“Inside the Studio: Season 38 Fall Series”
(Chicago, IL) – Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, under the artistic direction of Glenn Edgerton, eagerly anticipates opening its 2015–16 performance season October 15–18 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park, located at 205 East Randolph Street in Chicago. The Season 38 Fall Series is the company’s first-ever mixed-repertory program devoted to the work of William Forsythe, among the most prolific and provocative choreographers in dance today. Following his four-decade career as a director and dancemaker based primarily in Germany, Forsythe becomes associate choreographer with the Paris Opéra Ballet as of fall 2015 and is incoming professor of dance and artistic advisor for the Choreographic Institute at the University of Southern California’s Glorya Kaufman School of Dance.
Two major acquisitions of work by Forsythe receive their Hubbard Street premieres during the Fall Series: N.N.N.N., created in 2002 and performed by four men; and One Flat Thing, reproduced, premiered in 2000 for an ensemble of 14 dancers and 20 large tables, also the choreographic basis for the interactive website Synchronous Objects. Original scores for both works are by Forsythe’s longtime collaborator, Dutch composer Thom Willems; completing the Fall Series is Forsythe’s 1993 work Quintett, for five dancers and set to music by Gavin Bryars.
Hubbard Street was the first U.S. dance company to perform Quintett, in May 2012, and likewise is the first company to acquire N.N.N.N. following its world premiere by Ballett Frankfurt and revivals by The Forsythe Company, now Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company. A team of six international repetiteurs will stage all three works in Chicago this fall, over the course of six weeks: Cyril Baldy, Amancio Gonzalez, Ayman Aaron Harper, Thomas McManus, Mario Alberto Zambrano, and William Forsythe himself.
Says Hubbard Street Artistic Director Glenn Edgerton: “Long-term planning by our staff and crucial support from Chicago’s funding community have combined to provide the ideal circumstances for our dancers and production team to become immersed in the world of William Forsythe. I also believe that focusing our undivided attention on this choreographer will foster new understanding and appreciation for his work among our audiences, at the Harris Theater and throughout the country. In addition, we are looking forward to sharing the expertise of our staging artists with Chicago’s next generation of dancers, through our Fall 2015 Studio Series of master classes and workshops, as well as hearing from Forsythe himself during his MCA Talk at the Edlis Neeson Theater. Given Forsythe’s vast accomplishments and his impact on our field, it is only fitting that we set aside our entire fall season in celebration of this great artist, as he returns to the U.S. and joins the faculty at the University of Southern California’s Glorya Kaufman School of Dance.”
About the Works in Hubbard Street’s Season 38 Fall Series
Both pedestrian and incredibly sophisticated at the same time, N.N.N.N. sends four male dancers into “an ever-more-complex interplay of 16 limbs,” observes British dance critic Jann Parry, “as they link up, split apart and recombine.” First presented in 2002 and revived in numerous forms around the world, this landmark work was called “wonderful” and “astonishingly intense” by The New York Times upon its North American premiere. Hubbard Street is proud to be the first U.S. dance company to acquire this multilayered, enigmatic quartet with sound designed by Dutch composer Thom Willems.
Vanguard choreographer Forsythe’s Quintett is a transporting experience. Created in collaboration with its allstar original cast — Dana Caspersen, Stephen Galloway, Jacopo Godani, Thomas McManus and Jone San Martin — this demanding, intricate work still challenges and inspires two decades after its 1993 premiere. As it unfolds, Quintett evokes and develops themes of loss, hope, fear and joy heard in Gavin Bryars’ tidal, crescendoing composition from 1971, “Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet.”
For 14 dancers and 20 large, identical tables, One Flat Thing, reproduced is “a masterclass exemplifying the power of pure movement,” says The Guardian’s dance critic Judith Mackrell. First presented in Frankfurt, Germany in 2000, One Flat Thing, reproduced was adapted in 2006 for the camera by Belgian filmmaker Thierry de Mey, and in 2009, became the basis for Synchronous Objects, an interactive website developed at the Ohio State University’s Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design.
Season 2015–16 subscriptions are $90–$297 and on sale now at the Hubbard Street Ticket Office, online at hubbardstreetdance.com/subscribe or by phone at 312-850-9744. All Thursday performances begin at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday performances begin at 8pm, and Sunday matinée performances begin at 3pm. Single tickets for the Season 38 Fall Series, October 15–18, will be $30–$99 and available September 1, 2015 at 10am.
Hubbard Street’s Season 38 Fall Series featuring three works by choreographer William Forsythe is sponsored by the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, with support from Sandra and Jack Guthman through the Imagine campaign. Lead Individual Sponsors of the Fall Series are Jay Franke and David Herro. Additional support is provided by Individual Sponsor Pam Crutchfield. The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation is the Lead Foundation Sponsor of the Fall Series. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago also extends special thanks to its 2015–16 Season Sponsors: Athletico, Official Provider of Physical Therapy; and Chicago Athletic Clubs, Official Health Club.
