Dorrance is the first tap artist to receive the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award, which honors outstanding, visionary dance artists. It carries a prize of $25,000, one of the largest cash awards in the dance industry, to be used by the choreographer to advance their artistry in any way they choose.
Michelle Dorrance will perform at the Gala with singer Aaron Marcellus. Her ensemble, Dorrance Dance, will perform at this summer’s festival July 24 to 28, accompanied by award-winning singer, musician, and composer Toshi Reagon and band.
Past recipients of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award include Crystal Pite, Merce Cunningham, and Bill T. Jones. Ella Baff, Jacob’s Pillow executive and artistic director commented: “With this year’s award, we recognize a hugely talented young artist who is experimenting with new ideas and moving the art of tap forward. We are also honoring the great American art form of tap, which has created some of the best dance and music-making ever.”
Dorrance is lauded as “one of the most imaginative tap choreographers working today” (The New Yorker). A 2012 Princess Grace Award Winner, 2012 Field Dance Fund Recipient, and 2011 Bessie Award Winner, Dorrance is among the world’s most sought after tap performers, teachers, and choreographers today. For Festival 2013 information and tickets, call 413.243.0745 or visit www.jacobspillow.org.
What’s up in the dance community
Dedicated Dance Educator Mignon Furman Dies
“She was a shining example of dedication and passion for our art,” Rhee Gold said about Mignon Furman, a longtime Dance Studio Life contributor and DanceLife Teacher Conference faculty member who died December 4.
Furman, founder and director of American Academy of Ballet in New York, had shared advice on corrections and classroom behavior through DSL’s “2 Tips for Ballet Teachers” column since July 2007. She began her career with University of Cape Town [South Africa] Ballet Company, dancing in classics such as Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty, and then taught and choreographed in South Africa, England, Europe, and the United States.
Furman’s life was steeped in dance education. She received accolades for her work as senior lecturer and acting director at University of Cape Town Ballet School, and she introduced her Performance Awards program (a system of medals and certificates that recognizes students’ accomplishments) to ballet teachers throughout the world—even braving the unsettled atmosphere of a war-torn Israel (“Ballet in a Modern Israel”, DSL, August 2009).
The administrator of Royal Academy of Dance USA for four years, Furman was admired and respected by her peers and beloved by her students. Perhaps the reason why can be found in something she wrote in her column: “I always remember what I was told as a young teacher. Be persistent, persevere, be patient, and always remember tender, loving kindness.”
Historical Treasure Trove
The next time your students say “Who?” when you mention Alexandra Danilova, Savion Glover, or Anna Sokolow, send them on a virtual field trip to visit America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures, compiled by the Dance Heritage Coalition (DHC) board of directors.
The Treasures was created as a traveling exhibit of commemorative materials honoring 100 important contributors to dance history. Eager to keep the materials available to the public after the exhibit ceased touring in 2009, DHC restructured the documents into an online resource of facts, photos, and essays, launching “The First 100” in July 2012 at danceheritage.org. A dozen newcomers were added in December: Jacques d’Amboise, Jane Dudley, Garth Fagan, Frederic Franklin, Loïe Fuller, Carmen de Lavallade, Michael Jackson, John Martin, Sophie Maslow, Daniel Nagrin, Maria Tallchief, and The Rockettes.
Birth and Rebirth at Jacob’s Pillow
In 1970, audiences at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival witnessed the birth of a singular, stunning new company, Dance Theatre of Harlem, in its debut performance. This spring, Pillow audiences will be on hand for the company’s rebirth when DTH opens the festival’s 2013 season June 19 to 23.
After years of inactivity and financial woes, the resurrected DTH will show off its streamlined and fit new format with a program of George Balanchine’s Agon, Alvin Ailey’s The Lark Ascending, and Far But Close by contemporary choreographer John Alleyne. The performances, under DTH artistic director Virginia Johnson, will come at the end of the company’s “first” national performance tour.
Audiences will witness another much-anticipated event August 14 to 18 with the world premiere of Wendy Whelan’s Restless Creature. The New York City Ballet star collaborated with four red-hot choreographers—Kyle Abraham, Joshua Beamish, Brian Brooks, and Alejandro Cerrudo—to create four dynamic duets in four distinct dance vocabularies and styles.
Ella Baff, Jacob’s Pillow executive and artistic director, said both engagements grew out of conversations she had with Johnson and Whelan “about how artists and institutions regenerate and experiment.”
For the full festival schedule, visit jacobspillow.org.
Ailey’s Last Dancer
When Renee Robinson took her final bow December 9 at New York City Center, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater lost its last onstage connection to the master himself.
Robinson made her farewell with a stirring performance of the Revelations finale, “Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham,” which she had danced countless times since joining the company in 1981. The last of the company members picked by Ailey—and the only dancer to have worked with all three of the company’s artistic leaders—Robinson has been hailed as the quintessential Ailey dancer for the way she balances style, power, grace, and strength in masterpieces such as Cry, Night Creature, and Blues Suite. In Revelations’ “Wade in the Water,” with her white umbrella held high, Robinson displayed what could be called pure and simple Ailey soul.
Said The New York Times of that last performance: “Any dancer in any company could learn from her about focus, projection, and ardor; she danced as if she had not only the equipment to carry on much longer but the hunger for it too.”
Irish Dance Steps Its Way to Boston
It’s the home of the Celtics, the Dropkick Murphys, the Kennedy clan, a St. Patrick’s Day Parade to beat the band, and more Irish politicians than you can shake a shillelagh at. It’s Boston, and next month this Irish enclave will host the 2013 Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne—otherwise known as the Irish Dancing World Championship, run by the An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha (The Irish Dancing Commission).
