Company History & Financials
On any given day at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, you are likely to discover the following taking place:
A world-renowned choreographer working in the studios with our dancers, creating a new work to premiere at one of our upcoming performances.
Over 300 students – from beginners to professional dancers – walking in the doors to take a dance class, fitness class, or workshop at Lou Conte Dance Studio.
Our Education Department staff and Teaching Artists in a school classroom, leading students in a movement exercise, discovering self-expression and how the processes used in creating movement increase overall academic performance.
"When Lou Conte opened the doors to his Hubbard Street Dance studio in 1974, he couldn’t have known that he was laying the foundation for one of the most successful dance companies of all time." –Gale Kappe, Chicago magazine
Now celebrating its Landmark 35th Anniversary Season, Hubbard Street continues to be an innovative force, supporting its creative talent while presenting repertory by major international artists.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago grew out of the Lou Conte Dance Studio at LaSalle and Hubbard Streets in 1977, when Lou Conte gathered an ensemble of four dancers to perform in senior centers across Chicago. Barbara G. Cohen soon joined the company as its first Executive Director. Conte continued to direct the company for 23 years, during which he initiated and grew relationships with both emerging and established artists including Nacho Duato, Daniel Ezralow, Jiří Kylián,
Ohad Naharin, Lynne Taylor-Corbett and Twyla Tharp.
Conte’s successor Jim Vincent widened Hubbard Street’s international focus, began Hubbard Street’s collaboration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and cultivated growth from within, launching the Inside/Out Choreographic Workshop and inviting Resident Choreographer
Alejandro Cerrudo to make his first work. Gail Kalver’s 23 years of executive leadership provided continuity from 1984 through the 2006–07 season, when Executive Director Jason Palmquist
joined the organization.
Glenn Edgerton became Artistic Director in 2009 and, together with Palmquist, moved this legacy forward on multiple fronts. Inside/Out now begins the creative process for danc(e)volve, two weeks devoted to new work presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Partnerships with the CSO,
Art Institute of Chicago and other institutions keep Hubbard Street deeply connected to its hometown. To the company’s repertoire, Edgerton has extended relationships with its signature choreographers while adding significant new voices such as Mats Ek and Sharon Eyal, Alonzo King and Victor Quijada.
The main company’s 18 members comprise one of the only ensembles in the U.S. to perform
all year long, domestically and around the world, while a nationally renowned Summer Intensive Program brings young artists into its ranks. Hubbard Street 2, its second company for young professional artists, was founded in 1997 by Conte and Julie Nakagawa. Now directed by Taryn Kaschock Russell, HS2 appears throughout the United States and overseas, often in service of dance education through master classes and workshops.
Hubbard Street’s Education and Community Programs are nationwide benchmarks for arts outreach in schools, impacting the lives of thousands of students. In 2009, Hubbard Street launched youth and family programs to teach dance with an emphasis on creative expression. People with Parkinson’s are welcome to Hubbard Street to join the first dance classes in the Midwest for those affected by the disease.
The Lou Conte Dance Studio — where Hubbard Street began — has been training the next generation of artists and dance enthusiasts, at all ages and skill levels, since 1974.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, under the artistic leadership of Glenn Edgerton, celebrates its 35th season in 2012 and 2013. 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 18 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.
Hubbard Street 2, founded by Julie Nakagawa and Lou Conte in 1997 and now led by Terence Marling, prepares dancers ages 18 to 25 for careers in contemporary dance, and identifies next-generation choreographers. While members, talented young artists receive professional experience in a dynamic environment that fosters artistic growth while allowing them to hone multiple techniques. To date, 12 members of HS2 have advanced to Hubbard Street’s main company, with numerous others joining top dance companies worldwide.
HS2’s dancers reach thousands annually with diverse programming that provides valuable outreach in schools, site-specific work in museums and cultural institutions, and evening-length repertoire performances. HS2 has been honored to perform at many prestigious venues including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Joyce SoHo and North Carolina School of the Arts. In addition to performing at festivals around the world, HS2 has appeared in Germany, Luxembourg, South Africa and Switzerland.
As part of its mission to identify and nurture young choreographers, HS2 initiated a National Choreographic Competition in 1999. Each year, the competition provides residencies allowing winners to create original works for HS2 dancers, and opportunities to conduct master classes. Nearly 30 premieres have been created for HS2 through the program, which has earned an esteemed reputation and international participation. Former winners include Robert Battle, Aszure Barton, Camille Brown, Norbert De La Cruz III, Gregory Dolbashian, Jonathan Fredrickson, Alex Ketley, Gabrielle Lamb, Edwaard Liang, Terence Marling, Andrea Miller, Katarzyna Skarpetowska, Samar Haddad King, Dominic Walsh and Edgar Zendejas.
Additionally, HS2 is an integral component of Hubbard Street’s Education & Community Programs, which bring students into the world of dance by actively engaging them in perception, research, reflection and discussion, assisting them in strengthening basic proficiencies to develop analytical and abstract thinking, interpretation and problem-solving skills.
Under the direction of Claire Bataille, one of the original four Hubbard Street dancers, LCDS attracts aspiring dancers from around the nation and dance enthusiasts in the Chicago area.
