Brian Brooks is the inaugural Choreographer in Residence at Chicago's Harris Theater for Music and Dance. This innovative three-year fellowship supports several commissions for Brooks, including new works for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Miami City Ballet, and his own New York-based group. A 2013 Guggenheim Fellow, other recent awards include a NY City Center Fellowship, Joyce Theater Artist Residency and Mellon Foundation Creative Artist Fellowship. Brooks’ work has toured internationally since 2002 with presentations by BAM’s Next Wave Festival, the Joyce Theater, Jacob’s Pillow, the American Dance Festival, NY City Center Fall for Dance Festival, and the Works and Process series at the Guggenheim Museum, among others. Lumberyard Performing Arts (formerly American Dance Institute) has provided ongoing support through commissioned premieres and Incubator Production Residencies. Beyond his company, Brooks has developed work with renowned ballet dancers, actors, and student groups. Damian Woetzel/Vail International Dance Festival has commissioned him to create three works featuring dancers from NYC Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet, including First Fall, in which he dances with former NY City Ballet Principal Wendy Whelan. He is in his fifth year collaborating and touring with Whelan, currently performing a duet evening accompanied by the string quartet Brooklyn Rider. Brooks has choreographed off-Broadway Shakespeare productions for Theatre for a New Audience including A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2013), directed by Julie Taymor, and Pericles (2016), directed by Trevor Nunn. He has created dances for Eliot Feld’s Ballet Tech, The Juilliard School, Boston Conservatory, The School at Jacob’s Pillow, Harvard University, and many others. Brooks dedicated 12 years as a Teaching Artist at Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education and has been on part-time faculty at Rutgers University and Princeton University. He learned how to run up walls and fly off a trampoline while performing for three years with daredevil choreographer Elizabeth Streb.
Hubbard Street concludes Season 41 with the Summer Series featuring works by Crystal Pite, Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo, and the return of Brian Brooks’ Terrain, called “a lush movement exchange” by See Chicago Dance, first premiered by Hubbard Street in 2016.
Alejandro Cerrudo was born in Madrid, Spain and trained at the Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza de Madrid. His professional career began in 1998 and includes work with Victor Ullate Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater 2. Cerrudo joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2005, was named Choreographic Fellow in 2008 and became the company’s first Resident Choreographer in 2009. Fifteen works choreographed to date for Hubbard Street include collaborations with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Nederlands Dans Theater. These pieces and additional commissions are in the repertory at companies around the U.S. as well as in Australia, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands; touring engagements have brought his work still further abroad, to audiences in Algeria, Canada, Morocco and Spain. In March 2012, Pacific Northwest Ballet invited Cerrudo to choreograph his first work for the company, Memory Glow, upon receiving the Joyce Theater Foundation’s second Rudolf Nureyev Prize for New Dance. Additional honors include an award from the Boomerang Fund for Artists (2011), and a Prince Prize for Commissioning Original Work from the Prince Charitable Trusts (2012) for his acclaimed, first evening-length work, One Thousand Pieces. Cerrudo is one of four choreographers invited by New York City Ballet principal Wendy Whelan to create and perform original duets for Restless Creature, and he was recently announced the 2014 USA Donnelley Fellow by United States Artists.
Crystal Pite is a former member of Ballet British Columbia (Ballet BC) in Vancouver, and William Forsythe’s Ballett Frankfurt. Pite’s professional choreographic debut was in 1990, at Ballet BC; since then, she has created more than 40 works for companies such as Nederlands Dans Theater 1, Cullberg Ballet, Ballett Frankfurt, the National Ballet of Canada, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal (Resident Choreographer, 2001–04), Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Ballet British Columbia, and Louise Lecavalier / Fou Glorieux. She has also collaborated with Electric Company Theatre and Robert Lepage. Pite is an associate choreographer at Nederlands Dans Theater, associate dance artist at Canada’s National Arts Centre, and associate artist at Sadler’s Wells in London. In 2002, she formed her own company in Vancouver, Kidd Pivot, which tours nationally and internationally, performing works such as Dark Matters and Lost Action. Its residency at the Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt (2010–12) provided Kidd Pivot with opportunities to create and tour The You Show and The Tempest Replica. Currently touring is the Kidd Pivot / Electric Company Theatre production of Betroffenheit, co-created by Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young.
