For two of the three new dancers added to Hubbard Street Dance Chicago‘s (HSDC) roster this season, it was a new road traveled. Alice Klock and David Schultz – 23 and 24 respectively – are the first two dancers to move up the HSDC chain from summer intensive students to members of HS2 to being promoted to the main company. All in two years.
Both dancers hail from Michigan, but the similarities in dance beginnings end there. Schultz stated dancing at five taking tap (he wanted to be Donald O’Connor), then began taking ballet classes with his older brother Nick. Once hooked, he took numerous summer workshops that eventually led to an apprenticeship (while still in high school) and then a full-time position with the Grand Rapids Ballet, where he danced for over four years. Klock didn’t start dancing until age 11 with ballet classes. She quickly took to the form and three years later attended a summer program at San Francisco Ballet, where she decided she wanted to be a professional dancer. She went to Interlochen Center for the Arts for high school and after two years at Dominican University, figured it was time to start her professional career.
Here’s where there stories come together. Both attended the HSDC summer intensive in 2009 and were asked to join the second company HS2. Landing here happen almost by accident, but now they couldn’t be happier. “I’d known a little bit about the company, but once I got here, I realized how much I really loved the whole philosophy and the rep,” says Klock. Schultz agrees. “Just learning the rep I thought ‘this is it’! This is what I want to do.” Their success ties into the larger HSDC mission of nurturing the next generation of artists. “David and Alice are great examples to a bigger mission of mine, which is to mentor young dancers and prepare them for a profession in dance rather or not they continue with Hubbard Street or not,” says Artistic Director Glenn Edgerton. “They’ve matured so quickly in all ways, both in their dancing and also in their understanding of how to approach their work creatively and practically. I feel we have been able to tap into their talents and start to challenge them toward their potential.” That potential will be challenged this season with having to learn the previous repertoire that includes masters like Ohad Naharin, Nacho Duato and Jirí Kylián, as well as new company works by a range of choreographers from Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo to the legendary Twyla Tharp (her world premiere hits the stage this Thursday, Oct 13th).
No one is more proud of these two dancers than HS2 Director Taryn Kaschock Russell, “I’m so proud of them!” After thriving under her guidance in the second company, Klock attributes much of their success to her. “Taryn is amazing,” she says before class last Tuesday morning. “She’s such a caring and passionate leader. Taryn really looks at each dancer in the second company and finds what exactly it is that will take them to the next step. Because of that, we progressed really quickly.” With this close bond, Kaschock Russell was the perfect person to ask what it is about these two that impressed her. On Schultz: “He is a never-ending ball of energy and curiosity. He is willing, always. He has grown exponentially over the course of two years and added texture and versatility to his already dynamic stage presence. He soaked up every bit of information that he could get his hands on from me and all of the choreographers and colleagues he worked with. Don’t get me wrong, he’s also a handful – in a wonderful way. You have to keep your eye on that one.” On Klock: “Alice has an intelligence that often stops me in my tracks. When I first began working with her, I was taken by her physical beauty and long lines. When she attended the summer program, she was very timid and a bit like a young fawn on those beautiful legs of hers. During her two years with HS2, she went from that understated shy presence, unsure of her place in the room, to eating up the stage with her every movement. She commands attention, her stance is strong and her gaze unyielding. ”
Come see Klock, Schultz, along with new HSDC company member Garrett Anderson this week (Oct 13 – 16) at the Harris Theater (205 E. Randolph)as Hubbard Street presents their Fall Series. On the program, a world premiere SCARLATTI by Twyla Tharp, Nacho Duato’s Archangelo and Walking Mad by Johan Inger. Tickets can be purchased by calling 312.850.9744, 312.334.7777 or by visiting the Harris Theater box office.