The Boston Irish Reporter said that teams from Ireland, Great Britain, Europe, the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand are expected to attend the competition, set for March 24 to 31 at John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center. Dancers ages 10 to 21, and seniors over age 21, will compete in solo as well as team céilí and figure dancing, and dance drama—sometimes to live accompaniment, and always in elaborate, traditional costumes.
Already a winner is Boston, who beat out 19 other cities for the chance to host this event for the first time—only the second time the worlds have been held in the United States.
The School at Jacob’s Pillow will hold auditions in Chicago, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Miami, and New York City for its 2013 professional advancement Contemporary, Movin’ Commercial Dance, and Jazz/Musical Theatre Dance Programs.
Master class auditions, in which no cuts are made, are an excellent opportunity to take a professional class, gain audition experience, network with fellow dancers in the field, and learn how The School at Jacob’s Pillow impacts career opportunities.
Auditions are open to advanced dancers, ages 15 and up. No pre-registration required. There is a $15 cash-only audition fee.
For more information, specific audition guidelines, and additional 2013 program details, visit http://www.jacobspillow.org/education/school/.
If dancers are unable to attend in-person auditions, video auditions are highly encouraged and will be given the same consideration. Ballet program applicants must audition by video. Digital audition details can be found at http://www.jacobspillow.org/education/school/audition-apply/audition-apply.php.
The audition schedule includes:
• Jazz/Musical Theatre Dance: January 19, February 16, and March 24, New York City; February 4, Chicago; March 16, Los Angeles.
• Contemporary January 20, February 17, and March 23, New York City; February 3, Chicago; February 24, Miami; March 17, Long Beach, California.
• Movin’ Commercial Dance: February 3, Chicago; February 17 and March 23, New York City; February 24, Miami; March 15, Los Angeles
For audition details, class times, and specific locations, visit http://www.jacobspillow.org/education/school/audition-apply/audition.php.
The School at Jacob’s Pillow will hold auditions this weekend for two of its summer 2013 Professional Advancement Programs, Jazz/Musical Theatre Dance and Movin’ Commercial Dance, at CityDance Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, Maryland.
The auditions are given in a master class format, and provide an opportunity for students to take a professional class, gain audition experience, and learn more about The School at Jacob’s Pillow. (No cuts are made during the audition.)
The Movin’ Commercial Dance audition class will be led by program director Jeffrey Page, known for his expertise in African, jazz, and hip-hop dance styles as well as award-winning work in commercial dance including music videos with artists such as Beyoncé, So You Think You Can Dance, and Broadway productions. The audition is December 8 with registration from 1:30 to 2:15pm, and class from 2:30 to 4:30pm in Studio 405.
The Jazz/Musical Theatre Dance Program audition requires two songs from published musical theater works, maximum eight minutes total. An accompanist will be provided. Audition is December 9 with registration from 10:30 to 11:15am and class from 11:30 to 2:30pm in Studio 402.
Auditions are open to advanced dancers, ages 15 and up. No pre-registration required. Bring a resume with photo/headshot. Audition fee for one class is $15, cash only. Audition fee for both classes is $25, cash only.
The School at Jacob’s Pillow is located in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts as part of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. 2013 Summer Program Dates are: ballet, June 10 to 23, director Anna-Marie Holmes; Movin’ Commercial Dance, June 24 to July 7, director Jeffrey Page; contemporary, July 8 to 28, director Milton Myers; and jazz/musical theatre, July 29 to August 18, director Chet Walker.
For questions, call 413.243.9919, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.jacobspillow.org/education/school/school.php.
A Chance to Dance, a new dance challenge series that follows prominent UK contemporary dancer/choreographers Michael Nunn and William Trevitt in their quest to create a new dance company in just 28 days, premieres tonight at 10pm on Ovation.
Produced by Nigel and Simon Lythgoe (producers of So You Think You Can Dance), the show follows Nunn and Trevitt as they travel across the country, auditioning dancers from dance schools in Washington, DC; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Austin, Texas.
The competition and the pressure intensify as the final group heads to the dance mecca of Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, Massachusetts, where they must eliminate half the dancers and form a company for the grand finale: an original live performance in New York City.
Ella Baff, Jacob’s Pillow executive and artistic director, remembers when Nunn and Trevitt, former Royal Ballet dancers, performed at the Pillow with their company, Ballet Boyz, in 2008.
In honor of the premiere, Jacob’s Pillow will host a free PillowTalk titled A Chance to Dance tonight at 5pm. Representatives of the new television series will be present, and some of the related Pillow footage will be screened.
A Chance to Dance is a seven-part series airing on Ovation every Friday at 10pm from August 17 to the finale September 28. Visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ovations-New-Original-Series-A-Chance-to-Dance/126166654175116 for more information.
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival is offering $10 youth tickets to see Compagnie Käfig, a Brazilian hip-hop company packed with athleticism, artistry, and drama led by French artistic director and hip-hop choreographer Mourad Merzouki, for performances this Friday and Saturday.
Youth tickets are available for August 17 at 8pm and August 18 at 2pm (must be accompanied by an adult ticket).
An artistic encounter between Lyon-based choreographer Merzouki and a group of young dancers from Rio de Janeiro resulted in a combination of athletic samba, hip-hop, and capoeira dance styles. Inspired by the dancers’ stories of growing up in Brazilian shantytowns, Merzouki created Correria and Agwa, two works that showcase acrobatic skills and dance virtuosity, as well as personality and spirit.
A major figure on the hip-hop scene since the early 1990s, Merzouki works at the junction of many different movement disciplines, fusing circus and martial arts, fine arts, and music as he continues to explore all hip-hop styles. He is known for opening up new outlooks in dance, while honoring the hip-hop movement’s roots and its social and geographical origins.
The company will also perform August 16 and 18 at 8pm and August 19 at 2pm. Youth tickets are available by phone (413.243.0745) and in person only. All other tickets can be purchased at www.jacobspillow.org.
