Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Susan Hadley’s new piece for Hubbard Street, Blue Grass, is filled with good ideas and agreeable surprises. Set to music by Nashville fiddler Mark O’Connor and his guests (Pinchas Zukerman, among others), it doesn’t simply ride the musical waves of Cajun, western swing, and bluegrass; rather Hadley reverses our expectations, both of gender roles and of the musical and emotional development of her six-dance suite. Besides, Blue Grass is just plain fun, as buoyant and grounded as its lively homespun score. Whether its nine dancers are pounding the floor in synchronized running formations or stepping out of a big walking circle to mirror the lyrical gestures of a soloist, it captures the quintessentially American way that individuals coalesce into a community. Hadley, who’s performed with Senta Driver and Mark Morris, is an Ohio native who’s not particularly well-known, but Hubbard Street now has the kind of stature that enables it to bring bright new choreographers to our attention, rather than capturing attention with such famous lights as Twyla Tharp and Jiri Kylian. Blue Grass appears on a program with Daniel Ezralow’s Lady Lost Found, David Parsons’s The Envelope, Margo Sappington’s Mirage, and Kylian’s Sechs Tanze Wednesday and Thursday, September 3, at 8. The second program, next Friday and Saturday, September 4 and 5, at 8 (with a kids’ matinee Saturday at 2), includes Nacho Duato’s Jardi tancat, Mario Alberto Zambrano’s Link, Kylian’s Sechs Tanze, and Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs. At Ravinia Festival, Green Bay and Lake Cook Rds. in Highland Park; $15-$30. (The “Dancin’ in the Moonlight” company benefit on Friday, September 4, is $65 for the performance and postshow reception or $90 including a preshow dinner; the kids’ show is $3-$5.) Call 847-266-5100 for tickets and information, 312-850-9744 for information about the benefit. –Laura Molzahn

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