By Nina Hall
On October 3rd the Arts and Lectures program began with a performance at the Granada by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. The first person to come out on stage was the woman in charge of the Arts and Lectures program. She began by saying, “Thank you all for being here, we are so excited to have Hubbard Street Dance Chicago here on the first night, of the Arts and Lectures program!” Everyone cheered for her and she followed with information about the program for the night, and future dance artists and companies that will be coming to the Granada. Soon after the lights went down, the curtain came up.
There was a giant sheet hanging from the ceiling upstage of the dancers. There were two people standing on the stage and once the music started they came together and started to dance. Many other dancers came out onto the stage and everyone was moving together but separately. Every step looked like it was intentional but also spontaneous. The dancing looked so rigorous but very soft. I watched as the dancers covered the entire stage and filled the Granada Theatre with their love for dance. Towards the end of the dance another couple came out of the mob of dancers. Four dancers ran to the back and grabbed the sheet that laid upstage. The two dancers, who were doing a duet, were woven into and spat out by the gorgeous clothe being manipulated to look like the breeze, then the waves, then a tree then any other thing your imagination thought it was. The dancers were just phenomenal.
There was a man dressed in a suit and a very large white wig. He looked like he was from the 1800’s. He sat on a chair on the left side of the stage. A woman in a black tanktop and black shorts walked out and towards him. The man pulled out a bow and the woman stood in front of him. As the music began to play the man began to play the woman with his bow. I had never seen something so obvious. Often times dancers say that their bodies are their instruments, but I had never seen it become literal. I thought the idea was gorgeous. The “instrument” was so amazing. She was completely with the music as if she really was an instrument. The choreography was exactly how the music was. It was one of the best dances I have ever seen.
The first thing on the stage were poles that lined the perimeter of the stage, but not the front. The poles were all different sizes and heights. They looked like logs standing up out of the ground. This dance was very foriegn. It began with no music and the dancers gave themselves away. There was no music just their bodies, they had to be the music. I had never seen anything like it before. Finally music began to play. It was abruptly soft. The music was sung in a language I had never heard before and there were now three men on the stage and three women. The men were dressed in pants and a shirt. Their pants were lined on the sides with different colorful patterns. The girls’ costumes were matching their partners and their colorful pattern went straight down the middle of their torsos and stopped where the skirt of their dress started. The skirt of their dress went mid-shin. That dance was very wonderful. It was overall a very happy and lively dance.
The very last dance was out of this world. It began with all of the dancers holding tables and running to the very front of the stage. I was seated very close to the stage and I thought the dancers were going to run on top of me. They didn’t, thank goodness. The dance began with loud music and random noises of household items banging on things. The dancers never stopped dancing. The movement was fast and hard. The dancers seem to be pushing every limit they had. They were under the tables, on top of the tables, next to the tables. They were everywhere. The dance was so complex choreography-wise and technicality-wise. It was the craziest dance I had ever seen. I was informed that the dancers were trying to conquer the tables. I think they definitely did. It was so crazy. Every time I thought it would stop. It kept going. I just couldn’t believe the dancers were still dancing and it was getting harder and harder. That dance was so different and completely unworldly.
In conclusion, I think Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is amazing. Their style, amazing dancers and choreographers were just incredible. I really hope that one day I can dance like them. They were astonishing and marvelous. I hope that I and others will be able to see them perform in the near future.