Jacob’s Pillow is located at 358 George Carter Road in Becket, Massachusetts. For more information and to see a preview video, visit http://www.jacobspillow.org/festival/2012/08/compagnie-kafig/
Never Stand Still,an award-winning documentary that weaves performances by world-renowned dancers with intimate interviews, behind-the-scenes insights, and rare archival footage, will hold its official premiere July 6 in Los Angeles.
Evening film times for showings at the Music Hall 3, Beverly Hills, are:
- Friday—5:10, 7:20, 9:30
- Saturday—12:50, 3:00, 5:10, 7:20, 9:30
- Sunday—12:50, 3:00, 5:10, 7:20
- Monday to Thursday—5:10, 7:20
Filmed at the iconic Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival founded in the 1930s by visionary dance pioneer Ted Shawn on a farm in Massachusetts’ the Berkshires, today the Pillow is an idyllic mecca for artists and audiences from around the world, a place where dance in all its forms—from ballet to jazz to contemporary—is studied, created, performed, and celebrated.
Like Wim Wenders’ Pina, Never Stand Still immerses audiences in the lives of extraordinary artists and the power of dance. For more information about the film including photos and trailers, visit http://firstrunfeatures.com/neverstandstill.
This summer’s 80th anniversary season of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival offers more than 200 free performances, talks, exhibits, and community events from mid-June through August 26 at the Becket, Massachusetts landmark.
Free outdoor Inside/Out performances take place Wednesdays through Saturdays 6:15 to 7pm and include: Hawaiian company Pua Ali’i ’Ilima (June 20), students of The School at Jacob’s Pillow (every Saturday evening), Ian Spencer Bell Dance (July 11), choreographer and Broadway performer Jeremy McQueen (July 27), celebrated dancemaker Molissa Fenley and Dancers (August 17), Houston Met Dance Company (August 26), and many other dance companies.
Free PillowTalks featuring directors, choreographers, visual artists, authors, and filmmakers are set for Fridays at 5pm and Saturdays at 4pm. This year’s schedule includes talks with Morphoses director Lourdes Lopez (June 29), Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater artistic director emerita Judith Jamison (July 13), principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre and the Bolshoi Ballet David Hallberg (August 3), artistic director of The Joffrey Ballet Ashley Wheater (August 24), and many others.
Pre-Show Briefings are given by Pillow scholars 30 minutes before every performance; Post-Show Talks are held Thursdays in the Doris Duke Theatre and Fridays in the Ted Shawn Theatre; and public tours are held Thursdays and Saturdays at 5:30pm. Five free photography and art exhibits are open to the public throughout the Festival, including Decades of Dance, a commemorative exhibit highlighting images from each decade; Old/Pillow, the work of accomplished photographer Toby Old; and Ivan Chermayeff Designs, a look back at the iconic Jacob’s Pillow illustrations and materials created by noted artist and graphic design icon Ivan Chermayeff from the 1980s and ’90s.
Community Dance Day, the annual community-wide celebration, will be held July 1 and focuses on encouraging participation in dance for people of all ages. Arts educators will be welcomed July 27 to 29 for the second annual Arts Educator Weekend, and Weekend OUT, a weekend of welcome for GLBT families, friends, and individuals, will take place August 10 to 12.
For a detailed schedule, visit www.jacobspillow.org.
Got news? Email Karen@rheegold.com and include your name, email and phone. We like accompanying photos too with photographer’s credit and photo description.
Kyle Abraham, acclaimed contemporary dancer, choreographer, and artistic director of Abraham.In.Motion, will receive the sixth annual Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award at the Jacob’s Pillow Season Opening Gala on June 16.
The Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award honors outstanding, visionary dance artists and carries a prize of $25,000, one of the largest cash awards in the dance industry, to be used by the choreographer to enhance their artistry in any way they choose.
“Kyle Abraham is a charismatic performer, ambitiously creative, and an insightful dance-maker who connects powerfully with audiences,” said Pillow executive and artistic director Ella Baff. “With this award, we can help this exceptional young artist turn a corner in his career and artistic development.”
Abraham began his training at the Civic Light Opera Academy and the Creative and Performing Arts High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, receiving a BFA from SUNY Purchase and an MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. His choreography, which has won numerous awards and accolades, has been presented throughout the United States and abroad, and as a performer, Abraham has worked with acclaimed modern dance companies including David Dorfman Dance and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Abraham also teaches post-modern dance in schools and studios throughout the United States.
The Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award was created in 2007. Past winners include Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar, co-directors of Big Dance Theater; Alonzo King, artistic director of Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet; Merce Cunningham; Bill T. Jones; and Crystal Pite, international choreographer and artistic director of Kidd Pivot. For details, visit www.jacobspillow.org.
Award-winning dance photographer Rose Eichenbaum will lead a five-day workshop on the art of photographing dance and dancers at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Becket, Massachusetts, August 21 to 26.
She will be assisted by longtime Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival photographer Christopher Duggan.
By better understanding and practicing principles of photography such as lighting, composition, and perspective—and by interfacing with the temporal nature of dance—participants will learn how to express the beauty of the physical body, the essence of a dancer’s gesture, the choreographer’s vision, and the spirit of performance.
The workshop will provide shooting sessions with professional dancers in varied locations and situations, individual and group coaching and critiques, and immersion in the performance and educational offerings of the Pillow.
Topics and assignments will include: choreographing your own dance photos, the essential dance portrait, action shots, photos for dance marketing, dance documentation, and the creation of fine art dance images. The workshop is limited to 15 aspiring professional and advanced amateur photographers with a working knowledge of digital photography and basic Photoshop, ages 18 and up. For details and registration, visit http://jacobspillow.org/education/photography-workshop.php.
