Hubbard Street Asks Mies to Dance


Meanwhile, here in Chicago, the big architectural event of the season happened yesterday at Mies van der Rohe‘s S.R. Crown Hall, as the Hubbard Street Dance company teamed up with the Illinois Institute of Technology to host a dance event at, and about, the famous modernist building, thus providing nearly everyone who writes about it to use some form of “well, we guess you really can find dancing about architecture! ha! ha!” at some point or another (we’re exempt because we’re calling it out and making fun of it). Unfortunately, you had to be either an architecture student at the school, or someone important in the media, or know someone who could somehow bribe someone into getting you tickets to the one-night-only event, because it sold out within seconds of being announced. We’ll try to track some reports down on it from those who were lucky enough to attend, but in the interim, here’s a bit from the pre-event coverage in the Chicago Tribune:

For a course [Dirk Denison] taught, a dozen of his students took a movement class at Hubbard and spent a weekend residency in New York with the troupe founded by Martha Graham, a choreographer who enjoyed a long association with designer and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi. The students were also exposed to the working process of the three Hubbard choreographers. “They got to see how these choreographers think and how they build their pieces,” Denison says.

The Hubbard trio, meanwhile — consisting of Lucas Crandall, Brian Enos and Alejandro Cerrudo — got to work with the architects to craft a special environment for their works. The resulting installation at Crown Hall is, by Denison’s description, a wooden construction underneath a ceiling of fabric. But the innovation goes beyond the set itself. “This is not the case of a stage with a separate audience,” Denison says. “The audience does sit, but they also move for each of the dances.”