Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Good choreography is hard to find. But Spanish choreographer Nacho Duato is that rare bird who can do it all: Hubbard Street now has three of his dances in its repertoire, and all are musically, kinetically, and emotionally satisfying and tell elusive yet intriguing stories. The latest, receiving its Chicago premiere during this HSDC engagement, is Rassemblement (“The Gathering”), a piece for eight dancers with music by Haitian composer Toto Bissainthe. Divided into five sections, it seems to limn a community disrupted by violence, grief, and the transformation of sorrow into militant strength. Like Duato’s Jardi tancat (“Enclosed Garden”) and Na floresta (“The Forest”), Rassemblement is marked by soaring lifts, but these are never just for fun–they help tell the story, as the women who fling themselves into the men’s arms fold into self-protective poses. Nor does Duato make everything big–his choreography is full of such subtle but meaningful gestures as a man resting his cheek briefly in a woman’s cupped palms. Afro-Caribbean sounds and shapes come across as elegant embellishments to Rassemblement’s music and dance. Also new this season are Kevin O’Day’s duet To Have and to Hold, Harrison McEldowney’s Group Therapy, and Susan Hadley’s Blue Grass, which premiered at Ravinia last summer. See the listing for complete programs. The three-week engagement begins Tuesday at 6:30 and runs through May 2: Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7 (no show Wednesday, April 14), Fridays and Saturdays at 8 (and Saturday, May 1, also at 3), and Sundays at 3. At the Shubert Theatre, 22 W. Monroe; $12-$45. (Benefit tickets for opening night are sold out.) Call 312-902-1500 for tickets, 312-943-5056 for group and subscription rates. –Laura Molzahn

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Group Therapy photo by William Frederking.