Never Stand Still, a documentary filmed at Jacob’s Pillow that immerses audiences in the lives of extraordinary artists and the power of dance, has added four more locations to its theatrical run.
Opening May 18 at Quad Cinema in New York City, the film will also visit the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago June 29 to July 5, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston July 5 to 11, and the Hopkins Center for the Arts, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, beginning August 10.
Never Stand Still features performances by world-renowned dancers interwoven with intimate interviews, behind-the-scenes insights, and rare archival footage, showcasing dance luminaries such as Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Suzanne Farrell, Mark Morris, Judith Jamison, and Bill Irwin.
Filmed at the iconic Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival founded in the 1930s by visionary dance pioneer Ted Shawn on a farm in Massachusetts’ the Berkshires, today the Pillow is an idyllic mecca for artists and audiences from around the world, a place where dance in all its forms–from ballet to jazz to contemporary– is studied, created, performed, and celebrated.
To see a film trailer, visit http://firstrunfeatures.com/trailers_neverstandstill.html. More information on dates/times of the individual cinemas is available at www.quadcinema.com, www.siskelfilmcenter.org, www.mfa.org, and http://hop.dartmouth.edu.
Got news? Email Karen@rheegold.com and include your name, email and phone. We like accompanying photos too with photographer’s credit and photo description.
Tickets for the Jacob’s Pillow 80th Anniversary Festival, an international celebration of dance, music, the visual arts, and culture beginning June 16 with the Season Opening Gala and continuing through August 26, are now on sale.
Founded in the early 1930s by modern dance pioneer Ted Shawn as a retreat for his company of Men Dancers, Jacob’s Pillow is a National Medal of Arts honoree and America’s longest-running international dance festival.
The 80th Anniversary Season includes world and U.S. premieres, live music, company debuts, legendary dance companies, emerging choreographers, and more than 300 ticketed and free events, talks, performances, classes, exhibits, and tours hosted at the Pillow’s 163-acre National Historic Landmark site in Becket, Massachusetts.
A weeklong homage to Ted Shawn and his Men Dancers will feature a 20-member cast of some of the greatest male dancers and choreographers of today including Lar Lubovitch, Jason Samuels Smith, Arthur Mitchell, Trent Kowalik, Cartier Williams, and Jock Soto, among many others.
Some of the companies performing at the Pillow this season include The Hong Kong Ballet, Morphoses, Vertigo Dance Company, The Joffrey Ballet, Trey McIntyre Project, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Mimulus, CIRCA, LeeSaar The Company, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, and Jessica Lang Dance.
Tickets can be purchased at www.jacobspillow.org or 413.243.0745. To view a video preview of the 80th season, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iGLGFraPNw&feature=related.
Got news? Email Karen@rheegold.com and include your name, email and phone. We like accompanying photos too with photographer’s credit and photo description.
The School at Jacob’s Pillow will hold auditions in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Toronto, Canada, and Paris, France for its 2012 professional advancement programs.
Summer programs and their directors will include: ballet, Anna-Marie Holmes, June 11 to 24; tap, Dianne Walker, June 25 to July 8; contemporary, Milton Myers, July 9-29; and jazz/musical theater dance, Chet Walker, July 30-August 20.
Master class auditions are scheduled for the contemporary, jazz/musical theater dance, and tap programs January 14 through March 25; ballet program applicants must audition by video. No cuts are made during the audition, which provides an opportunity to take a professional class, gain audition experience, and learn more about The School at Jacob’s Pillow.
Auditions are part one of a two-step process leading to the selection of 24 dancers for each program, who learn to work as an ensemble during their time at the Pillow and experience the artistic rigor demanded by leading dance companies. Auditions are open to advanced dancers, ages 15 and up. No pre-registration is required. The cash-only audition fee is $15.
For audition details, class times, and specific locations, visit http://www.jacobspillow.org/education/school/audition-apply/audition-schedule.php.
If applicants are unable to attend in person, video auditions (by DVD or video hosting website) are highly encouraged and are given the same consideration as in person auditions. Details can be found by visiting http://www.jacobspillow.org/education/school/audition-apply/audition-apply.php.
Modern dance groundbreaker Ted Shawn is being remembered by the dance educational center he founded, Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, Massachusetts, on October 21—the occasion of his 120th birthday.
To view a video clip of Shaw’s Men Dancers in the piece Kinetic Molpai, recorded at the Pillow in 1937, visit
Shawn selected his original core group of dynamic performers from the athletes he taught at Springfield College. His purpose was to forge a new performance style for men, and to prove that dancing could be an honorable profession for the American male. The company performed over a thousand times in more than 750 different cities around the U.S. and Canada, and conducted foreign tours to London and Havana.
The Pillow is gearing up for another special occasion—January 2012 marks the official beginning of its 80th anniversary. Auditions will be held in January through March in New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, and internationally, for The School at Jacob’s Pillow’s 2012 programs. For more information, visit www.jacobspillow.org
Twenty-one-year-old Craig Black Jr. has been named the eight recipient of the Lorna Strassler Award for Student Excellence, the major annual scholarship of The School at Jacob’s Pillow, where Black is a participant in the Contemporary Program.
The award enables one student each year to attend one of the professional advancement programs of The School at Jacob’s Pillow on a full scholarship. Recipients also receive a $2,500 cash stipend. The award will be presented to Black at A Jazz Happening, a special benefit performance for the school, on August 21 in the Ted Shawn Theatre at the Pillow’s site in Becket, Massachusetts.
Black graduated from a performing arts high school in San Francisco and is an alumnus of The Juilliard School. His dance scholarship awards include the Tom Ralabate Jazz Dance Scholarship, The Juilliard Alumni Scholarship, and the 2010 Princess Grace Dance Performance Scholarship. His career goal is to dance professionally in Europe and tour with a company whose work challenges him as an artist.
