HSDC Reconnects with the MCA
March 11, 2022 | Back to blog
Hubbard Street is back at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s intimate Edlis Neeson Theater for Spring Series: RE/CONNECT! The MCA is one of the world’s largest museums dedicated to contemporary art where the public can experience the work and ideas of living artists and understand the historical, social, and cultural context of the art of our time—making it a natural venue to experience cutting-edge contemporary dance, up close and personal!
For this series, every Hubbard Street ticket includes a free museum pass to come back and visit the MCA another day. Simply pick up a pass at coat check after the performance or show your program book to get free admission for two until April 15, 2022.
During a break from RE/CONNECT rehearsals, the Hubbard Street Dancers explored Los Angeles-based artist Andrea Bowers’ retrospective exhibition, on view now through March 27, 2022. Below are some of the dancers’ personal reflections on works that resonated with them throughout this exhibition of multi-disciplinary art that explores the interconnectedness of pressing national and international social justice issues.
We hope you enjoy this glimpse into Andrea Bowers' work through the eyes of the HSDC artists!
To me, Bowers' use of past tense morphs this story into a memory that reflects with nostalgia on a past love. It reminds me that our most dire and unknown moments become light with love. The use of Spanish brought home a beautiful, social-political statement that while we may use seemingly dissimilar verbiage, we are denoting a sameness of basic human needs. In theory, our differences should separate us, but in a sincere love, our oddities unite us and are welcomed. I hope to live in this kind of love.
The piece that drew me in the most within Andrea Bowers’ exhibition was Letters to the Army of Three. This work revolves around safe abortions and accessibility to such services and doctors beyond the US. What initially caught my attention was a full wall’s scale of letters surrounded by beautifully patterned papers, as well as a singular small flat screen hanging from the ceiling. Both the letters and flat screen depicted real life stories of those calling to the Army of Three for help in their search and battle for safe abortions. From afar, the architecture and arrangement were enough to spark my attention, and once I approached it, the individual stories of many, alike and different, encapsulated the whole piece. The work shows how diverse and specific a subject can be for an individual, and also how they can be very related on a large scale, like our contemporary moment.
When I first entered the space, I felt an immediate sense of familiarity. The bamboo earrings, lip gloss, ballies, barrettes, satin silk hair bonnet, lash extensions, edge control, a hair pik, rat tail combs, and a DVD of The Wiz. I felt seen; the shared experience of growing up as a Black girl and getting to share these lived moments forever filled me with joy. In that same moment, I see a video of Ma’Khia Bryant doing her hair routine, candles lit in remembrance of those Black girls we’ve lost, and I was met with so much sadness and anger. Understanding the reality of the Black girl experience, knowing the details in what we use to protect our hair and style ourselves, connects us as much as our shared history and trauma.
What stuck out to me most when seeing this painting for the first time was the stance of the figure in relation to the text. Confidence and belief in oneself can physically be shown in a variety of ways, and this woman—with hands in her pockets, alert eyes, and a slight smirk—reminds me of so many women in my own life who have shown up time and time again to create space in environments that perhaps were never meant to accommodate them.