Q: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you as a performing artist?
Adrienne: We are very lucky. At the moment, we are being supported by Hubbard and are still getting paid. The first week we were in quarantine, we were on our own. But now we take online company class. Figuring out what working from home looks like for a dancer is a process, but we are some of the luckier people. Before this happened, I already felt that society spent too much time on their phones. Now that we have to move online, it is okay for the time being, but this is not the way I want to live my life.
Kevin: We are lucky we can dance together, the three of us here. And that we have the space to participate in classes online. We have been trying to take class throughout the week. I took my first Graham class in a very long time. I have been taking this time to connect to all of these things that were in my life before Hubbard. That has been interesting to navigate. It has been very hard, the closing of Lou Conte studios.
Craig: I agree with Kevin in the fact that the three of us are lucky we came together. For me, it was necessary. Part of the best thing about what we do is that we get to work in the same space with these amazing people. The fact you are with your community and your people. It has been a challenge for me to not be in the studio. I feel stuck right now. But I agree with Kevin that this is a time for us to take a step back and see what we can do. Continue to make art and do all the things that interest and inspire us. It could be a really great thing. This could be what helps us when things do get back to normal, to jump start and do things differently. It is scary and it is affecting so many people. So many are affected by the virus. People are dying and others are in critical condition. But it also affects everyone else in so many ways. Many of us artists, arts organizations, and small businesses are going to change drastically. It is affecting everyone.
Adrienne Lipson (London, ON) began dancing under the tutelage of Jennifer Swan and continued her studies at Ryerson University. There, Lipson was a founding member of Rock Bottom Movement, and supplemented her training with summers at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Jacob’s Pillow, and Springboard Danse Montréal, amongst others. Lipson began her professional career in 2013 as a member of Hubbard Street 2 and was later promoted to Hubbard Street’s main company in 2016. There she had the immense privilege of performing work by choreographers such as Kyle Abraham, Brian Brooks, Peter Chu, Alejandro Cerrudo, Nacho Duato, William Forsythe, Jirí Kylián, Ohad Naharin, and Crystal Pite. Along with being a current company dancer, she is an active artist in the greater Chicago dance community. Lipson worked closely with choreography Robyn Mineko Williams on the creation of her ‘Undercover Episodes’ series, and has created her own work as part of Hubbard Street’s Inside/Out Choreographic Workshop. Lipson is an emerging choreographer, as well as an explorer in the realms of visual art, video creation, and costume design.