Jane Comfort and Company, a contemporary dance-theatre group that pushes the intersection of dance, music, theatrically, and language, performs at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival June 29 to July 3.
Using a wide range of theatrical elements, Comfort challenges the boundaries of dance and theatre in her newest work Beauty, which explores American ideas about beauty and its metamorphosis over the past 50 years. The BESSIE Award-winning Underground River creates the fantasy world of a young girl with original melodies by folk singer/songwriter Toshi Reagon, traditional folk songs, and puppets by Basil Twist.
Comfort and dramaturg Anne Davison will participate in a PillowTalk discussion entitled Creating the Comfort Zone about the creative process behind the two works on June 30 at 5pm. Members of Jane Comfort and Company will lead a master class on July 3 for intermediate and advanced dances ages 16 and older. Pre-registration is required; each class is $15. For more information, call 413.243.9919.
Performance will be held in the Doris Duke Theatre, Jacob’s Pillow, Becket, Massachusetts, June 29 through July 2 at 8:15pm, and July 2 and July 3 at 2:15pm. Tickets are $33 to 36 and can be purchased at www.jacobspillow.org, at 413.243.0745, or in person at the Jacob’s Pillow Box Office.
A wide-ranging program of free performances and talks at Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, Massachusetts will be kicked off June 22 with the grand re-opening of the festival’s mountainside stage and seating area.
A special ribbon-cutting celebration marking the opening of the brand-new Henry J. Leir stage in the reconstructed Marcia and Seymour Simon Performance Space will be held June 22 at 5:45pm, followed by a performance of dance and music by Vanaver Caravan, including excerpts of Earthbeat!, featuring dance styles from around the world. The Vanaver Caravan was one of the first companies to dance on the former stage 30 years ago.
The area’s reconstruction includes a larger and safer stage, bigger dressing rooms, a dancers’ walkway, a musicians’ stage, and a garden, plus new and improved seating for the audience.
Other free events in June include:
- Free PillowTalk Discussion: Romeo and Juliet and Ballet, June 23, 5pm
- Free Inside/Out Performance: James Hansen Dance June 23, 6:15pm
- Free Inside/Out Performance: Hilary Easton + Company, June 24, 6:15pm
- Free PillowTalk Discussion: Barbara Morgan’s Modern Classics, June 25, 4pm
- Free Inside/Out Performance: The School at Jacob’s Pillow: Ballet, June 25, 6:15pm
For details, visit www.jacobspillow.org.
Matteo, an American dancer, teacher, choreographer, and scholar who specialized in Spanish dance, died of complications from a stroke March 24 in Englewood, New Jersey, The New York Times reported. He was 92.
Born Matteo Marcellus Vittucci, Matteo used only his first name professionally. He and the late Carola Goya, whom he later married, formed the Spanish dance team of Goya and Matteo in 1954. They brought traditional dance forms from throughout the world to U.S. audiences and students for more than 30 years. They taught and performed at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival for many years.
Matteo also taught at the High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan, where he introduced ethnic dance forms to the curriculum. Many of his graduates joined the Indo-American Dance Company, which he founded with Goya. Matteo also wrote The Language of Spanish Dance: A Dictionary and Reference Manual.
For the full New York Times obituary, go to:
Beginning March 28, online audiences will be able to view rare footage of artists performing at Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, Massachusetts, from 1937 to 2010 through its Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive feature.
The collection features performance video and corresponding insight about the artists and works organized by genre, era, or artist. A sample of the videos—not available on YouTube—includes Maria Tallchief in George Balanchine’s Firebird (1951), Merce Cunningham in Banjo (1955), Pearl Primus in Spirituals (1950), Wendy Whelan and Peter Boal in William Forsythe’s Herman Schmerman (2004), José Limón in Doris Humphrey’s Lament for Ignacio Sánchez Mejías (1946), and members of the Royal Danish Ballet in August Bournonville’s Konservatoriet (1955).
Dance Interactive will be available at www.jacobspillow.org/Virtual-Pillow/.
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2011 will officially commence with a star-studded Season Opening Gala performance and celebration on June 18 at 6pm at Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, Massachusetts.
A dance photography exhibit by Annie Leibovitz, created especially for the Pillow, will be on display in an exclusive preview. The evening features the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève performing Benjamin Millepied’s duet Closer, and a world premiere by Houston Ballet artistic director Stanton Welch performed by dancers of The School at Jacob’s Pillow Ballet Program. Also on the program are David Neumann, Keigwin + Company, the Mark Morris Dance Group, and a solo performance by pianist and composer Philip Glass.
The gala performance will be followed by dinner, a live auction, and dancing. The 2011 Gala co-chairs are Jacob’s Pillow board member Hunter K. Runnette, Dr. Mark P. VandenBosch, Dan Schulman, and Jennie Kassanoff. Millepied, a New York City Ballet principal dancer and choreographer of the film Black Swan, will serve as honorary co-chair.
Gala sponsorship opportunities are available for individuals and businesses. Tables of 10 are available at several different levels of sponsorship from $3,500 to $10,000. Gala single tickets are available at $375, $575, and $775. For more information on tickets or tables, contact Gwen Franklin at 413.243.9919 x125. For more information, visit www.jacobspillow.org.
The School at Jacob’s Pillow will hold final in-person auditions for two of its professional advancement programs, contemporary and jazz/musical theater dance, this weekend in New York.
Led by acclaimed dance artists, auditions are structured as a master class (no cuts are made) and provide an opportunity to take a professional class, gain audition experience, and learn more about The School at Jacob’s Pillow.
The contemporary audition will be led by program director Milton Myers, resident choreographer/instructor for Philadanco and on the faculty at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Fordham University’s Ailey Program, and The Juilliard School.