Meet the Dancers
Hometown: San Jose, CA
Craig Black finished his sixth season with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet prior to joining Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in the fall of 2017. The California native was captain of his San Jose high school’s nationally ranked dance team. Craig received his BFA from The Juilliard School, where he was awarded the 2010 Princess Grace Award in Dance. He won the 2011 Lorna Strassler Award for Student Excellence at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Craig’s summer programs were at Springboard Danse Montreal, Nederlands Dans Theater, and the Pillow.
Home Town: Pocatello, ID
Jacqueline received classical ballet training in Pocatello, Idaho from Romanian ballet master Marius Zirra, with additional summer training at Ballet Idaho, Brindusa-Moore Ballet Academy, the Universal (Kirov) Ballet Academy, the Juilliard School and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. She graduated magna cum laude with departmental honors from the Ailey School and Fordham University’s joint program in New York City in 2009, while an apprentice with Hubbard Street. She was promoted to the main company in August 2009 and is a 2011–12 Princess Grace Honorarium recipient.
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Rena Butler hails from Chicago, IL. She has danced with Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, David Dorfman Dance, Manuel Vignoulle/M-Motions, Yara Travieso, The Kevin Wynn Collection, and Pasos Con Sabor Salsa Dance Company. She began her studies at The Chicago Academy for the Arts, studied overseas at Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan, and received her BFA from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance. She has acted as repetiteur for Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company. Rena's choreographic work has been featured on the School at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s BFA program, The Joffrey Ballet School in New York, the Young Choreographer's Festival in NYC, The New Orleans Museum of Modern Art in collaboration with world-renown jazz composer Terrence Blanchard, and CHTV Stories television program in Switzerland.
Home Town: Charlotte, NC
Alicia was born in San Francisco, CA. She trained in ballet, jazz, and tap at Susan Hayward School of Dance and later Charlotte School of Ballet and Piedmont School of Music and Dance in Charlotte, NC. Alicia graduated with honors from the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program in 2012 while concurrently dancing with Hubbard Street 2. She joined the main company in 2014. Alicia has also worked part time as the Local Director for JUNTOS Collective and served as Artistic Coordinator for the 2017 Advance Level Hubbard Street Summer Intensive. Follow @aliisabel
Hometown: Los Osos, CA
Kellie Epperheimer began her dance training in 1988 at the Academy of Dance and Civic Ballet of San Luis Obispo, and attended training programs at the Joffrey Ballet School and the Juilliard School in New York City. A founding member of Cedar Lake Ensemble (later Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet), she joined Hubbard Street 2 in January 2005, and was promoted to the main company in January 2007.
Hometown: Poughquag, NY
Michael earned a BFA in Dance from the University of Arizona and received much of his early training from Colorado Jazz Dance Company in Colorado Springs, followed by further studies at the American Academy of Ballet and Springboard Danse Montréal. Formerly a member of River North Dance Chicago and Visceral Dance Chicago, Gross has also performed with Elements Contemporary Ballet and in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s holiday production, Welcome Yule! Gross joined Hubbard Street in August 2014 and thanks his friends and family for their love and support.
Hometown: Santa Fe, NM
Elliot Hammans began his formal dance training in 2008 with Robert Sher-Machherndl and continued his ballet and modern dance education with Moving People Dance in Santa Fe, NM, under the direction of Curtis Uhlemann. Hammans joined Moving People Dance Company as an apprentice in 2010, trained on full scholarship at the Alonzo King LINES Dance Center in San Francisco, and attended Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s 2011 and 2012 Summer Intensives. Following one season with Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance and studies abroad at Austria’s Tanzzentrum SEAD (Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance), Hammans earned his BFA in Dance in 2014 from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. Choreographers whose work he has performed include Sean Curran, Gail Gilbert, Crystal Pite, Kendra Portier and Nathan Trice. Hammans joined Hubbard Street 2 as a full company member in August 2014 and was promoted to Hubbard Street’s main company in August 2016.
