In this installment of HCL’s Cultural Conversation Series, join us for Sunday brunch and an engaging discussion about creating contemporary dance for the stage. Culture reporter and critic Zachary Whittenburg will interview choreographer Robyn Mineko Williams about her fall premiere for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, to feature an original score by Chicago musician and composer Robert F. Haynes, lighting by Brooklyn-based designer Burke Brown, and costumes by fashion designer Hogan McLaughlin. Both former Hubbard Street dancers themselves, Williams and Whittenburg will address the shift from interpretive to creative work, and how writing intersects with a choreographer’s process in the studio, via criticism, program notes and media relations. Williams, an avid music collector and DJ, will also discuss her approach to collaboration with the members of her creative team and cast.
Robyn Mineko Williams is a dancer and choreographer from Chicago, Illinois. She was a member of River North Dance Company (now River North Dance Chicago) for four years before joining Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2000. During her 12 years as a company member, Williams performed works by renowned dancemakers including Ohad Naharin, Jiří Kylián, Nacho Duato, William Forsythe and Johan Inger, and originated roles in new choreography by Jorma Elo, Alejandro Cerrudo, Sharon Eyal, Aszure Barton, Twyla Tharp, Lar Lubovitch and others. Williams created her first work in 2001 for Hubbard Street’s Inside/Out Choreographic Workshop, continuing to participate in subsequent seasons. In 2010, she and Hubbard Street 2 Director Terence Marling co-choreographed Harold and the Purple Crayon: A Dance Adventure, a fulllength work premiered at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and presented since in Chicago, Detroit, Tucson and other cities, as well as at the American Dance Festival. Williams performed recently with Aszure Barton & Artists and was one of two winners in 2012 of Northwest Dance Project’s Pretty Creatives International Choreographic Competition. Zachary Whittenburg spent ten years as a professional dancer with companies including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, BJM Danse Montréal and Pacific Northwest Ballet. He has presented choreography in Chicago and Canada and taught ballet and improvisation. As a reporter and critic, Whittenburg has covered architecture and design, food, film, music, technology, travel, visual art, queer culture and nightlife for the Chicago Reader, Dance Magazine, Dance International, Dance Teacher, Dance Spirit, Flavorpill, Hoy, Pointe, Time Out Chicago, Total Theatre UK and the Windy City Times. He speaks on dance and criticism, pens program notes, writes essays, moderates panel discussions and tweets @trailerpilot.
Those who attend this Cultural Conversation will receive a special offer on tickets to Hubbard Street’s Season 36 opener at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, October 10–13, featuring a new work by Robyn Mineko Williams, masterworks by Ohad Naharin and Mats Ek, and more.