HUBBARD STREET DANCE CHICAGO (HSDC) was founded in 1977 by dancer and choreographer Lou Conte who served as artistic director until his retirement from HSDC in 2000. Originally the company's sole choreographer, he developed relationships with emerging and world-renowened choreographers as the company began to grow, adding bodies of work by a variety of artists. In the 1980s, Conte commissioned several works by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Margo Sappington and Daniel Ezralow. He continued to build HSDC's repertoire by forging a key partnership with Twyla Tharp in the 1990s, acquiring six of her works and commissioning an original work for the company. Conte further expanded the company's repertoire to include European choreographers Jirí Kylián and Nacho Duato. These long-term relationships, along with Conte's participation in selecting Jim Vincent as the company's new artistic director, have paved the way for HDSC's future. Through a relationship cultivated by both Conte and Vincent, HSDC further expanded its repertoire with the works of Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin, including Tabula Rasa, Minus 16, Passomezzo, Queens and Black Milk.
Today, under the dynamic leadership of Artistic Director Jim Vincent, HSDC is among the most original forces in contemporary dance. Critically acclaimed for its exuberant, athletic and innovative repertoire, HSDC presents performances that inspire, challenge, and engage audiences worldwide. The company's 22 dancers display unparalleled versatility and virtuosity, allowing HSDC to continually expand its eclectic repertoire and serve as a living archive for significant choreographic works by world-class choreographers and a platform for new dance works by emerging choreographers. HSDC also contributes to dance's evolution by developing new choreographic talent and collaborating with artists in music, visual arts and theatre.
HSDC performs in downtown Chicago and its metropolitan area and tours nationally and internationally throughout the year. The company has appeared in 44 states and 17 countries at celebrated dance venues including the American Dance Festival, DanceAspen, the Holland Dance Festival, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, the Joyce Theater, the Kennedy Center, Philadelphia's "Dance Celebration," the Ravinia Festival, Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds (Italy), Spoleto Festival U.S.A. (Charleston, SC), Sadlers Wells Theatre, The Brighton Festival and Wolf Trap. In January 2004, HSDC joined forces with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for an engagement conducted by Pinchas Zuckerman that brought one of Vincent's goals to fruition by performing his piece, counter/part, to live music. Since then, HSDC has rejoined Pinchas Zuckerman for an engagement with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa and a return performance with the CSO for the world premiere of SF/LB. In December of 2005, HSDC will once again join Zuckerman and the CSO for a celebration of dance and music in honor of Mozart.
Hubbard Street 2 (HS2), under the leadership of Artistic Director Julie Nakagawa Böttcher, is a company of six dancers between the ages of 17 and 25 who perform a repertoire of works by some of the nation's most promising choreographers. HS2 reaches as many as 35,000 people annually through performances in schools, community centers and theaters. Since its inception in 1997, the company has became a respected training ground for young, professional dancers and choreographers; a major component of HSDC's Education and Community Programs; a resource for new dancer's for HSDC's main company and a performing company in its own right. As a part of its mission to identify and nurture young choreographers, HS2 initiated a National Choreographic Competition in the summer of 1999. Each summer, the competition provides winners with one-week residencies to create an original work on the company. In addition to Chicago area appearances, HS2's touring schedule has taken the company domestically from coast to coast and internationally to Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg.
As committed to the classroom as it is the stage, HSDC's Education & Community Programs offer a broad range of opportunities that enrich the learning process while fulfilling HSDC's mission as a leading dance educator. HSDC seeks to change the lives of students through dance by providing teacher education, residencies, curriculum development, experiential activities and exposure to professional dance. Each year, more than 25 schools partner with HSDC in our education initiatives: MIND (Moving in New Directions), a K-8 residency program; the High School Program, for high school dance students; the Focus Schools Initiative, a pilot program and partnership with the Chicago Public Schools Bureau of Cultural Arts and the John F. Kennedy Center's Partners in Education Program; professional development workshops for teachers; and providing a variety of dance classes throughout the city through our after-school dance program and partnership with D.A.R.E. Dance. Each year HSDC's Education and Community Program also offers student scholarships and educator discounts for classes at the Lou Conte Dance Studio.
The Lou Conte Dance Studio (LCDS) offers 60 classes per week to adults and teens in ballet, jazz, modern, African, tap, hip-hop/funk and dance fitness. Namede "Best Dance Class for Adults" by Chicago magazine, LCDS offers various levels of classes for dancers from beginners to professionals, taught by some of Chicago's finest dance and music artists. One of the most comprehensive dance centers in the United States, this facility houses five dance studios equipped with state-of-the-art floors and audio systems, including two stage-sized spaces; production shops for building and maintaining sets and costumes; storage space for the company's advanced sound and lighting systems; a sound mixing studio, administrative offices and meeting rooms.
In 1977, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago was launched to fill a community need. Today it stands as one of the most renowned dance institutions in America, reaching out to more than 150,000 people each year through dance creation, performance, training and community education. HSDC continues to serve as an emblem of Chicago's international cultural profile and a model of excellence in dance.