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 42nd 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 Claire Bataille, Nacho Duato, Daniel Ezralow, Jiří Kylián, Ohad Naharin, Margo Sappington, 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 . Cerrudo would go on to become Hubbard Street's Resident Choreographer for 10 years. 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 David McDermott was announced as Executive Director in 2017. Together, this new leadership team has moved forward the Hubbard Street legacy on multiple fronts.
Inside/Out transformed into the creative process for danc(e)volve, a showcase for emerging artists, including Choreographic Fellows Rena Butler, Alice Klock, and Florian Lochner, as well as choreographers Penny Saunders and Robyn Mineko-Williams. The company forged creative partnerships with several renowned arts organizations, including collaborations with the CSO, Art Institute of Chicago, The Second City, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, and Malpaso Dance Company. To the company’s repertoire, Edgerton has extended relationships with its signature choreographers while adding significant new voices such as Kyle Abraham, Mats Ek, Sharon Eyal, William Forsythe, Alonzo King, Crystal Pite and Victor Quijada.
The main company’s 14 members comprise one of the only ensembles in the U.S. to perform all year long, domestically and around the world.
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. LCDS was under the direction of Claire Bataille, one of the original four Hubbard Street dancers, until 2018. The studio 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. 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.
Additionally, under the direction of Alexandra Wells, Artistic Director of Springboard Danse Montréal, Hubbard Street has introduced a dynamic training professional training program, HS Pro. The program's mission is to address the needs of dancers striving to enter the current job market by providing diverse training alongside one of the prestigious contemporary dance companies in the world. Additionally, Hubbard Street now offers a multi-level Summer Intensive, which provides concentrated training in ballet and modern technique classes, repertoire rehearsals with company dancers, dance history lectures and health and wellness presentations to pre-professional dancers from across the nation. A Pre-Professional Choreographic Intensive was added in 2016 to allow dancers to focus on collaborations with emerging choreographers.
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 proficiency to develop analytical and abstract thinking, interpretation and problem-solving skills.
In 2009, Hubbard Street launched youth and family programs to teach dance with an emphasis on creative expression. These Adaptive Dance programs include Sensory and Spectrum Friendly classes for movers as young as 3 years. 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.