Hometown: TDallas, Texas
Alysia Johnson was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. She first found dance at Dallas Black Dance Theatre and later went on to graduate from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts where she studied ballet, modern, and composition. Over the course of her training she has performed works by Robert Battle, Emily Molnar, Aszure Barton, Crystal Pite, and Kyle Abraham among others. A recent graduate of The Juilliard School and a two-time recipient of Juilliard's Entrepreneurship Grant she has served the Dallas dance community by founding and directing a summer program that caters to young artists in the DFW metroplex since 2015. This will be Alysia’s first season with HSDC.
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Myles Lavallee began his training in Arizona at various dance schools and later studied at the School of American Ballet in New York City for two years. In 2011, Myles joined Ballet Arizona, where he danced for 4 seasons under the direction of Ib Andersen. In 2015 Myles joined Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal. There he performed works by Ohad Naharin, Stephan Thosse, Jean Christophe Maillot, Ken Osala, Shen Wei and Jiri Kylian. Myles has also choreographed for Ballet Arizona for the Artist Relief Fund Benefit and Innovations program, as well as for Les Grands Ballets in À Suivre. Myles has also performed as a guest artist with Robert Dekker’s Post:Ballet in San Francisco. This is his first season with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.
Hometown: London, Ontario
Adrienne Lipson (London, ON) began dancing under the tutelage of Jennifer Swan and continued her studies at Ryerson University. There, Lipson was a founding member of Rock Bottom Movement, and supplemented her training with summers at Hubbard Street, Jacob’s Pillow, and Springboard Dance Montréal, amongst others. Upon graduation in 2013, Lipson moved to Chicago to join Hubbard Street 2. Lipson worked with choreographer Robyn Mineko Williams on the development of her UNDER(cover) series, and creates her own work as part of Hubbard Street’s Inside/Out Choreographic Workshop. Lipson was promoted to the main company in August 2016.
Hometown: Frankenhardt , Germany
Florian trained at Ballettschule Malsam in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany, and the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Mannheim, where he was the recipient of its Birgit Keil Dance Foundation scholarship. Lochner earned his master’s degree in the performing arts and joined Gauthier Dance Company in Stuttgart in 2011, performing works by numerous choreographers including Mauro Bigonzetti, JiříBubeníček, Alejandro Cerrudo, Alexander Ekman, Itzik Galili, Eric Gauthier, Marco Goeke, Johan Inger, Jiří Kylián, Christian Spuck, Cayetano Soto, Philip Taylor, Stephan Thoss, Paul Lightfoot and Sol León. He received a “Best of the Season” nomination in Germany’s Dance for You! Magazine in September 2013, and joined Hubbard Street in August 2015.
Hometown: A Coruña , Spain
Ana began her formal training at Conservatorio de Danza Diputacion de A Coruña. Upon graduating Isaac Diaz Pardo High School, she continued her training at Centro Internacional de Danza Carmen Roche. Prior to joining Hubbard Street in January 2008, Lopez danced with Joven Ballet Carmen Roche, with Compañía Nacional de Danza 2 in works by Nacho Duato and Tony Fabre, and at Ballet Theater Munich under the directorship of Philip Taylor. She was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” for 2012.
