The 21st Season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center Kicks Off in The Music Center’s Ahmanson Theatre with the West Coast Premieres of Two Works, Coltrane’s Favorite Things and Dear Frankie
LOS ANGELES (August 21, 2023) — The Music Center launches its 21st season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center with the return of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, one of the world’s most original forces in contemporary dance. Under the leadership of new Artistic Director Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell, the company will perform BUSK (choreography by Aszure Barton, 2009) followed by the West Coast premieres of Coltrane’s Favorite Things (choreography by Lar Lubovitch, 2010) and Dear Frankie (choreography by Rennie Harris, 2023) in The Music Center’s Ahmanson Theatre from September 29 to October 1, 2023. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, who last performed at The Music Center in 2015, will again captivate audiences with its extraordinary talent, precision and boundless creativity. “Hubbard Street Dance Chicago ought to bottle itself as a cure for the ills of the era,” writes The New York Times. The Boston Globe adds: “Oh, those dancers, the mighty Hubbard Streeters, at once a unified force and a community of individuals.”
“Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is the consummate troupe to launch the 21st season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center—our boldest dance season in years. Audiences of all ages will discover the power of movement with such an extraordinary company and be left spellbound by the dancers’ raw energy, athleticism and undeniable beauty,” said Rachel S. Moore, president and CEO of The Music Center. “Throughout this season, we will proudly present works about strong, dynamic women as well as by strong, incredible women, beginning with the exhilarating vision of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Artistic Director Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell.”
BUSK is the 2009 creation of the company’s artist-in-residence Aszure Barton. The internationally renowned Canadian-American choreographer’s poignant work, called “nothing short of phenomenal” by Chicago’s PBS station WTTW, celebrates and scrutinizes the essence of what it means to perform, laying bare complex layers of human experience and emotion through mesmerizing, multitasking movements. BUSK was conceived at The Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, California, during a residency hosted by Dianne Vapnek’s DANCEworks. The work was further developed in residency at The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and premiered in 2009 at the Ringling International Arts Festival.
Coltrane’s Favorite Things was choreographed by Lar Lubovitch, hailed by The New York Times as “one of the 10 best choreographers in the world.” His work, making its West Coast debut, is inspired by and danced to John Coltrane's 1963 Live in Copenhagen interpretation of the song My Favorite Things from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music. The backdrop for the dance is a reproduction of Jackson Pollock’s landmark painting Autumn Rhythm. With this dance, Lubovitch reimagines the choreographic possibilities of Jazz, creating a vibrant counterpart to the artistic impulsiveness of these two 20thcentury giants.
“In his time, the music of John Coltrane was described as ‘sheets of sound’, due to the aural environment created by his innovative wall-to-wall, top-to-bottom, overall constancy of sound,” explained Lubovitch. “Simultaneously, mid-century artist Jackson Pollock was creating pictures depicting a visual environment for which the entire surface of the canvas itself was an overall ‘action field,’ the term coined to describe his paintings. In this dance, I have sought to draw a parallel between Coltrane’s sheets of sound and Pollock’s field of action.”
Dear Frankie also will be making its West Coast debut at The Music Center following its world premiere in Chicago in May of this year. In fact, Los Angeles audiences will be the first to experience Dear Frankie outside of Chicago. Known for bringing social dances to the concert stage and coining the term Street Dance Theater, Rennie Harris has broken new ground as one of the first Hip-Hop choreographers to set works on ballet-based companies.
“This work is an homage to the city of Chicago, the godfather of House Music DJ Frankie Knuckles, the infamous dance club The Warehouse, and its club members,” said Harris. “Frankie Knuckles and the other noted Chicago DJs introduced House Music to the world. As a result, Chicago’s unique sound and dance have impacted not only music but fashion, television, film, radio and Pop, and underground culture as we know it today.”
During the company’s residency, The Music Center’s longtime community partner dublab (the L.A.-based, world renowned online radio station) will dedicate live DJ sets to the legendary musicians who helped to inspire two works performed by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago: Frankie Knuckles and John Coltrane. Additional details to be announced soon.
To engage and inspire students and educators with dance and movement, The Music Center’s Hubbard Street Dance Company residency will also include a special matinee performance for middle school and high school students on Friday, September 29.
Tickets to Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s performances are available for purchase now by visiting musiccenter.org/hubbardstreet or calling (213) 972-0711. The Music Center’s Ticket Buyer Assurance Program protects all advance ticket purchases for dance presentations through 2024. Ticketed patrons will receive, at their request, a full refund or a credit for a future performance if Los Angeles County or the State of California elects to restrict or prohibit large gathering events at venues, resulting in the cancellation by The Music Center of dance performances due to COVID-19-related conditions. If an event is postponed or rescheduled, ticketed patrons will be moved automatically to the new performance date; however, patrons may request a refund or credit for the future. All changes must be handled prior to the purchaser’s scheduled performance date.
While The Music Center strongly encourages the use of masks on its campus, it no longer requires the use of masks or proof of vaccination/booster for access to its theatres. The Music Center remains committed to the highest standards of safety, sanitation and security to minimize risk for guests, artists and employees. Visit musiccenter.org/safety for information about The Music Center’s continued safety and security measures.
In accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health directives, The Music Center worked behind-the-scenes during the pandemic to prepare for the return of live performances in its venues, both indoors and outdoors, by implementing new measures and procedures. The Music Center became the first performing arts organization in the nation to earn the UL Verified Healthy Buildings Mark for Indoor Air and Water Quality. The Music Center underwent an extensive assessment process to earn the verification, demonstrating that each of its four venues, Grand Park’s administrative office and The Music Center Annex, has excellent quality for indoor air and water. Additionally, The Music Center has enhanced all cleaning procedures, installed hand sanitizer more dispensers in all public spaces and created a contact-free experience in its public restrooms as well as instituted electronic ticketing and a digital program book, among other measures.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
The Music Center’s Ahmanson Theatre
Friday, September 29, 2023, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 30, 2023, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 1, 2023, 2:00 p.m.
Last company appearance at The Music Center: 2015
Choreography & Direction: Aszure Barton (2009)
Stager: Jonathan E. Alsberry
Music: V. de Moraes, August Söderman, Ljova, Moondog, Daniel Belanger, Camille Saint-Saëns and
Musical Arrangement & Editing: Aszure Barton with Jonathan E. Alsberry
Costume Design: Michelle Jank
Lighting & Stage Design: Nicole Pearce
Coltrane’s Favorite Things (West Coast premiere)
Choreography: Lar Lubovitch (2010)
Restaged by: Jonathan E. Alsberry
Music Recording: John Coltrane Quartet's live performance of My Favorite Things
Music by Richard Rodgers and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Scenery: Jackson Pollock, "Autumn Rhythm (Number 30)"
Lighting: Jack Mehler
Dear Frankie (West Coast premiere)
Choreography: Rennie Harris (2023)
Music: Darrin Ross, Rennie Harris
Costume Design: Imani Sade
Lighting Design: James Clotfelter
Assistant to the Choreographer: Angel D. Anderson
Letter to Frankie written by: Rennie Harris
ABOUT GLORYA KAUFMAN PRESENTS DANCE AT THE MUSIC CENTER
Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center, a TMC Arts program, is one of the leading presenters of dance on the West Coast. The celebrated series offers significant works by prestigious ballet and contemporary dance artists from around the world. Now entering its 21st year, Dance at The Music Center is a powerful force, supporting new works and artists-in-residence projects by today’s most influential companies and choreographers. Performances are complemented by special experiences for both ticket buyers and the public with opportunities to learn more about the choreography and the themes explored, including panels, master classes, dance film festivals, interactive experiences and more. The 21st season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center is generously supported by Glorya Kaufman Foundation, Center Dance Arts, Dorothy B. Chandler Program Fund and Elisabeth Katte Harris.
ABOUT CENTER DANCE ARTS
Center Dance Arts is a dynamic community of patrons with a passion for dance. Center Dance Arts members bring dance to life in Los Angeles by promoting The Music Center’s world-class dance performances, extensive educational outreach and free and low-cost community experiences so all may experience the transformative power of dance. For more information, visit musiccenter.org/cda.
ABOUT THE MUSIC CENTER
The Music Center convenes artists, communities and ideas with the goal of deepening the cultural lives of every resident in Los Angeles County. The $70 million non-profit performing arts organization has two divisions: TMC Arts and TMC Ops. TMC Arts, The Music Center’s programming engine, provides year-round programming inside The Music Center’s four theatres, on Jerry Moss Plaza, outside at Gloria Molina Grand Park—a 12-acre adjacent green space—in schools and other locations all over Los Angeles County and on a digital platform called The Music Center Offstage. TMC Arts presents world-class dance with Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center, free and low-cost public concerts and events, as well as live and digital K–12 arts education programs, workshops, performances, interactive experiences and special events. TMC Ops manages the theatres, the Plaza and Gloria Molina Grand Park, which comprise $2 billion in county assets, on behalf of the County of Los Angeles. The Music Center is also home to four renowned resident companies—Center Theatre Group, Los Angeles Master Chorale, LA Opera and LA Phil. For more information, visit musiccenter.org. Follow The Music Center on Facebook, Instagram and X @MusicCenterLA.
ABOUT HUBBARD STREET DANCE CHICAGO
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. For 46 years, Hubbard Street has been one of the most original forces in contemporary dance—bringing top choreographers and works to Chicago and beyond. Hubbard Street’s ever-evolving repertory, created by today’s leading choreographic voices, makes HSDC a company that dancers aspire to join and performance venues all over the world are eager to present. To date, the main company has performed globally in 19 countries and 44 US states. At home in Chicago, Hubbard Street performs 20 times a year and delivers renowned education programs in 50 classrooms across 17 Chicagoland schools. HSDC Education utilizes the choreographic process to teach essential problem-solving skills, creativity, and collaboration—expanding our reach beyond traditional concert dance audiences, ensuring that everyone has access to world-class dance and instruction.
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The Music Center