><p dir="ltr"><span>&ldquo;My goals are the same and hopefully my vocabulary is tightening up more and I&rsquo;m becoming more conscious of what I like to do and whether or not it works,&rdquo; she said. </span></p><p>Visually, <em>Fluence</em> is a work of technological and mechanical appeal. Featuring five men and four women, the dancers&rsquo; movements appear not unlike computer glitches, never quite lovely but always methodical. An extensive use of hand gestures furthers that idea. Visually, they appear as if lacking control in their movements, as if their thoughts and actions are two distinct properties.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-271bb232-a792-4f1a-927b-ed29b298b4b0"><em>Fluence</em> is the physical manifestation of the mechanical process. Multiple functions are built into one process and when it does not function, what we get is something new, but still compelling. This doubles as a metaphor for how </span><span id="docs-internal-guid-271bb232-a792-4f1a-927b-ed29b298b4b0">Mineko </span><span id="docs-internal-guid-271bb232-a792-4f1a-927b-ed29b298b4b0">Williams works.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-271bb232-a792-4f1a-927b-ed29b298b4b0">Mineko Williams thrives on the insights she develops from those she works with, whether they are fellow dancers or creatives outside of her community. </span></p><p>&ldquo;Collaboration is something I love, to have other eyes there and to create something with other people,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>The list of collaborators for <em>Fluence</em> include composer/musician Robert F. Haynes, Brooklyn-based lighting designer Burke Brown, and fashion designer Hogan McLaughlin.</p><p>&ldquo;I like to surround myself with people who are on board, who have similar aesthetics as me,&rdquo; Mineko Williams said.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-271bb232-a792-4f1a-927b-ed29b298b4b0">The end result is a piece that speaks to a certain cinematic vision. The stage direction, lighting design, and multiple &ldquo;scenes&rdquo; taking place at once are not unlike a movie shot. Folks dance within the foreground and background, each performing different gestures, to create layers upon layers of activity. And like a great movie, audiences can expect to take feel something viscerally. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>&ldquo;You can&rsquo;t control people&rsquo;s opinions or tastes,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;A great compliment to me is if something sticks.&rdquo;</span></p><p><em>Hubbard Street Dance Chicago&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.hubbardstreetdance.com/index.php?option=com_k2&amp;view=proditem&amp;id=211:fall-series&amp;Itemid=58" target="_blank">fall series</a> runs through Oct. 13 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Britt Julious writes about race and culture in and outside of Chicago. Follow Britt&#39;s essays for&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">WBEZ&#39;s Tumblr</a>&nbsp;or on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/britticisms" target="_blank">@britticisms</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 11 Oct 2013 07:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-10/who-next-great-chicago-choreographer-108899 Daily Rehearsal: Mary-Arrchie remounts 'Superior Donuts' http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-10/daily-rehearsal-mary-arrchie-remounts-superior-donuts-102975 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/superior-donuts.jpg" style="height: 464px; width: 300px; float: left; " title="" /><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Remember that <a href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/538767452816979/">Beatbox Comedy</a></strong></span></span> is on Thursdays at Strawdog Theater.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Some investors for the Broadway</strong></span></span> play <em>Rebecca </em><a href="http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/07/inquiry-finds-that-four-rebecca-investors-did-not-exist/?ref=theater">are actually not real</a>, reports the <em>New York Times</em>.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- If it&#39;s not broken and people aren&#39;t sick of it</strong></span></span> and it won a bunch of awards, do it again!&nbsp;<a href="http://www.maryarrchie.com">Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co</a>. is restaging <em>Superior Donuts</em> with most of their original cast October 31 at the Royal George. In a statement, Artistic Director Carlo Garcia noted that the production was sold out for three months and was the most successful show in the company&#39;s 27 year history.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Steppenwolf Ensemble member Joan Allen</strong></span></span> was on <a href="http://soundcloud.com/wbez/afternoon-shift-164-i"><em>Afternoon Shift</em> yesterday</a>.