Lar Lubovitch Dance Company was mysteriously missing at last Saturday's Pritzker Pavilion "Celebration of Dance," the final event in this year's edition of the hugely popular Chicago Dancing Festival. And even though Lubovitch is the festival's founder and co-artistic director, no explanation was announced to the thousands of fans (we warned you) who came out in unseasonably cold weather for the gala free performance by seven troupes. Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, which is based in New York, was simply on the program, but not on the stage. What actually happened started with a spectacular car crash on the streets of Manhattan a few days earlier.
On Tuesday, August 18, at the start of the afternoon rush hour, a taxi bolted out of control and did a startling dance of its own at the busy intersection of W. 72nd and Amsterdam (at Broadway). The New York Daily News reported that the taxi "careened off the roadway" and "went airborne. . . smashing through an iron fence and crashing into the entrance to a busy subway station." Lubovitch Company dancer Mucuy Bolles, who was supposed to fly to Chicago the next day for the festival, happened to be standing at that intersection at that very moment. "Amazingly," the Daily News story went on, no one was killed, but the driver and his passenger were injured, and Bolles caught a piece of flying debris in her leg, "opening a gash that required five stitches." CDF executive director Greg Russell says doctors told Bolles to forget about the two performances she was scheduled to do at the fest. But that was Tuesday, and the first of those performances was Thursday. Lubovitch brought in another dancer and substituted a different program for the Thursday night event (which was at the Harris Theatre), and that show went on, with plaudits from the critics. But, Russell says, at a rehearsal on Saturday, just a few hours before the big performance in the Pavilion, another Lubovitch dancer (he declined to say which one) rolled over on her own ankle, pushed a cuboid out of place, and wound up on crutches. "That's "a common dancer's injury," he says, but at that point there wasn't a spare Lubovitch Company member between here and Amsterdam Avenue who could step in fast enough. So, whoosh, they were gone.