Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Preview - Opening the 38th Season with William Forsythe

 

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago opens its 38th season with a bang, celebrating internationally renowned choreographer William Forsythe at the Harris Theater. This thrilling evening in three parts begins with Forsythe’s multilayered, enigmatic N.N.N.N., which sends four dancers into a “complex interplay of 16 limbs as they link up, split apart and recombine,” says British dance critic Jann Parry. In a grand finale, Forsythe’s One Flat Thing, reproduced is “a masterclass exemplifying the power of pure movement,” says The Guardian’s Judith Mackrell. With music by Dutch composer and longtime Forsythe collaborator Thom Willems, this piece for 14 dancers and 20 large, identical tables begins quietly before becoming a storm of movement, inspired in part by Robert Scott’s expeditions to the South Pole. Completing the program, Forsythe’s Quintett evokes and develops themes of loss, hope, fear and joy heard in the orchestral recording “Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet,” by Gavin Bryars.

 

The program is as follows:

N.N.N.N.
Premiere U.S. Production
William Forsythe, Choreography, Stage Design, Lighting and Costume Design
Thom Willems, Sound Design
Tanja Rühl, Technical Consultant
Cyril Baldy, Amancio Gonzalez, Staging

 

N.N.N.N. appears as a mind in four parts, four dancers in a state of constant, tacit connection. Underscored by the sudden murmured flashes of Thom Willems’ music, the men enter into a complex, intense inscription. Their arms, heads, bodies and legs become singular voices, each tuned and in counterpoint to the other. These performers write out a text of the voice of the body, slowly, then more and more rapidly, coalescing over and over into a linked entity of flinging arms, folding joints and a sharp, high sense of time. Hubbard Street is honored to be the first U.S. dance company to perform William Forsythe’s N.N.N.N., restaged by original cast members Cyril Baldy and Amancio Gonzalez in fall 2015.

 

Staging artist and original cast member Amancio Gonzalez rehearses N.N.N.N. by William Forsythe with Hubbard Street Dancers Kevin J. Shannon, left, and Jacqueline Burnett. Photo by Todd Rosenberg

Created for and premiered by Ballett Frankfurt November 21, 2002 at the Opernhaus, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. First performed by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, October 15, 2015. Original score by Thom Willems. Used by permission of Thom Willems. Hubbard Street’s acquisition of N.N.N.N. is sponsored by the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, with support from Sandy and Jack Guthman through the Imagine campaign. Lead Individual Sponsors of this series are Jay Franke and David Herro. Additional support is provided by Individual Sponsors Pam Crutchfield and Richard L. Rodes. The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation is the Lead Foundation Sponsor of the Season 38 Fall Series.

  

Choreographer William Forsythe, left, in rehearsal with Hubbard Street Dancer Jeffery Duffy. Photo by Todd Rosenberg

Following intermission:

Quintett
William Forsythe, Choreography, in collaboration with Dana Caspersen, Stephen Galloway,
Jacopo Godani, Thomas McManus and Jone San Martin

Gavin Bryars, Music
Stephen Galloway, Costume Design
William Forsythe, Lighting Design
Tanja Rühl, Technical Consultant
Thomas McManus, Staging

 

Hubbard Street was honored to be the first U.S. dance company to perform William Forsythe’s Quintett. Original cast members Thomas McManus, Dana Caspersen and Stephen Galloway restaged Forsythe’s landmark 1993 choreography in Hubbard Street’s Chicago studios in 2012.


 

Staging artist and original cast member Amancio Gonzalez rehearses N.N.N.N. by William Forsythe with, from left, Hubbard Street Dancers Jacqueline Burnett, Ana Lopez, and Alicia Delgadillo. Photo by Todd Rosenberg


Quintett’s seamless progression of solos, duets and trios for five dancers runs in concert with — and counter to — themes of loss, hope, fear and joy heard in Gavin Bryars’ orchestral composition from 1971, “Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet.” Exemplary of the many works created by Forsythe as artistic director of Germany’s Ballett Frankfurt from 1984 to 2004, Quintett explores the strictures of classical ballet by testing their resilience to manipulation, torsion and fragmentation.

 

Created for and premiered by Ballett Frankfurt October 9, 1993 at the Opernhaus, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. First performed by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, May 31, 2012. Technical support provided by the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. Music by Gavin Bryars: “Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet,” as recorded by Schott Music GmbH & Co. KG, Mainz. Quintett is sponsored by Meg and Tim Callahan, Denise Stefan Ginascol and John Ginascol, Sarah J. Nolan and Randy and Lisa White. The Julius N. Frankel Foundation is the Lead Foundation Sponsor of Quintett.

 

Choreographer William Forsythe, far right, in rehearsal with Hubbard Street Dancers. Photo by Todd Rosenberg

Following the second intermission:

One Flat Thing, reproduced
Hubbard Street premiere
William Forsythe, Choreography, Lighting and Stage Design
Thom Willems, Music
Stephen Galloway, Costume Design
Tanja Rühl, Technical Consultant
Ayman Aaron Harper, Cyril Baldy, Amancio Gonzalez, Mario Alberto Zambrano, Staging

One Flat Thing, reproduced begins with a roar: Twenty tables, like jagged rafts of ice, fly forward and become the surface, the underground and the sky inhabited by a ferocious flight of dancers. This pack of bodies rages with alacrity, whipping razor-like in perilous waves. Its score, by composer and longtime Forsythe collaborator Thom Willems, begins quietly before becoming a gale, gathering sonic force as the dancers’ bodies produce a voracious and detailed storm of movement.

 

Hubbard Street Dancers Ana Lopez, Jacqueline Burnett, and Emilie Leriche, from left, in rehearsal for N.N.N.N. with staging artist and original cast member Cyril Baldy, behind left, and William Forsythe. Photo by Todd Rosenberg

Created for and premiered by Ballett Frankfurt February 2, 2000 at Bockenheimer Depot, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. First performed by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, October 15, 2015. Original music by Thom Willems. Used by permission of Thom Willems. Hubbard Street’s acquisition of One Flat Thing, reproduced is sponsored by the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, with support from Sandy and Jack Guthman through the Imagine campaign. Lead Individual Sponsors of this series are Jay Franke and David Herro. Additional support is provided by Individual Sponsors Pam Crutchfield and Richard L. Rodes. The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation is the Lead Foundation Sponsor of the Season 38 Fall Series.Z.

  

Staging artists and original cast members Cyril Baldy, foreground, and Amancio Gonzalez rehearse N.N.N.N. by William Forsythe with, from left, Hubbard Street Dancers Andrew Murdock, Kevin J. Shannon, and David Schultz. Photo by Todd Rosenberg

More about Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

 

 

 Photos of rehearsal are courtesy of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

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