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- <a href="http://www.hubbardstreetdance.com/">Hubbard Street Dance Chicago</a>&#39;s 35th season</strong></span></span> starts up at the Harris Theater the weekend of October 18. The evening is notable because it&#39;s the opening of their first full-length performance, choreographed by&nbsp;Alejandro Cerrudo, who was inspired by Marc Chagall&#39;s &quot;Windows&quot;, which you can see at the Art Institute. Hubbard Street is dedicating this piece to Mayor Rahm Emanuel (much like Chagall&#39;s windows was dedicated to Mayor Daley in 1977, when Hubbard Street Dance began), who said in a statement, &ldquo;I am committed to making Chicago a worldwide destination for dance and look forward to celebrating this wonderful cultural institution in our city.&rdquo;</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Tue, 09 Oct 2012 12:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-10/daily-rehearsal-mary-arrchie-remounts-superior-donuts-102975 Daily Rehearsal: Sudeikis to stay at SNL, for now anyway http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-09/daily-rehearsal-sudeikis-stay-snl-now-anyway-102367 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/jason sudeikis snl.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Straight off of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-09/daily-rehearsal-snl-taps-three-chicagoans-new-season-102317">the recent new Chicago-full line-up</a> at <em>Saturday Night Live,</em></strong></span></span> former Chicagoan Jason Sudekis <a href="http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/12/jason-sudeikis-and-his-romney-impression-to-stay-at-saturday-night-live/">will be with <em>SNL</em></a> at least through January, reports the <em>New York Times</em>. &quot;He&rsquo;s a fiercely loyal guy, both to the show and to me,&rdquo; said Lorne Michaels. Also, they don&#39;t have anyone else to play Mitt Romney.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="288" mozallowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" src="http://www.hulu.com/embed.html?eid=jok29krxxejfdnlz-impyq" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="512"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- More options for those trying to find ways</strong></span></span> to get those kids entertained during the CTU strike. Head to Prop Thtr&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.neurokitchen.org">Neurokitchen&#39;s </a>Curiosity Club Strike Camp which &quot;will nurture kids inquisitiveness and encourage them to take initiative for their own learning&quot; and costs $40 a day.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.brainsurgeontheatre.org">Brain Surgeon</a>&#39;s Make a Movie Camp (also at Prop Thtr) teaches kids how to make a movie at $45 a day.<a href="http://www.studio-be.org/alternative-arts-programming-registration/"> Studio BE</a> is doing a variety of things, including dance, and for only $20. Hubbard Street Dance also has dance classes for $60 a day.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Wed, 12 Sep 2012 08:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-09/daily-rehearsal-sudeikis-stay-snl-now-anyway-102367 Daily Rehearsal: 'SNL' taps three Chicagoans for new season http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-09/daily-rehearsal-snl-taps-three-chicagoans-new-season-102317 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/cecily strong.jpg" style="float: left; " title="Cecily Strong" /><span style="font-size: 14px; "><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Proving once again that Chicago</strong></span></span> is your city on the hill for comedy, Cecily Strong, Tim Robinson and Aidy Brant have joined the cast of <em>Saturday Night Live</em>. <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/lyapalater/meet-snls-newest-cast-members">Buzzfeed catches you up</a> on the talented trio, if you haven&#39;t seen them performing in the usual spread of&nbsp;Second City, Annoyance Theater and iO. The new season starts this Satruday night.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- &quot;For the first 35 hours they&rsquo;re on sale,</strong></span></span> tickets to Hubbard Street Dance Chicago&rsquo;s 2012&ndash;2013 season performances at the Harris Theater are $35.&quot; This offer starts on Thursday at 9 am; use the <a href="http://hubbardstreetdance.com">code &quot;35&quot; online</a>.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Did <a href="http://openstreetschicago.org/"><em>Open Streets</em></a></strong></span></span> get in your way when traveling downtown this weekend?&nbsp;<em>Open Streets</em> event shuts down traffic in the Loop on Sept. 8</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/tim robinson.jpg" style="float: right; " title="Tim Robinson" /><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; ">-&nbsp;<strong>Some theater companies</strong></span></span> are offering entertainment options for those affected by <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-union-dont-take-it-out-kids-102310">this week&#39;s teachers strike</a>. <a href="http://lookingglasstheatre.org">Lookingglass </a>is offering drama workshops for 5 to 13 year olds from 9 am to 3 pm, though the classes are $65 a day.&nbsp;&ldquo;Lookingglass has long been a resource that provides quality arts-based alternatives for students &ndash; we have a history of partnering with schools and other non-profit organizations to provide residencies and after-school programs, in addition to our well-known classes and camp programs,&quot; said&nbsp;Artistic Director Andrew White in a statement.