Best Choreographer, Reader's Choice: Alejandro Cerrudo
There are lots of great Chicago choreographers with longer track records of ambitious and challenging—if uneven—work. Among these brave, intelligent souls, who do their own thing and do it well, are Shirley Mordine, Billy Siegenfeld of Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, Breakbone DanceCo.’s Atalee Judy, Carrie Hanson of the Seldoms, and Julia Rhoads, who broke through to a new level of brainy comedy in Lucky Plush’s Cinderbox 18 last fall. But my pick is Hubbard Street Dance Chicago member Alejandro Cerrudo. The two pieces he’s choreographed for that company show taste, ingenuity, and feeling. Of course they had all the bells and whistles, including great performers and technical effects, but I think they’d shine even stripped bare—especially the quicksilver, intimately scaled Lickety-Split (2006). This spring’s Extremely Close relies more on stage effects, but the impression it creates is breathtakingly soulful. Cerrudo’s work is thoughtful, but mostly it succeeds through kinetic invention and force. HSDC’s fall series, Thu-Sun 10/9-12, will include Extremely Close; a new work by Cerrudo will premiere in April; hubbardstreetdance.com. —Laura Molzahn
Erin Carlisle Norton, the Moving Architects
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