Student Blog: Hubbard Street choreographers in Los Angeles

June 26, 2017

Hubbard Street Summer Intensive at GKIDC.

Students work on choreography with Piantino and Saunders | Photo by Celine Kiner

By Justin Epstein

I’m just finishing up my first week at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Pre-Professional Choreographic Intensive at USC, and it has been incredible. At Hubbard Street, I have had the opportunity to be involved in the choreographic process of Penny Saunders and Pablo Piantino’s latest piece (which has yet to be named). In just two weeks, the choreographers will create a piece ready for an informal showing in the Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center, on the last Friday of the intensive. In order to maximize our experience inside of the creative process, Hubbard Street has scheduled us to rehearse with the choreographers for an average of five hours per day. Only one week in, we’ve been able to spend so much time with the choreographers themselves, and working directly with them has taught me so much.

This first week has been an amazing experience for me; I have had the opportunity to witness creation in the making. Penny and Pablo have been utilizing many choreographic tools and have pulled inspiration for movement from the dancers, accidental movement, and even phrases of American Sign Language. We are now in the process of parsing, restructuring, and staging the extended movement phrases that were created to bring the piece together. I’m learning so much from Penny and Pablo and I cannot wait to utilize choreographic tools that they have exposed us to when I begin DANC 330: Composition I in the fall at USC Kaufman. This will be the first required class in my Choreography for the Stage and Cinematic Arts concentration, and since I am planning to pursue a career in choreography, I look forward to absorbing everything I from the Hubbard Street choreographers in the remaining week.