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/aidy bryant.jpg" style="float: left; " title="Aidy Bryant" />If you&#39;re interested in free things, Court Theatre lets CPS students (and one parent or guardian) into their production of <em>Jitney </em>this Thursday at 10:30 am. Just bring your CPS ID to the theater -- though its recommended that this activity be fore those above 13.&nbsp;&ldquo;Every year Court Theatre invites thousands of CPS students to attend our productions as part of its educational outreach programs,&quot; said Executive Director&nbsp;Stephen Albert. &quot;Despite the strike, we want Court to remain a place where students, teachers and parents can benefit from and enjoy classic theatre.&quot; (This last one is only happening if the strike is still happening Thursday.)</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Mon, 10 Sep 2012 15:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-09/daily-rehearsal-snl-taps-three-chicagoans-new-season-102317 'Harold and the Purple Crayon' returns http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-30/harold-and-purple-crayon-returns-94448 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-30/HSD101013_266.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>“It’s great to see a six-year-old have their own moment with what’s onstage. Kids are great audience members—when they’re having a wonderful moment of catharis or immersion, they don’t care what they sound like.”</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-30/HSD101013_266.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 333px;" title=""></p><p>Matt Miller, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s lighting director, is reveling in the vociferous responses to Hubbard Street 2’s <em>Harold and the Purple Crayon: A Dance Adventure</em>, based on Crockett Johnson’s 1955 picture book and set to music by Andrew Bird. After sold-out performances a year ago, when the show debuted in Chicago (it opened first at the Kennedy Center), <a href="http://www.harristheaterchicago.org/events/2011-2012-season/harold-and-the-purpl"><em>Harold</em> is being remounted this weekend</a>—with some tweaks Miller made to his own lighting. “The audience probably didn’t care,” he says. “But it didn’t meet my standards.”</p><p>“Ryan [Wineinger] did the projections and scenery,” says Miller. “And he drew a lot of wonderful inspiration from the idea of folded paper, with the stage like a big white open book. The projections are the focus of the show, what the kids pay attention to the most. It’s like TV, but they also interact. They stay involved, seeing lines getting drawn, creatures taking shape.”</p><p>However, he says, “a white set is sort of a death trap for lighting. When you’re lighting a dance, you usually use black masking—the thing that keeps people from seeing backstage. But with <em>Harold</em>, the masking was brighter than the dancers. It gave me an interesting palette, and there were great moments where it worked, but… the design choices on the dancers were minimal.”</p><p>This year, Miller is putting the same scenic elements in a purple frame instead—“still like the book, but also like the crayon. In this business, you don’t often get a second chance! Now the colors are on the dancers, not the background.”</p><p>Wineinger says that, in some ways, his “set and projections were easy because they were a re-creation of the children’s book. But they also provided an opportunity to travel through the book, doing it through video. Harold travels through the landscapes, and sometimes draws them. He’s creating all these places, and the dancers are the spark.”</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-30/Matt-Miller.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right; width: 300px; height: 229px;" title="Miller working tech">“We wanted the scenic elements to be huge,” Wineinger adds—not only the projections but the oversize bed and window he designed. The result: the six HS2 dancers playing Harold, some of them pretty tall, look child-size.</p><p>Miller started out at Hubbard Street as the production manager for Hubbard Street 2. “I was a one-man song-and-dance,” he says. “I did the lighting, the stage management, driving the van, washing the costumes…. ” In his current job, as lighting director for both companies, he estimates that 60 to 70 percent of his work is adapting the lighting designs of pieces that HSDC has acquired. But he will be designing<a href="http://mcachicago.org/performances/now/all/2012/744"> Hubbard Street’s January show at the MCA, “danc(e)volve,” </a>a showcase of new works by HSDC and HS2 dancers.</p><p>A self-described art geek, Miller says, “Whether it’s great design or choreography or cinematography, art that can move you is just so fantastic. Everyone can understand it, but we can almost never put our finger on it. Someone once told me, ‘Bad lighting is easy to see, but good lighting is not.’ At the end of the day, the goal is to make art.”</p></p> Wed, 30 Nov 2011 15:10:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-30/harold-and-purple-crayon-returns-94448