Public programming related to William Forsythe and the Season 38 Fall Series
In order to maximize the local impact of Hubbard Street’s focus on Forsythe, four related public events will be offered during the staging period: an onstage conversation with the choreographer and three opportunities for advanced, pre-professional and professional dancers, the Fall 2015 Studio Series. Space for all Studio Series events is limited and advance registration is required. Registration for any one of three Fall 2015 Studio Series events includes a code redeemable for 15% discounts on registrations to either or both of the two remaining.
Registration is available now at hubbardstreetdance.com/studioseries.
MCA Talk: William Forsythe
September 30, 2015 from 6–7:30pm
in the Edlis Neeson Theater at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 220 East Chicago Avenue
$10, MCA members $8, students $6
Through four decades of movement research and a provocative body of work, William Forsythe has reoriented ballet from its classical repertoire toward a dynamic and global art form for the 21st century. This intimate conversation sets the stage for Hubbard Street’s Season 38 Fall Series, October 15–18 at the Harris Theater.
Improvisation Technologies with Ayman Harper
September 12, 2015 from 2–4pm
at the Hubbard Street Dance Center, 1147 West Jackson Boulevard
$40 per person, limit 40 participants
This workshop introduces actionable knowledge of William Forsythe’s innovative and influential Improvisation Technologies, which facilitate movement invention, manipulation and analysis in real time. Based on a series of physical modalities and targeted tasks, Improvisation Technologies promote greater imagination and receptivity, providing dancers with a set of skills that can be utilized in a broad range of contexts.
Master Class with Amancio Gonzalez
September 13, 2015 from noon–1:30pm
at the Hubbard Street Dance Center, 1147 West Jackson Boulevard
$25 per person, limit 40 participants
Amancio Gonzalez leads a 90-minute session structured as a ballet class, informed by improvisation techniques and 16 years working with William Forsythe, and drawing from the ideas and principles employed at Ballett Frankfurt and The Forsythe Company. This master class is designed to help students develop their dynamics and musicality, engage their working minds through the joy of movement, and achieve more conscious relationships between their bodies and space.
William Forsythe Repertory Workshop with Cyril Baldy
October 10, 2015 from 10:30am–12:30pm
at the Hubbard Street Dance Center, 1147 West Jackson Boulevard
$40 per person, limit 40 participants
Through Cyril Baldy’s focused, detail-oriented coaching within movement phrases borrowed directly from major works including Duo (1996), participants will grow their understanding of the intellectual and physical methods at play in Forsythe’s choreography. Attendees should expect to be challenged by tasks requiring high levels of spatial awareness, complex coordinations of action, responsiveness to rhythmic variation, and instantaneous problem-solving.
About William Forsythe
Raised in New York and initially trained in Florida with Nolan Dingman and Christa Long, William Forsythe danced with the Joffrey Ballet and later the Stuttgart Ballet, where he was appointed Resident Choreographer in 1976. Over the next seven years, he created new works for the Stuttgart ensemble and ballet companies in Munich, the Hague, London, Basel, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, Paris, New York and San Francisco. In 1984, he began a 20-year tenure as director of Ballett Frankfurt, where he created works such as Artifact (1984), Impressing the Czar (1988), Limb’s Theorem (1990), The Loss of Small Detail (1991, in collaboration with composer Thom Willems and designer Issey Miyake), A L I E / N A(C)TION (1992), Eidos:Telos (1995), Endless House (1999), Kammer/Kammer (2000) and Decreation (2003).
After the closure of Ballett Frankfurt in 2004, Forsythe established a new, more independent ensemble. The Forsythe Company, founded with the support of the German states of Saxony and Hesse, the cities of Dresden and Frankfurt am Main, and private sponsors, is based in Dresden and Frankfurt am Main and maintains an extensive, international touring schedule. Works produced by the new ensemble include Three Atmospheric Studies (2005), You made me a monster (2005), Human Writes (2005), Heterotopia (2006), The Defenders (2007), Yes we can’t (2008/10), I don’t believe in outer space (2008), The Returns (2009) and Sider (2011). Forsythe’s most recent works are developed and performed exclusively by The Forsythe Company, while his earlier pieces are prominently featured in the repertoires of virtually every major ballet company in the world, including the Mariinsky Ballet, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada, London’s Royal Ballet and the Paris Opéra Ballet.
Awards received by Forsythe and his ensembles include four New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards (1988, 1998, 2004, 2007) and three Laurence Olivier Awards in the U.K. (1992, 1999, 2009). Forsythe has been conveyed the title of Commandeur des Arts et Lettres (1999) by the government of France and has received the German Distinguished Service Cross (1997), the Wexner Prize (2002) the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale (2010), the Samuel H Scripps / American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement (2012) and the Swedish Carina Ari Medal (2014).
Forsythe has been commissioned to produce architectural and performance installations by architect-artist Daniel Libeskind (Groningen, 1989), ARTANGEL (London, 1997), Creative Time (New York, 2005), and the SKD–Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (2013, 2014). His installation and film works have been presented in numerous museums and exhibitions, including the Whitney Biennial (New York, 1997), Festival d’Avignon (2005, 2011), the Louvre Museum (2006), Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich (2006), 21_21 Design Sight in Tokyo (2007), the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus (2009), Tate Modern (London, 2009), the Hayward Gallery, (London 2010), MoMA (New York 2010), ICA Boston (2011) and the Venice Biennale (2005, 2009, 2012, 2014).
