The last time I saw the Hubbard Street Dance Company, I was 15 years old and left quite the impression on me. At the time I was planning to make a career as a professional dancer, and even as life has brought many changes to my life plans that moment in the Jones Hall of Houston watching these phenomenal dancers from Hubbard Street have stuck with me. So, naturally the moment that I heard I had the opportunity to see Hubbard Street Dance again I was quick to get in line, and I have to say they did not disappoint!
The evening started out with a deeply spiritual piece titled “Jardi Tancat” which tells the story of three couples struggling to farm the barren Catalonian land. This piece was emotional and brought out a sense of helplessness and despair, that was eclipsed by the beauty of the movement and choreography created by Nacho Duato who also designed the costuming, and set. This piece was gorgeous but was my least favorite of the night. That being said it was a fantastic place to start because it just kept getting better from there.
The next piece of the night was by and far my absolute favorite. “Out Of Your Mind,” starts with a line of matching dancers in a very ceremonial set of choreography reminding us that we are all the same, people who live one day at a time seeking happiness. It gave me so much of what I remember from my first experience with Hubbard Street 17 years ago, glorious moments of syncopation, and sharp and clean choreography that evokes the spirit. Literally, there were many moments that I just stopped breathing. Out Of Your Mind, is a piece that reminds us to seek our own happiness while it gives the audience the most happiness possible.
Ending the first act of the night was Pacopopopluto, which features 3 extremely athletic and agile male dancers performing fun, and quirky solos to the music of Dean Martin, aka the “King of Cool!” These solos are fun and showcase the beauty of the human form, and the strength of these talented male dancers.
Rounding out the night was Solo Echo, with stunning visual effects and elegant movement created by Crystal Pite. This creation is suited for the stars and is all about the stars. The highlight of this moment of the night was not just the movements of the dancers but the addition of the moving starlights that framed out the dancers. It gave the illusion that the dancers were floating across the stage.
All in all, it was a beautiful night at the theatre seeing some of the best in modern dance. I was thrilled and inspired by each piece and reminded of my years as a younger me with big dreams. If you get a chance to see the Hubbard Street Dance from Chicago, GO! Soak in the moment. If you are a lover of unique performances of dance, music, and theatre I highly recommend checking out all of the things that are coming to Austin as part of the “Texas Performing Arts Season.”