Named “Best Dance Class for Adults” by Chicago magazine, LCDS offers a wide variety of classes weekly in ballet, jazz, modern, tap, African, hip hop, yoga, Pilates® and Zumba® at all levels from basic to professional, as well as workshops and master classes.
As part of its commitment to providing quality training, LCDS maintains a scholarship program for advanced dancers that provide a definitive step into the professional dance world. Additionally, Hubbard Street now offers a Summer Intensive, which provides concentrated training in ballet and modern technique classes, repertoire rehearsals, dance history lectures and health and wellness presentations to pre-professional dancers from across the nation.
With a faculty of experienced performers, choreographers and musicians from the Chicago community and an exceptional facility, LCDS continues to be at the forefront of the nation’s training institutions.
Hubbard Street’s Education & Community Programs were formed in 1997 in order to offer movement-based arts experiences to students, teachers and families throughout the Chicago area, giving them opportunities to experience and participate in dance activities and to enhance their learning in other curricular areas. These programs, under the direction of Kathryn Humphreys, bring students into the world of dance by actively engaging them in perception, research, reflection and discussion, assisting them in strengthening basic proficiencies to develop analytical and abstract thinking, interpretation and problem-solving skills.
Hubbard Street’s partnerships with schools provide teaching artists and educators the opportunity to plan, teach and learn together to create exciting and meaningful integrated curriculum which challenges students and takes learning to new levels.
Hubbard Street also offers family workshops and youth dance programs through its community partnerships at locations throughout the city and at the Hubbard Street Dance Center.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is an organization of four components:
Hubbard Street, its main, professional performing company. Hubbard Street appears domestically and around the world, in addition to regular engagements in Chicago.
Hubbard Street 2, its second, professional performing company. For exceptional dancers ages 18 to 25, HS2 is central to the organization's community visibility and audience development.
Lou Conte Dance Studio, its public facility for Chicago dancers of all ages and skill levels. The West Loop facility offers classes year-round, hosts auditions and rehearsals, and is free to explore during regular Open House events.
Education & Community Programs, its initiatives serving more than 2,500 students in 150 classrooms each year.
Since its founding in 1977, Hubbard Street has experienced many accomplishments, including:
Hubbard Street serves more than 80,000 people throughout the world with its performances and programs each year.
Hubbard Street is in its second year of a unique collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago, through which it is highlighting movement in art through lectures and performances in Modern Wing galleries.
For eight years, we have presented a one of a kind collaboration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), showcasing new and existing choreography set to orchestral music performed by the symphony.
In Fall 2010, HS2 premiered an interactive dance adaptation of Crockett Johnson’s beloved classic, Harold and the Purple Crayon, which will tour to children across the nation.
HSDC Educational Programs serve over 4,500 students, primarily in low-income schools, with in-depth educational programming that strengthens their creativity and communication skills.
HSDC Parkinson’s Project is helping Parkinson’s patients increase their quality of life through dance techniques.
HSDC offers Family Workshops that provide opportunities for parents and children to participate in dance movement in various cultural and community settings in collaboration with the Center on Halsted and Chicago Botanic Gardens.
Hubbard Street is committed to advancing the art of dance through a vast array of new choreographic development efforts, including presenting World Premiere performances of new works each year.
HSDC provides a wide range of training opportunities through classes at the Lou Conte Dance Studio for amateurs and budding professionals, as well as Youth Dance Classes now offered to children from 18 months to 13 years old.
HSDC trains over 150 dancers each year between the ages of 14-24 in Chicago and Los Angeles through our unique pre-professional training programs.
Hubbard Street has performed over 53 world premieres by such renowned choreographers as Founder Lou Conte, Marguerite Donlon, Nacho Duato, Daniel Ezralow, Jirí Kylián, Trey McIntyre, Ohad Naharin, Kevin O'Day, Twyla Tharp, Jorma Elo, Johan Inger and Victor Quijada.
Hubbard Street and Hubbard Street 2 have performed in 44 states, including such important dance venues as The Joyce Theater in New York City; the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts; DanceAspen; Wolf Trap Festival in Vienna, Virginia; American Dance Festival in North Carolina; Spoleto USA Festival in Charleston, South Carolina; UCLA Royce Hall Series; Dance Celebration in Philadelphia; the Celebrity Series in Boston; and at many venues in Chicago including its home venue, the Harris Theater.
Hubbard Street and Hubbard Street 2 has toured to 17 countries, performing in such distinguished venues as Spoleto, Italy; Holland Dance Festival, Netherlands; and Sadler's Wells, England.
Hubbard Street has been honored with several prestigious awards, including the Joyce Award for our commission of Alonzo King to create a work in collaboration with Hubbard Street and Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet; and Governor's Award from the State of Illinois in 1986. Additionally Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo was named the 2008 “Chicagoan of the Year” in Dance by the Chicago Tribune and his piece Extremely Close was named the #1 dance moment of the decade by TimeOut Chicago. Choreographer Victor Quijada was also named a 2010 Princess Grace Awards Winner for his work with Hubbard Street.