Those lucky enough to have attended the Dance for Life benefit this past Saturday at the Auditorium Theatre – where a packed house of 2,200 dance-lovers gathered – were treated to a one-night intensive course in the power and variety of Chicago’s dance scene.
The company that first drove the audience to its feet in a sustained ovation was Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, which performed excerpts from “The Art of Falling,” its acclaimed collaboration with The Second City. With dancing so sublime it was close to hypnotizing, the piece that kept the audience in its thrall was Alejandro Cerrudo’s series of duets, “Second to Last.”
But all of this is simply a preface to this news: The New York-based Doris Duke Charitable Foundation has just awarded $500,000 to Hubbard Street Dance Chicago through its Leadership Grants Program for Dance.
The company is one of 18 dance companies and presenters nationwide to receive one of these grants which range from $25,000–$1 million and are designed to support “the self-defined, long-term goals of organizations which have demonstrated excellence in, and sustained commitment to, the field of dance.” Hubbard Street was one of DDCF’s nine grantees to receive the $500,000 award amount in this all-new initiative.
According to the Foundation, “grantees distinguished themselves by the quality of their choreography, the impact of their touring on communities across the country, and the successful expansion of their own initiatives and educational programming.”
DDCF will provide each organization with flexible funds encouraging them to build upon the unique courses they have already charted, and to continue to pursue their visions for the long term. This new support will enable grantees to realize their plans “to increase organizational capacity, execute new artistic initiatives, strengthen data and evaluation systems, or other strategies that they have determined will best lead them to continued success.”
Meanwhile, Hubbard Street is gearing up for its celebration of the influential modernist choreographer William Forsythe, an American who for years was based in Europe, but is now working in the U.S. Hubbard Street’s fall engagement at the Harris Theatre for Music and Dance, running Oct. 15–18, will be devoted to Forsythe’s work.