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Visible Passion: Hubbard Street Dance

March 18, 2011

Visible Passion: Hubbard Street Dance:

Last night I had the privilege of experiencing the Hubbard Street modern dance troupe in top form. They were celebrating their 8th annual “Bold Moves for Bold Women” evening. A reception before the dance performance, among wonderful hors d’oeuvres, featured the creative businesses of women from around the country. Tucked into one corner was the beautiful yet affordable jewelry of Stella & Dot. It was flanked by a wildly colorful table of unique women’s handbags crafted by Laudi Vidni. If you look closely, you will see that this business name is “individual” backwards. Another business had assorted candies on the table. You selected your choice and as the women bagged them, they read your personality based on the candies you chose. The highlight of the Bold Moves for Bold Women evening, however, was the featured choreographer for this season’s Hubbard Street performance, Sharon Eyal, an Israeli choreographer who is making her name around the world. This was the first piece she choreographed in the United States. As she was milling about the room, we had a chance to meet her and her partner and speak with them for a while.

The reception was everything it promised to be: a smorgasbord of bold ideas, bold colors, bold photos and artwork highlighting bold women, all adding up to fun. With slides of the dancers gracing the back of the room, it built up to a strong anticipation for the performance.

And there was no let down. While Eyal was the “bold moves” choreographer featured, there were two pieces performed. The first was by another Israeli choreographer, Ohad Naharin. Hubbard Street featured the evening as “This is NOT your mother’s Hubbard Street, and it truly delivered.” The choreography was, as the title suggests, bold, unique, in moments simple yet complex, and wild, stretching the boundaries of what we call dance by filling it with colloquial gestures, vocal expressions by the dancers, and an eclectic sound track ranging from songs and tonal music to words. It was a bright gift of the unexpected. Solos, small groups and large groups of dancers filtered on and off stage, some still while others danced, other times with all dancing different steps as if they weren’t aware there were others on the stage. Two duets were of note, one with a man and a woman which was quite sensitive and graceful, and showing a role reversal once or twice when  the woman supported the man, and another, with two men dancing quite beautifully, powerfully and intimately in the type of duet that one usually sees reserved for a man and a woman. The dancers danced tirelessly and seemingly effortlessly, in two very physically demanding pieces, exhibiting only joy.

All the events of the evening reflected one element: passion. From the energy of the coordinators of the reception to the women whose businesses were highlighted, to the excitement of Sharon Eyal, enhanced by her boldly colored Israeli tunic, to the choreography itself and the exceptional performance of the dancers, what came through everywhere in the evening was the passion of everyone involved.  It fed the reception so that air was singed with it. It was evident in the designs of the dances by the choreographers, and oh so visible in the dancers themselves, who never lost the smiles and openness in their eyes throughout a very rigorous and demanding evening of movement.

Each of us has a passion. It is what brings excitement and fulfillment to our lives. What is your passion? Is it for the arts or crafts, as in those involved in “Bold Moves for Bold Women,” or does it lie somewhere else? If you are living your life expressing your passion, you know exactly what I mean when I say it brings excitement and fulfillment. If you are not exploring and involving yourself in expressing your passion, why not? If you aren’t sure what your passion is, there is no time like the present discover what it might be. And if you do know what it is, today is a great day to take even a small moment to invest in bringing it into your life in a more tangible way. Boldness awaits!

Robin Damsky

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