Luminous and lively footwork

December 11, 2010
Chicago Tribune
Sid Smith


This was a year of exciting new work, some wonderfully staged revivals, a trifecta from Alejandro Cerrudo and bright performances — all in a dance scene undiminished by tough times. Some highlights:

1 .Cerrudo X 3. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's gifted resident choreographer gave us "Deep Down Dos," "Blanco" and "Malditos," three premieres that share his moody mastery of image and sharpening musicality. Cerrudo's work gained recognition elsewhere, for what it's worth, winning kudos in Washington, D.C., and the Hague.

2. Exciting commissions, engineered by the Joffrey Ballet's Ashley Wheater, Hubbard's Glenn Edgerton and River North Chicago Dance Company's Frank Chaves, among other artistic directors, made for a banner year of new work from prominent outsiders. James Kudelka, Aszure Barton, Jessica Lang, Victor Quijada, Robert Battle, Sidra Bell and (Chicago's own) Autumn Eckman are among those who delighted and surprised; Kudelka's "Pretty BALLET," Quijada's "PHYSIKAL LINGUISTIKS" and Battle's "Three" are personal favorites.

3. 2010 had plenty of great revivals, too. American Ballet Theatre's "Fancy Free," the Joffrey's "After the Rain" and "The Concert (or the Perils of Everybody)" and Hubbard Street's impassioned, haunting "Tabula Rasa" were among the luminous.



10. And they who dance. In the end, every year belongs to them. Notables, in no particular order, include: Yumelia Garcia, Eduardo Zuniga, Benjamin Wardell, Penny Saunders, Derrick Agnoletti, Meredith Dincolo, Victoria Jaiani, Fabrice Calmels, Valerie Robin, Christian Denice, Ana Lopez and Jonathan Meyer.