CHICAGO –Hubbard Street Dance Chicago will present its fall program, Forge Forward, for three performances at the Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph, Nov. 7, 9 and 10, 2019. The performance features two world premieres by New York based choreographer Kyle Abraham, Artistic Director of A.I.M, and Hubbard Street Choreographic Fellow, Rena Butler, as well as the return of Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite’s full company work, Grace Engine.
“Our opening season program Forge Forward is highlighting three distinct choreographers at varying moments in their careers. We have the prolific and artfully recognized dance maker, Crystal Pite with the work Grace Engine mixed with two new creations on the program. One of today’s most exciting choreographers, MacArthur genius, Kyle Abraham and Hubbard Street Dancer Rena Butler, Choreographic Fellow and Princess Grace awardee for 2019, are shaping their expressions through contemporary dance and through Hubbard Street,” Said Hubbard Street Artistic Director Glenn Edgerton.
This September, the company will spend three weeks in September at Dancer’s Workshop in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for an Artistic Residency with Abraham before the premiere in Chicago. The award-winning New York based choreographer has been called “one of the hottest names in dance” by the Dallas News and his choreography has been hailed as “smart and self-aware, and luscious too,” by the New York Times.
Hubbard Street Choreographic Fellow and Chicago native, Rena Butler, explores the idea of cultural code switching and seeking balance amongst polarization in two opposing cultural climates in her new work for six dancers. Butler created her first work for Hubbard Street, III.Third in 2018. III.Third was hailed as “heady, sexy, funny, and brilliantly conceived and executed,” by Splash Magazine.
“Code-switching is a universal tool, whether we’ve had to resolve a difference of opinion with someone, or have had traveled to foreign places. It’s a way of connecting to understand one another, and perhaps ourselves,” said Butler. “The purpose of this work is to find a sense of unity in a dissonant world.”
The program also features the return of Grace Engine by acclaimed Canadian Choreographer Crystal Pite. The work made its Chicago premiere in 2017. The full company work has been called “highly cinematic” by the Chicago Sun Times and “mysterious, disturbing, and deeply moving,” by Berkley Arts + Design.
Tickets to Forge Forward at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park located at 205 East Randolph Street, will go on sale in September.
2019–20 season subscriptions are $90-$264 and can be purchased at the Hubbard Street Ticket Office, by phone at 312-635-3799 and online at hubbardstreetdance.com/subscribe. Thursday performances begin at 7:30pm, Saturday performances begin at 8pm, and Sunday matinée performances begin at 3pm. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s 2019–20 domestic and international touring engagements, special projects, residencies, and additional collaborations will be announced at later dates. Programming is subject to change.
Forge Forward is sponsored by Conagra Brands Foundatio. Athletico, Chicago Athletic Clubs, Illinois Arts Council, and MAC cosmetics are Season 42 Partners.
About the Choreographers
Kyle Abraham is a 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award recipient and 2015 City Center Choreographer in residence, Kyle Abraham (Pittsburgh, PA) is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow. Previous awards include being named a 2012 USA Ford Fellow, a Creative Capital grantee, and receiving a 2012 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award. In 2010, Abraham received a prestigious Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance in Dance for his work in The Radio Show and a Princess Grace Award for Choreography in 2010. The previous year, he was selected as one of Dance Magazine’s 25 To Watch for 2009. In 2011, OUT Magazine labeled Abraham as the “best and brightest creative talent to emerge in New York City in the age of Obama”.
Rena Butler hails from Chicago, IL. She has danced in companies such as Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, David Dorfman Dance, Manuel Vignoulle/M-Motions, The Kevin Wynn Collection, and Pasos Con Sabor Salsa Dance Company. She has also starred in Director Yara Travieso’s live musical film ‘La Medea’, and has worked with visual artists Carrie Mae Weems and Nick Cave. She has been featured in Dance Magazine’s ‘On the Rise’, as well as The Dance Enthusiast, Refinery29.com, Chicago Magazine, The Artists Cove, and Jordan Matter’s ‘Dancers Among Us’. Butler began her studies at The Chicago Academy for the Arts, studied overseas at Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan, and received her BFA from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance. She has acted as repetiteur for Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company. Butler’s choreographic work has been presented at The Ailey School/Fordham, SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance, The New Orleans Museum of Modern Art in collaboration with Grammy award-winning jazz composer Terrence Blanchard, Taipei National University of the Arts, The Joffrey Ballet School in New York, the Young Choreographer’s Festival in NYC, CHTV Stories television series in Switzerland, The Dance Division at Loyola University in Chicago, and more. Butler currently serves on The Consortium for Chicago Dancemakers Forum, a panel member for Black Girls Dance, and was named Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Choreographic Fellow in March 2018.
Crystal Pite is a former member of Ballet British Columbia (Ballet BC) in Vancouver, and William Forsythe’s Ballett Frankfurt. Pite’s professional choreographic debut was in 1990, at Ballet BC; since then, she has created more than 40 works for companies such as Nederlands Dans Theater 1, Cullberg Ballet, Ballett Frankfurt, the National Ballet of Canada, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal (Resident Choreographer, 2001–04), Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Ballet British Columbia, and Louise Lecavalier / Fou Glorieux. She has also collaborated with Electric Company Theatre and Robert Lepage. Pite is an associate choreographer at Nederlands Dans Theater, associate dance artist at Canada’s National Arts Centre, and associate artist at Sadler’s Wells in London. In 2002, she formed her own company in Vancouver, Kidd Pivot, which tours nationally and internationally, performing works such as Dark Matters and Lost Action. Its residency at the Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt (2010–12) provided Kidd Pivot with opportunities to create and tour The You Show and The Tempest Replica. Currently touring is the Kidd Pivot / Electric Company Theatre production of Betroffenheit, co-created by Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young.
About Hubbard Street
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s core purpose is to bring artists, art and audiences together to enrich, engage, educate, transform and change lives through the experience of dance. Celebrating Season 42 in 2019-20, under the artistic leadership of Glenn Edgerton and Executive Leadership of David McDermott, Hubbard Street continues to innovate, supporting ascendant creative talent while presenting repertory by internationally recognized living artists. Hubbard Street has grown through the establishment of multiple platforms alongside the Lou Conte Dance Studio — now in its fifth decade of providing a wide range of public classes and pre-professional training — while extensive Youth, Education, Community, Adaptive Dance and Family Programs keep the organization deeply connected to its hometown. Visit hubbardstreetdance.com for artist profiles, touring schedules, and much more.