The mission of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is to bring artists, art, and audiences together to enrich, engage, educate, and change lives through the experience of dance. Now celebrating its 40th 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 16 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.
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. 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 Dance Latin Grooves 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 Youth, Education, and 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 Youth, 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.
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.