Physical Finesse and Resilience

By on July 11, 2018

Dancers’ Workshop hosts eminent, diverse dancers from the Windy City

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago pushes its boundaries by performing works from a panoply of choreographers.

JACKSON HOLE, WY – Crystal Pite happens to be one of Babs Case’s favorite choreographers. Case, head of Dancers’ Workshop, has good taste—the Canadian choreographer is renowned in the contemporary dance world. Now spin the globe. Ohad Naharin, artistic director of Israel-based Batsheva Dance Company, is also one of the foremost contemporary choreographers in the world. And on Wednesday, people in Jackson can see work from both choreographers in one show performed by the acclaimed Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago will perform for Dancers’ Workshop’s annual fundraising gala at 8 p.m. July 18 at the Center for the Arts. The company is known for its cutting-edge contemporary dance, and unlike many companies that rely on a single choreographer, Hubbard Street Dance performs new and eclectic works created by a diverse array of the world’s leading choreographers.

Pite’s piece, “Solo Echo,” is described by the choreographer as the best of everything she’s done, put together in a single piece, Case said.

Her work “is so beautiful it brings me to tears sometimes,” Case said. “It’s very emotional and physical, stunning, innovative and there’s a long list of adjectives I would use to describe her work.”

Meanwhile, Nahrain’s work with the Batsheva Dance Company is strong and powerful, Case said. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is versatile. It is able to work with a variety of choreographers.

Several years ago Hubbard Street 2, which features younger apprentice dancers, performed in Jackson. This performance will feature the 16 professional dancers in the company. It will be another level, Case said.

The company is in residence at Dancers’ Workshop July 13 to 20 during which they will teach a weekend intensive workshop. They will also open a rehearsal to the public allowing people to see the behind the scenes of how a performance comes together.

For the July 18 performance, Contemporary Dance Wyoming will open the program with a piece Case choreographed called “A work dedicated to those who are incapable of love.” It is the closing section of “Stealing Inward,” which the company recently performed.

The piece is sarcastic, Case said. It’s a love story, but its dedicated to those who think they are incapable of love in hopes that it will make them feel something they thought they couldn’t, she said.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago will perform immediately after Contemporary Dance Wyoming.

The single night performance is a fundraiser for Dancers’ Workshop. Gala tickets cost $350, or tables of eight cost $7,500. The event includes a cocktail reception, dinner, a live auction, the performance and an after-party with New York City-based DJ Antonio Brown, desserts, dancing and a chance to meet the dancers. For the wallet-conscious cultural connoisseur Dancers’ Workshop is also offering $50 balcony tickets that include the performance and after-party.

“We feel it’s important that everything we present is affordable and accessible to the community,” Case said. She grew up in small-town Iowa and didn’t realize until she was much older the different forms dance could take and what it could look like beyond what she had seen at home.

Dancers’ Workshop, she said, tries to expose the community to different types of dance and give students the opportunities to see and learn from world-class professionals.

Case’s efforts have paid off. Dancers’ Workshop students go on to study and dance internationally.

But it’s also about showcasing to visiting artists what Jackson is all about. During these shows, young, burgeoning dancers in Jackson see what’s possible, what they can aspire to. But Ohad Naharin in Israel also sees “what’s possible here,” Case said.

Bringing in companies like Hubbard Street Dance gives people in a small Western town the chance to see internationally known artists in an intimate venue. It is also a way to support the art form, Case said.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago performs 8 p.m., July 18 at the Center for the Arts, $50-$350. Check for tickets and info on additional events.


About Kelsey Dayton

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