CHICAGO — Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC) continues its 2020/21 43rd season with a virtual premiere presentation of new work from former Hubbard Street dancer and acclaimed choreographer Jonathan Fredrickson, debuting on Thursday, December 3 at www.hubbardstreetdance.com . The film will be streamed again Saturday, Dec. 5 and Sunday, Dec. 6, and has been made free to the public.
The film, entitled The Sky Was Different, was conceived, co-directed and choreographed by Fredrickson while working remotely from his current home in Wuppertal, Germany. Fredrickson often rehearsed late into the night to accommodate the schedule of the dancers in Chicago, while also working as a full-time dancer at Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. This 50-minute surrealist film was co-directed with former Hubbard Street dancer Tobin Del Cuore of Imagination + Muscle Production Company. In addition to featuring complex choreography, this highly personal piece incorporates original poetry written by the dancers under Fredrickson's direction, discussing their experiences during the global pandemic. Accompanying the film is an original composition by Oleg Stepanov, a composer and dancer from Wuppertal. Cinematographer Alex Birnie shot the film at Schweikher House in Schaumburg and C5 Create With No Limits, where rigorous precautions were taken for the safety of the cast and crew.
"I see myself in the work in a way that I was really not anticipating. The film has become somewhat autobiographical, even though it is born from the personal stories of the artists of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago," said Fredrickson. "Isolation, reflection, introspection, loss and love are themes that make up The Sky Was Different, and I believe many of us can relate to those emotions now. For me, the film is about change recalling where you once were, while anticipating that things will not be the same."
"It's great to come home to Hubbard Street Dance Chicago now, after having been away for five years," he added. "I really wanted to get to know the Hubbard Street dancers of today, to explore the fullness of them. Knowing them became inspiring and opened the door to making something happen. I would give them prompts, and they would respond, and we would move through their stories, their reflections, their poems, and their texts. The piece was born from those ideas."
Hubbard Street Dancers featured in the film include Alyssa Allen, Craig D. Black Jr., Jacqueline Burnett, Elliot Hammans, Alysia Johnson, Adam McGaw, Andrew Murdock, Abdiel Figueroa Reyes, David Schultz and Kevin J. Shannon. After each showing of the film, various artists involved in the film will join viewers for a live talkback section featuring a Q&A.
The Sky Was Different can be viewed for free on the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago website. Viewers can receive a link to the screening by registering at hubbardstreetdance.com .
About Jonathan Fredrickson
Jonathan Fredrickson was born in Corpus Christi, TX. He attended California Institute of the Arts where he received his BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography. Fredrickson danced with the Limon Dance Company from 2006-2011, and created two works on the company during his time there, The Edge of Some World and Chrysalis. In 2010, he was a winner of Hubbard Street's National Choreographic Competition and was also honored as one of Dance Magazine's "25 To Watch." He then danced with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago from 2011 - 2015, where he was commissioned to create two new works on the company, Untitled Landscape and For the Wandered. His work has been shown in festivals such as Hong Kong Dance Festival, Reverb Dance Festival, and White Wave, and he has created for school programs like California Institute of the Arts, CalState Fullerton, Limon Institute, and Sundance/Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre. He joined the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch in 2015, where he has been performing her work internationally, and creating for the company's choreographic platform UNDERGROUND with the works Epilogue and Afternoon Forest Birds.
About Tobin Del Cuore
A native of Maine, Tobin Del Cuore began his ballet training at the Walnut Hill School in Natick, Massachusetts. He attended The Juilliard School under the direction of Benjamin Harkarvy, graduating in 2001 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Upon graduating, Del Cuore joined the artists of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, where he danced for six years. Del Cuore has since danced for Aszure Barton & Artists, The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, The Metropolitan Opera, BalletX, Alessandra Ferri Dance, Houston Grand Opera, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, and SFDanceworks. Today, Del Cuore works closely with Aszure Barton, assisting in new creations, staging existing work and creating video projections. Del Cuore also stages work for Lar Lubovitch and Alejandro Cerrudo and recently was associate choreographer for the US National Tour of Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story On Stage. In 2011, Del Cuore founded his production company, Imagination + Muscle, where he has produced and directed numerous music videos, commercials, promos, dance films, and multi-camera live performance captures.
About Oleg Stepanov
Oleg Stepanov was born in Ural, Russia, and currently lives in Wuppertal, Germany. Stepanov began his career as an engineer, but since 2008 he has been a dance and video artist. He was engaged in Gothenburg Dance Company for three years, and since 2016 he has been part of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. Parallel to this, Stepanov started to experiment with sound and music making. To date, he has released two full albums, In Search of Something Elusive and Lost Contours of Memory Shine, and is currently working on the new release. He's inspired to create music that would make you move, literally or figuratively. His music spans a spectrum from reflective and intimate to spatial and disturbing. His work often refers to the theme of time, memory, and its distortion.
About Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's mission is to bring artists, art and audiences together to enrich, engage, educate and change lives through the experience of dance. Celebrating Season 43 in 2020-2021, HSDC is committed to keeping its dancers creating and finding innovative ways to continue to share exceptional contemporary dance with the community. Hubbard Street also offers extensive Education and Adaptive Dance Programs to ensure that residents in every neighborhood of Chicago have access to the benefits of dance. Visit hubbardstreetdance.com for more information.