The jazz/musical theater dance audition will cover multiple jazz dance styles, including tap. It will be led by Bill Hastings, who has appeared in more than 50 Broadway and touring productions of The Most Happy Fella, A Chorus Line, Cabaret, Rags, Bob Fosse’s Dancin’, and Sweet Charity, among others. The vocal portion of the audition will be with an accompanist and requires two songs from published musical theater works.
The contemporary audition will be held March 26, with registration from 1 to 1:45pm and the class from 2 to 4pm in Studio 4 at New York City Center Studios, 130 West 56th Street. The jazz/musical theater dance audition will be held March 27 with registration from 1 to 1:45pm and class from 2 to 5pm at Chelsea Studios, Theatreworks/USA, 151 West 26th Street.
Auditions are open to advanced dancers, ages 15 and up. No pre-registration required. There is a $15 cash-only audition fee. For more information, specific audition guidelines, and additional 2011 program details, visit www.jacobspillow.org/education/school.
President Barack Obama honored Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival on Tuesday with a National Medal of Arts, the highest arts award given by the U.S. government.
The National Medal of Arts is awarded to individuals or organizations “deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support, and availability of the arts in the United States.” Named a National Historic Landmark in 2003, Jacob’s Pillow is the first dance presenting organization to receive a National Medal of Arts.
The medals were presented by the president and First Lady Michelle Obama in an East Room ceremony at the White House on March 2. The president selected the recipients from nominations submitted to him by the National Council on the Arts, based on recommendations culled from hundreds of nominations submitted by citizens across the country.
The 2010 recipients of the National Medal of Arts, in addition to Jacob’s Pillow, include:
- Robert Brustein, theatrical critic, producer, playwright, and educator
- Van Cliburn, pianist and music educator
- Mark di Suvero, sculptor
- Donald Hall, poet
- Quincy Jones, musician and music producer
- Harper Lee, author
- Sonny Rollins, jazz saxophonist
- Meryl Streep, actress
- James Taylor, singer and songwriter
Since the awards were established in 1985, National Medal of Arts recipients have included musicians Wynton Marsalis and Yo-Yo Ma; film icons Clint Eastwood and Gene Kelly; visual artists Georgia O’Keeffe and Jasper Johns; dancer/choreographers Twyla Tharp and Judith Jamison; writers Maya Angelou and John Updike; and more than 250 others. In the past 25 years, only 17 arts organizations have received this honor.
Jacob’s Pillow, founded in 1933 by Ted Shawn, a pioneer of American dance, is home to the nation’s longest-running international dance festival, a dance training center, and extensive dance archives. More information is available at www.jacobspillow.org.
Unlike other arts awards, the National Medal of Arts is not limited to a single field or area of artistic endeavor. It is designed to honor exemplary individuals and organizations that have encouraged the arts in America and offered inspiration to others through their distinguished achievement, support, or patronage. The medal’s genres and forms encompass arts education, crafts, dance, drawing, film, graphic/product design, interior design, landscape architecture, literature, classical and popular music, painting, patrons/advocates, photography, presenting, printmaking, sculpture, theater, and urban design.
Auditions will be held this weekend in New York City for the School at Jacob’s Pillow 2011 professional advancement programs in jazz/musical theater dance and contemporary.
The jazz/musical theater dance audition will be held February 19 at Pearl Studios, 500 Eighth Avenue, 4th floor. Registration is at 10:00 a.m., with audition class from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The contemporary audition will be held February 20 in Studio 4 at New York City Center Studios, 130 West 56th Street, with registration at 2:00 p.m. and audition class from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Auditions are structured as a master class—no cuts are made—and provide an opportunity to take a professional class, gain audition experience, and learn more about The School at Jacob’s Pillow. The jazz/musical theater dance audition will cover multiple jazz dance styles, including tap, and will be led by Brad Musgrove, a Broadway performer known for his roles in Fosse and The Producers. The vocal portion of the audition will be with an accompanist and requires two songs from published musical theater works.
The contemporary audition will be led by program director Milton Myers, resident choreographer/instructor for Philadanco, who serves on the faculties of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Fordham University’s Ailey Program, and The Juilliard School.
Auditions are open to advanced dancers, ages 15 and up. No pre-registration required.
There is a $15 cash-only audition fee. For more information, visit www.jacobspillow.org/education/school.
Jacob’s Pillow and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art will co-present a performance this spring of Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, a stellar group of Cuban rhumba performers that blend African roots with Latin American influences.
Performances are set for April 30 at 8:00 p.m. and May 1 at 2:00 p.m. at the Hunter Center at Mass MoCA, 1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, Massachusetts.
Formed in 1952, Los Muñequitos is one of Cuba’s most celebrated bands and features 16 drummers, vocalists and dancers—including three generations of one family. Nominated for a Grammy Award in 2001, the company returns to the United States for the first time in nearly 10 years for two performances of a program in two parts: orishas and rhumba.
Visit www.MASSMoCA.org for more information.
The School at Jacob’s Pillow will hold auditions January 8-9 in Miami for its 2011 professional advancement programs in jazz/musical theater dance and contemporary.
The jazz/musical theater dance audition will cover multiple jazz dance styles, including tap, and will be led by Chet Walker; jazz/musical theater dance program director. The vocal portion requires two songs from published musical theater works, maximum eight minutes total, to be performed with live accompaniment. The contemporary audition will be led by dancer/choreographer Camille A. Brown.