Hometown: St. Albert, Alberta
Andrew is a graduate of the Juilliard School, from which he received a BFA in Dance under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes. Prior to being a regular collaborator with Aszure Barton & Artists, Murdock performed with Gallim Dance and BJM Danse, formerly Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal. Additional collaborators and colleagues include Cherice Barton, Joshua Beamish, Andy Blankenbuehler, Nina Chung, Joe Lanteri, Austin McCormick, Michelle Mola, Abdel Salaam and Edgar Zendejas. He has appeared at the Greenwich Music Festival, with Zack Winokur, and with Geneviève Dorion-Coupal at Just for Laughs and Le 400e Anniversaire de la Ville de Québec. As a rehearsal assistant to Aszure Barton, he has worked with American Ballet Theatre, Canada’s National Ballet School and Ballet BC, New York University, the Steps Ensemble, Arts Umbrella and Springboard Danse Montréal. He joined Hubbard Street in 2013.
Hometown: Grand Rapids , MI
David began training in Michigan with the School of Grand Rapids Ballet, where he then performed for four seasons with its company, Grand Rapids Ballet. Schultz joined Hubbard Street 2 in September 2009 and was promoted to the main company in August 2011, and he is the recipient of a 2012 Princess Grace Award.
Hometown: Baltimore , MD
Kevin began dancing under the guidance of Lester Holmes. He graduated from the Baltimore School for the Arts with additional training at the School of American Ballet, Miami City Ballet School, Paul Taylor Dance Company and Parsons Dance. He earned his BFA in 2007 at the Juilliard School, toured nationally with the Juilliard Dance Ensemble and appeared in the “Live from Lincoln Center” broadcast television special The Juilliard School: Celebrating 100 Years. Shannon joined Hubbard Street in November 2007.
Hometown: Tainan, Taiwan
Connie Shiau was raised in Tainan, Taiwan. She moved across the globe to come to New York after she was accepted into the dance conservatory at SUNY Purchase College in 2008. After graduating from college, Shiau had the privilege to work with Adam Barruch Dance, Kevin Wynn Collective, Meenmoves, Gallim Dance, Helen Simoneau Danse, and Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion. Shiau was the recipient of the 2014 Dancer Award at Reverb Dance Festival, and was given the title of Honorable Mention for Jadin Wong Award for the emerging Asian American dancer in the same year. She was named one of the Dance Magazine's 25 to Watch in 2018. She is extremely honored to join Hubbard Street Dance Chicago this year!
Hometown: Miami, FL
Born and raised in Miami, FL, Gaby Diaz started dancing at the age of 3 and trained in various styles growing up. In 2015, she was crowned America’s Favorite Dancer for season 12 of Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance and went on to perform on tour alongside Season 12’s Top Ten. Gaby was also seen performing in Jennifer Lopez’s Las Vegas show, All I Have. Most recently, she was seen as an All Star on Season 14 of So You Think You Can Dance and on tour with Travis Wall’s Shaping Sound Company.
Hometown: Henderson, NV
Figueroa began his professional dance training at The Rock Center for Dance while attending Las Vegas Academy of the Arts as a Dance Major. In 2016, he joined Las Vegas residential company, Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater where he continued his training in modern, ballet, and contemporary. He is excited to join Hubbard Street Professional Program this year.
Hometown: Arvada, CO
Kelsey, originally from Colorado, began her training at The Arvada Center of Performing Arts. She attended the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she received her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography with an emphasis in Ballet and Modern. During her senior year, Kelsey began dancing professionally with Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company. She's had the privilege of working with various choreographers including Peter Chu, Christian Denice, Peter Anastos, Kevin Iega Jeff, Kameron N. Saunders, DeeAnna Hiett, Edgar Anido, and Gary Abbott. This past summer she attended the Barton sisters summer program, Axis Connect. Kelsey is thrilled to be apart of the inaugural year of HS Pro under the direction of Alexandra Wells.
Hometown: Stockton, NJ
Emily Wohl, a native of New Jersey, trained at Princeton Dance and Theater. She continued her education at Princeton University where she studied Molecular Biology and Dance under the direction of Susan Marshall. She has performed in works by Karole Armitage, Jodie Gates, Zvi Gotheiner, Susan Jaffe, Loni Landon, Brian Reeder, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, and Doug Varone. She then worked as a freelance dancer in New York City and is excited to be a part of the inaugural HS Pro.