Forge Forward kicks off Season 42 with an imaginative new work by Kyle Abraham, Artistic Director of Abraham.In.Motion (A.I.M.). The award-winning New York based choreographer, called “one of the hottest names in dance” by the Dallas News, brings this new creation to Chicago next fall. The company will spend three weeks in September at Dancer’s Workshop in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for an Artistic Residency with Abraham before the premiere in Chicago. Also included in the Fall Series is the return of Grace Engine, Crystal Pite’s “highly cinematic full company work” (Chicago Sun Times), and a world premiere by Hubbard Street Choreographic Fellow and Chicago native Rena Butler hailed for her “heady, sexy, funny, brilliantly conceived and executed" choreography by Splash Magazine.
Note: This performance will include the use of explicit language.
Join us for Balcony Talks!
Free Thursday-Sunday, one hour prior to performance
Harris Theater Balcony, Level 3
Join us or a casual conversation about the works in Forge Forward - no reservation is required.
Kyle Abraham is a 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award recipient, 2015 City Center Choreographer in residence, and is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow. Previous awards include being named a 2012 USA Ford Fellow, a Creative Capital grantee, and receiving a 2012 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award. In 2010, Abraham received a prestigious Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance in Dance for his work in The Radio Show and a Princess Grace Award for Choreography in 2010. The previous year, he was selected as one of Dance Magazine's 25 To Watch for 2009. In 2011, OUT Magazine labeled Abraham as the "best and brightest creative talent to emerge in New York City in the age of Obama".
Rena Butler hails from Chicago. She has danced in companies such as Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, David Dorfman Dance, Manuel Vignoulle/M-Motions, The Kevin Wynn Collection, and Pasos Con Sabor Salsa Dance Company. She has also starred in Director Yara Travieso's live musical film 'La Medea', and has worked with visual artists Carrie Mae Weems and Nick Cave. She has been featured in Dance Magazine's 'On the Rise', as well as The Dance Enthusiast, Refinery29.com, Chicago Magazine, The Artists Cove, and Jordan Matter's 'Dancers Among Us'. Butler 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. Butler's choreographic work has been presented at The Ailey School/Fordham, SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance, The New Orleans Museum of Modern Art in collaboration with Grammy award-winning jazz composer Terrence Blanchard, Taipei National University of the Arts, The Joffrey Ballet School in New York, the Young Choreographer's Festival in NYC, CHTV Stories television series in Switzerland, The Dance Division at Loyola University in Chicago, and more. Butler currently serves on The Consortium for Chicago Dancemakers Forum, a panel member for Black Girls Dance, and was named Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's Choreographic Fellow in March 2018.
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, California
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, Idaho
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.
Some of Jacqueline's Favorites:
Summer Activity: Camping & losing track of time
Author: Currently, Suzanne Collins
Animal: Dragon Seahorse
Poet: Pablo Neruda
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
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, North Carolina
Alicia began her classical training at the Susan Hayward School of Dance in San Francisco, California, and continued her studies in North Carolina with Gay Porter and Bridget Porter Young at the Charlotte School of Ballet. In 2004, Delgadillo began studying full time with Daniel and Rebecca Wiley at Piedmont School of Music and Dance. She has attended summer programs at Hubbard Street, the Juilliard School, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and Springboard Danse Montréal. Delgadillo graduated with honors from the Ailey School and Fordham University’s joint program in New York City in 2012, while a member of Hubbard Street 2, and was promoted to the main company in April 2014.
Hometown: Los Osos, California
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: 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: Santa Fe, New Mexico
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: Dallas, 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: London, Ontario
Adrienne Lipson began her dance training in London, Ontario under the tutelage of Jennifer Swan, and continued her studies at Ryerson University, where she received a BFA with honors upon her graduation in spring 2013. While in Toronto, Lipson performed with Typecast Dance Company and was a founding member of Rock Bottom Movement. Lipson attended the Proarte Danza Summer Intensive and Kenny Pearl’s Emerging Artists Summer Intensive, in addition to training programs at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, LADMMI (Montréal’s L’École de Danse Contemporaine), the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and Springboard Danse Montréal, where she performed works by choreographers Aszure Barton, Barak Marshall and Robyn Mineko Williams. Lipson joined Hubbard Street 2 as an apprentice in August 2013, was promoted to full HS2 company member in August 2014, and joined Hubbard Street’s main company in August 2016.
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.
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!