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Hubbard Street Dance Gets Its Comedy On

The modern dance company opens a new show with the comedy pros at Second City this week.

Photo: Ratko Radojcic

When Second City collaborated with the Lyric Opera in 2013, the results were a series of intimate shows with just the right amount of cheese. Now, Second City is continuing the tradition with The Art of Falling, a production with Hubbard Street Dance that runs October 16–19 (there’s a preview performance on October 15 as well).

The Art of Falling is the largest Hubbard Street production ever, with 31 performers, including six Second City actors, taking part. There are three interconnected storylines centered on the idea of taking risks—among them a love story between a dancer and an office worker, a temp worker who has a crush on the office catch, and a chance encounter between two airplane passengers. There are some standalone vignettes too; dancers mimic typewriters in one number, and do a reprise of resident choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo’s 2013 Ballet Arizona commission Second to Last.

Like most Second City Mainstage shows, there’s original music and there will be some improvisation, even though most of the show is scripted. And while the show will have a lot of comedic elements, don’t expect a total modern dance roasting. “We saw Alejandro Cerrudo’s One Thousand Pieces and the dancing was so beautiful we knew it was important not to make fun of it,” says head writer and Second City actor Tim Mason.

Director Billy Bungeroth also says the piece reflects Chicago’s current cultural landscape. “It’s not a coincidence that we have David Bowie music in the show. And there’s been a lot of death in the theater community this fall. [Local actors Molly Glynn and Bernie Yvon both passed away in separate instances in September.] That’s in the show.”

For a sneak peek of the sui generis production, click through the gallery taken at a rehearsal on October 8.

Photo gallery

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