Last Dance 

St. Louis native Geoff Myers leaves Hubbard Street Dance Chicago with a flourish

The concept seems quaint, when corporate execs are being exposed as crooks and thousands of employees are losing their jobs, but there are still times when company loyalty is rewarded. Take St. Louis native Geoff Myers -- he's danced with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago since 1984, taking just one hiatus, 1993-96. He returned to fill in for an injured dancer and ended up staying until now.

In appreciation of Myers' years of dedication, artistic director Jim Vincent has agreed to allow the dancer to perform one of his favorite pieces, Daniel Ezralow's "SUPER STRAIGHT is coming down," on the final night of the company's St. Louis visit.

"I was one of the original dancers in the piece, and now I'm the only one left," Myers says. "You get totally lost in it, totally removed. It's all about tension and getting the audience on the edge of their seats."

With a Valentine's Day theme, the performances also feature two love duets, "Cor Perdut," by Spaniard Nacho Duato; and "Passomezzo," by Israeli Ohad Naharin. Audiences will also marvel at Naharin's dazzling "Minus 16," written for the full twenty-member company.

After so many years of working for Lou Conte, who formed the troupe in 1977 and retired in 2000, Myers says, it's time to chase another dream. "I've always dreamed of doing at least one Broadway show in my career," he says. So when he got the offer to join the dance ensemble for a touring production of The Lion King, he couldn't refuse.

With one foot out the door, Myers is reflective about Hubbard Street's standing among the legions of American contemporary-dance companies. His insights offer an impetus for contemporary-dance fans to make a special effort to get to this weekend's shows: "The variety of the repertoire and the diversity of the dancers really set Hubbard Street apart. Being a rep company, Hubbard Street continues to evolve and stay vibrant because we can easily bring in what's relevant today."

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