Auditions are structured as a master class—no cuts are made—and are open to advanced dancers, ages 15 and up. No pre-registration required. There is a $15 (cash only) audition fee. Audition fees are waived for New World School of the Arts students. Times are:
Jazz/musical theater dance: January 8, registration 2:00-2:45 p.m., audition class 3:00-6:00 p.m. Contemporary: January 9, registration 2:00-2:45 p.m., audition class 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Auditions will be held at the New World School of the Arts, Miami-Dade College
Dance Division Building, 25 NE 2nd Street, Miami, Florida. (Jazz/musical theater dance auditions will be located on the 8th floor; contemporary auditions on the 9th.) Call 305.237.3135 for directions.
If unable to attend, applicants are encouraged to submit video auditions (by DVD or video hosting website). For more information, specific audition guidelines, and additional 2011 program details, visit www.jacobspillow.org/education/school.
Tickets are now on sale for one of Cuba’s most celebrated music and dance groups, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, for performances April 30 at 8:00 p.m. and May 1 at 2:00 p.m. at the Hunter Center at MASS MoCA, 1040 MASS MoCa Way, North Adams, Massachusetts.
Blending African roots with Latin American influences, the ensemble features 16 drummers, vocalists, and dancers from three generations of one family who interpret the Guaguanco, a variant of the most famous form of rumba usually danced by a couple. The group was formed in 1952 in Matanzas, Cuba, as a neighborhood ensemble of musicians and percussionists, integrating dancers in 1965. Today the ensemble is recognized throughout the world as a vital force in the preservation and dissemination of Cuban culture’s African roots. This program marks the first U.S. appearance of Los Muñequitos in nearly 10 years.
The show is co-presented by MASS MoCA and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Center. Tickets are $29 orchestra, $25 mezzanine, and $10 for students and children, and are available at the MASS MoCA box office, by phone at 413.662.2111, or online at www.massmoca.org.
PillowTalks, an hour-long moderated discussion with choreographers, performers, historians, filmmakers, and experts in the arts and related fields, sponsored by Jacob’s Pillow Dance, is now available online.
Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, Massachusetts, an international presenter and home of America’s longest-running dance festival, holds more than 160 PillowTalks pre-show and post-show interviews each season. To date, online offerings include excerpts and full-length talks with dance photographer Lois Greenfield; Pulitzer Prize-winning author and cartoonist Jules Feiffer; Virginia Johnson, artistic director of Dance Theatre of Harlem; art historian Richard Kendall, and fair-use legal expert Peter Jaszi.
To visit Jacob’s Pillow’s content channel on FORA.tv, visit: http://fora.tv/partner/Jacob_s_Pillow_Dance.
The Vanaver Caravan will present a program geared toward dance and world music fans, particularly children, during its engagement August 25 to 29 at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts.
In celebration of its 35th anniversary, the company presents the world premiere of Earthbeat! A Journey, an evening-length show of rhythm and percussion journeying through Romania, India, Brazil, South Africa, the British Isles, and Spain.
The Vanaver Caravan, formed in 1972 and led by artistic directors Livia and Bill Vanaver, first performed at the Pillow in 1981 and again in 1982, 1990, 1991, and 1998, as well as during the 2009 Community Day event.
Tickets range from $30 to $36, with $10 youth tickets available for the August 29 matinee. To order, visit www.jacobspillow.org or call 413.243.0745.
Jack Cole was one of the fathers of theatrical jazz dance as a performer, teacher, coach, and choreographer. He also was one of four men who helped Ted Shawn, founder of the Denishawn troupe, build the dance retreat in Becket, Massachusetts, that’s now known worldwide as Jacob’s Pillow.
Now the Jazz/Musical Theatre Dance Program of the School at Jacob’s Pillow is presenting works that Chet Walker, who conceived Fosse, has created in the Cole tradition in two final performances: a free presentation on the Inside/Out Stage at 6:15 p.m. Saturday, August 21, and a sold-out benefit concert in the Ted Shawn Theatre at 8 p.m. Sunday, August 22.
The latter event, “A Jazz Happening, is a benefit for the School at Jacob’s Pillow and will feature its students performing with a live jazz band alongside what the festival website bills as “Surprise Broadway Stars.”
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago returns to Jacob’s Pillow for the thirteenth time in 27 years for the dance festival’s finale August 25 to 29 in Becket, Massachusetts.
Hubbard Street presents four diverse works by three choreographers: Batsheva Dance Company director Ohad Naharin, contemporary choreographer Aszure Barton, and Hubbard Street’s resident choreographer, Alejandro Cerrudo.
Naharin’s Tabula Rasa opens the program with swirling, fluid movement set to a dramatic score by Arvo Pärt. Cerrudo’s Blanco, a world premiere, is an abstract work for four women set to music by Felix Mendelssohn and Charles Valentin Alkan. It’s the companion piece to Cerrudo’s Deep Down Dos (also on the program), which is set to a multi-layered score by electronica and classical composer Mason Bates. The program closes with Barton’s Untouched, a dramatically lit work for twelve dancers.
Tickets range from $58.50 to $69.50. To purchase, visit jacobspillow.org or call 413.243.0745.
Australian choreographer Lucy Guerin explores a life-altering event through contemporary dance in Structure and Sadness, an evening-length work being performed August 18 to 22 at Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, Massachusetts.
Guerin has created a movement vocabulary inspired by engineering principles that she uses to reference the 1970 collapse of Melbourne’s West Gate Bridge. The dancers of Lucy Guerin Inc. move to an electronic score by Gerald Mair.
Structure and Sadness premiered in 2006 and the following year received multiple awards, including an Australian Green Room Award for Best Choreography and a Helpmann Award for Best Dance Work.
Guerin and Gideon Obarzanek, artistic director of Chunky Move, collaborated in 2003 to create the Bessie Award-winning work Tense Dave, performed by Chunky Move in the Pillow’s Doris Duke Theatre in 2005.
Tickets range from $30 to $36, with $20 Young Audience tickets for those 35 or younger.
To order, visit www.jacobspillow.org or call 413.243.0745.