In collaboration with media specialists and educators, Forsythe has developed new approaches to dance documentation, research and education. His 1994 computer application Improvisation Technologies: A Tool for the Analytical Dance Eye, developed with the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe (ZKM), is used as a teaching tool by professional companies, dance conservatories, universities, postgraduate architecture programs, and secondary schools worldwide. 2009 marked the launch of “Synchronous Objects for One Flat Thing, reproduced,” a digital online score developed with the Ohio State University revealing the organizational principles of the choreography and demonstrating potential applications within other disciplines. Synchronous Objects was the pilot project for Forsythe’s Motion Bank, a research platform focused on the creation and research of online digital scores in collaboration with guest choreographers.
As an educator, Forsythe is regularly invited to lecture and give workshops at universities and cultural institutions. In 2002, Forsythe was chosen as one the founding Dance Mentors for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. Forsythe is an Honorary Fellow at the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance in London and holds an Honorary Doctorate from the Juilliard School in New York City. Forsythe is also a current A.D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University (2009–15) and, as of fall 2015, Professor of Dance and Artistic Advisor for the Choreographic Institute at the University of Southern California’s Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. Also beginning in fall 2015, Mr. Forsythe will be Associate Choreographer with the Paris Opéra Ballet.
Cyril Baldy studied ballet at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris in his native France. He then worked professionally with the Jeune Ballet de France, Nederlands Dans Theater 2 and NDT 1, and William Forsythe’s Ballett Frankfurt before continuing as a member of The Forsythe Company from 2005–14. He has since led numerous classes and workshops, developed his own choreography, and staged works by William Forsythe internationally. Co-creator of his own art-direction company, Sad, Baldy has also modeled for Maison Martin Margiela, H&M, Minä Perhonen and Bernhard Willhelm. Visit sadfornoreason.com to learn more.
Amancio Gonzalez began dancing at age 20 in Bilbao, Spain, at the studios of Ballet Ion Beitia, and continued his studies in France at the Ecole Supérieure de Danse de Cannes Rosella Hightower, with José Ferran, Daniel Frank and Rosella Hightower, among others. At age 24 he began his professional career, performing in Glasgow with the Scottish Ballet, under the artistic direction of Galina Samsova; in South Africa with NAPAC Dance Company; and in the Netherlands with De Rotterdamse Dansgroep, Reflex Dance Company, and Scapino Ballet Rotterdam. Gonzalez then relocated to Germany to join William Forsythe’s Ballett Frankfurt, continuing with The Forsythe Company through its 2014–15 season. He remains active as a ballet master, repetiteur, and instructor for Forsythe repertory and Improvisation Technologies workshops.
Ayman Aaron Harper was born in Houston, Texas in 1979 and trained in dance, choreography and gymnastics at Bay Area Houston Ballet and Theatre, while attending the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Harper began working professionally with Hubbard Street 2 at age 17 and, in 1999, joined Nederlands Dans Theater 2. Harper then worked as a dancer, stager and guest choreographer for William Forsythe at Ballett Frankfurt, beginning in 2001. Further developing his voice as an artist and choreographer, Harper has created works on The Forsythe Company, HS2 and NDT 2, Deutsches Nationaltheater, Bayerisches Staatsballett II and other companies, in addition to numerous university dance departments. His works draw from multiple creative media and include community-based projects, musical theater productions of West Side Story and Hair, and site-specific installations for unconventional dance spaces such as Rocket Park at NASA’s Space Center Houston. His many collaborators have included musicians Arto Lindsay and Matmos, Alexander Ekman, Ivan Liska, Pierre Pontvianne, Tino Sehgal, Richard Siegal, and Mario Alberto Zambrano. Currently based in Berlin, Germany, Harper is a freelance choreographer, dancer, staging artist, teacher, and guest professor at the Performing Arts Research and Training Studios (PARTS) in Brussels.
About Hubbard Street
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, under the artistic leadership of Glenn Edgerton, celebrates its 38th season in 2015 and 2016. Among the world’s top contemporary dance companies and a global cultural ambassador, Hubbard Street demonstrates fluency in a wide range of techniques and forms, and deep comprehension of abstract artistry and emotional nuance. The company is critically acclaimed for its exuberant and innovative repertoire, featuring works by master American and international choreographers. Hubbard Street’s artists hail from four countries and 12 U.S. states, and comprise a superlative ensemble of virtuosity and versatility. Since its founding by Lou Conte in 1977, Hubbard Street has grown through the establishment of multiple platforms. Each is dedicated to the support and advancement of dance as an art form, as a practice, and as a method for generating and sustaining communities of all kinds.
For more info: hubbardstreetdance.com
[Photo by Cheryl Mann of Hubbard Street Dancers Jesse Bechard, foreground, and Penny Saunders in Quintett by William Forsythe]