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Doing the Holland-Chicago shuffle

April 3, 2010 |  8:30 am
Jim KLM Royal Dutch Airline’s O’Hare-Schiphol direct flight has been a burning tube of dance talent in recent years. In a cultural exchange melding Dutch pragmatism with the steadfast made-in-Chicago version, two of the world’s top dance companies recently swapped artistic directors.

In 2009, Jim Vincent, artistic director of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago for nine years, took up the reins of Nederlands Dance Theater (an alum, he had danced there in the 1980s), creating the Chicago opening for Glenn Edgerton. Edgerton, known in Los Angeles as a former Joffrey Ballet soloist and for his brief stint at the Colburn School’s dance program, had also danced with NDT under Jirí Kylián. Edgerton eventually ran the adventurous European company himself from 1994 to 2004. 

What matters most about the intercontinental travel is choreography. NDT, considered the great incubator for top European dance makers Nacho Duato, Jorma Elo, Ohad Naharin, William Forsythe and Kylián, occupies one end of a pipeline funneling avant-garde ballets into the U.S. This addition significantly repositions Hubbard Street, a former jazz-dance-based ensemble, onto a global platform. 

I caught up with Edgerton in advance of Hubbard Street’s Music Center performances next weekend. Read my interview in Arts & Books.

-- Debra Levine

Photo: Jim Vincent