Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC) has selected Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell as its Artistic Director, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). She will begin her tenure on March 1, 2021.
A Baltimore native, Ms. Fisher-Harrell has been a dance educator since 2005. Passing on her knowledge and experience to future artists of all ages, she has taught at Towson University, Baltimore School for the Arts, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and the HSDC Summer Intensive. She has also served as Director and Principal Grant Writer at Aileycamp Baltimore and Ailey II Residencies at Towson.
Ms. Fisher-Harrell began her dance training at the Baltimore School for the Arts and later studied at The Juilliard School. In 1989, she was invited to join HSDC and was quickly given featured roles, including in Daniel Ezralow’s Read My Hips, Margo Sappington’s Mirage, and Twyla Tharp’s Baker’s Dozen and The Golden Section. She later became a principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater under the direction of Judith Jamison, performing several iconic lead roles during her 13-year tenure. In addition to performing works by Ailey and Jamison, she was seen in Ron K. Brown’s Grace, Alonzo King’s Following the Subtle Current Upstream, Lar Lubovitch’s Fandango, and numerous works by Ulysses Dove. Ms. Fisher-Harrell holds a master of fine arts degree from Hollins University.
In making the announcement, HSDC Board Chair Steven Collens said, “As the country’s premier contemporary dance company, we are delighted to welcome such a star to lead us into the future. Ms. Fisher-Harrell has the vision, experience, and relationships to rebuild excitement for dance as a vital and dynamic contemporary art form as we gradually return to the stage in the next year. Her extraordinary career to date as an artist and educator makes her the ideal individual to advance Hubbard Street’s rich culture of learning, growth, and the creative process.”
“I am excited to get started,” said Ms. Fisher-Harrell. “My vision for Hubbard Street includes creating a more accessible, exciting, and diverse future for the company. Together, we will continue to push contemporary dance and society forward by presenting challenging and diverse voices. We will seek to further integrate Hubbard Street into the Chicago community, augmenting our work in Chicago’s public schools and building authentic collaborations with organizations and artists throughout the city. Most importantly, we will work to inspire audiences, filling their hearts with joy in these challenging times.”
“ACG was honored to work with the prestigious Hubbard Street Dance Chicago to place Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell in this important role,” said ACG Senior Vice President Douglas R. Clayton. “Ms. Fisher-Harrell’s experience as a dedicated dance educator and talented performer will certainly help advance HSDC’s mission to bring artists, art, and audiences together to enrich, engage, educate, and change lives through the experience of dance. We wish her success as HSDC embarks on its next phase as one of the world’s leading contemporary dance companies.”
Photo credit: Kanji Takeno