“You make the road as you go…”
The Inside/Out Choreographic Workshop is the annual chance for Hubbard Street’s dancers to strut their stuff as choreographers.
Among a slew of other dancer-made concert series (The Seldoms’ Mix with Six and Thodos Dance Chicago’s New Dances are notable examples), Inside/Out uses four of its 52 contract weeks to bring the dancers to the front of the room. One such dancer, turned choreographer, turned Rehearsal Director, turned newly appointed Director of Hubbard Street 2 is Terence Marling.
I got the opportunity to sit down with Marling after his tech rehearsal at the UIC Theater and we talked about the transitions of his career. I was interested in hearing about how difficult it might have been shifting from the main company’s Rehearsal Director to HS2 directorship, but Marling said the hardest transition was in moving from dancer to Rehearsal Director. Most challenging, he said, was recognizing former colleagues as employees. Approaching his role with honesty, love, and confidence eased the transition, and learning to stand at the front of the room is perhaps why projects like Inside/Out are so important.
Marling has a dance of his own in this 12th edition of Inside/Out, a duet created on and for dancers Jacqueline Burnett and David Schultz. Wedding Dance is a tribute to Burnett and Schultz’s upcoming nuptials, but follows a formula he’s enlisted in the past. So far this is the second duet featuring the man in shorts and bow tie, text recordings of the dancers’ voices mixed with music, and a cameo walk-on from dancer Quinn B Wharton. Whether or not this offering part of a growing trend in Marling’s work, Wedding Dance feels personal and wholly unique to the couple at hand.
Though I wouldn’t ordinarily peg Hubbard Street with a reputation for experimentation, maybe that’s because I hadn’t heard of Inside/Out. Marling insists that this project is vital to the organization by providing “a non-threatening environment to try an idea.” Challenging dancers to stand in the front of the room contributes to their growth and nurtures the next generation of choreographers and company directors. Marling’s move to Hubbard Street 2 was partly motivated by this spirit of experimentation, and his desire to help young artists develop. Contributing to their artistic growth benefits him as well, and paves the path for the future of dance.
Inside/Out Choreographic Workshop takes place Saturday, July 6, 5 and 8pm at the UIC Theater, 1044 West Harrison Street. Show includes nudity and some adult content. Tickets are $35/20, or $10 with promo code “Dancer”, available at hubbardstreetdance.com/insideout.