The award enables one student each year to attend one of the school’s professional advancement programs on a full scholarship. Award winners also receive a $2,500 cash stipend.
The award will be presented to Royal at A Jazz Happening, a benefit performance for the school, on August 22 in the Ted Shawn Theatre at the dance festival site in Becket, Massachusetts.
Royal, 21, was a participant in the 2010 Ballet Program and was a featured soloist in the world premiere of Karole Armitage’s Red at the festival’s opening gala. He began his formal training under Suzanne Pomerantzeff and Patricia Paige at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts in St. Petersburg, Florida, and was later a scholarship student at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre. He has been a member of ABT II since December 2007 and will join ABT as an apprentice in October.
Göteborg Ballet, a Swedish contemporary dance company, makes its American debut August 18–22 at Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, Massachusetts, with 3xBoléro, a full-length production of three diverse works, each inspired by Maurice Ravel’s classic score, “Boléro.”
The three works showcase 20 of the company’s classically trained dancers and three leading European choreographers in pieces that employ a wide range of dance vocabularies, in musical styles ranging from minimalist electronica through full-scale orchestral recordings.
Walking Mad, choreographed by Johan Inger in 2001 for Nederlands Dans Theater, features a traditional rendition of Boléro spliced with Arvo Pärt’s Fur Alina. In OleroB, by Finnish choreographer Kenneth Kvarnström, the steady thrum of Ravel’s composition sits in the background of Jukka Rintamäki’s electronic score. Episode 17, a work for 19 dancers by Alexander Ekman, is a collection of solos, duets, trios, and ensemble dancing, set to a score incorporating spoken word with traditional renditions of Boléro, a Boléro-inspired piece by jazz composer Nat Simon, and samples of “Rock ‘n’ Flamenco” by Jan Davis and the Spain Gang.
Tickets range from $58 to $63. To buy them, visit jacobspillow.org or call 413.243.0745.
Göteborg Ballet artistic director Johannes Öhman will discuss 3xBoléro in a PillowTalk session at 4 p.m. August 21. Admission is free.
Dancer/choreographer Kyle Abraham brings his company, Abraham.In.Motion, to Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, Massachusetts, from August 11 to 15.
The company will perform excerpts from The Radio Show, an evening-length work that explores the function of radio and memory in urban history, culture, and community; Inventing Pookie Jenkins, a solo for Abraham that deals with perceptions of masculinity and identity; and Op. 1, a world premiere inspired by the photography of Eadweard Muybridge, co-commissioned by Jacob’s Pillow.
Tickets range from $30 to $36. To buy them, visit www.jacobspillow.org or call 413.243.0745.
Abraham has performed with David Dorfman Dance, Nathan Trice/Rituals, and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. He founded Abraham.In.Motion in 2005. The Princess Grace Foundation has announced that Abraham will soon be honored with a 2010 Princess Grace Award for choreography, along with Victor Quijada, artistic director of Rubberbandance.
Abraham will participate in a free PillowTalk with photographer Lois Greenfield, focusing on the relationship between dance and photography, at 4:00 p.m. August 7, and will lead a master class from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. August 15. The class is open to intermediate and advanced dancers and costs $15 ($8 for dance instructors with proper identification). Pre-registration is required; call 413.243.9919, extension 5.
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, the all-male dance company that has delighted audiences for more than three decades with its hilarious take on the classical ballet repertoire, will perform for the first time at Jacob’s Pillow from August 11 to 15 in Becket, Massachusetts.
“The Trocks,” as they are universally known, will perform Act 2 of Swan Lake, a pas de six from La Vivandière, Raymonda’s Wedding, and Patterns in Space, a tribute to the late Merce Cunningham. Tickets range from $58 to $63 at jacobspillow.org or by calling 413.243.0745.
The troupe’s engagement will be the centerpiece of “A Weekend OUT at the Pillow,” August 13 to15, when gay and lesbian visitors will be welcomed at such events as an artist mixer at the Pillow Pub on August 13 and a special walking tour of Jacob’s Pillow at noon August 15. The walk, led by Norton Owen, Jacob’s Pillow director of preservation, will focus on Pillow founder Ted Shawn and his Men Dancers. Visit www.jacobspillow.org/festival/2010/08/a-weekend-out-at-the-pillow/ for details.
Thai performer and choreographer Pichet Klunchun will present the U.S. premiere of the full-length work Chui Chai (Transformation) July 14 to 18 at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts.
Klunchun entwines khon, a form of traditional Thai masked dance drama, with contemporary movement in Chui Chai, which the first time Jacob’s Pillow has presented classical Thai dance in its 78-year history.
Tickets range from $30 to $36 and are available at www.jacobspillow.org or by calling 413.243.0745.
While at Jacob’s Pillow, artistic personnel from Pichet Klunchun Dance Company will lead a master class from 10 to 11:30 a.m. July 18 for intermediate to advanced dancers. For required pre-registration, call 413.243.9919, extension 5. Master classes are $15 per class or $8 for dance instructors. Observation is free and open to the public.
An athletic dance-theater work for 10 dancers, MONGER fuses contemporary dance with humorous character narratives to tell the story of a group of servants trapped in the house of an abusive mistress. It was inspired in part by Jean Genet’s play The Maids and Robert Altman’s film Gosford Park.
The eclectic score includes music by Balkan Beat Box, Handel, Verdi, and Margalit Oved, the choreographer’s mother, who is a dancer and choreographer herself (she founded the Inbal Theater Dance Company) as well as a musician.
Marshall, born in Los Angeles, became the first-ever resident choreographer of Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company in 1999. His company has performed at the Berlin Festival, Hamburg’s Sommertheatre Festival, the Biennale de la Danse in Lyon, France, and the RomaEuropa Festival.
Tickets to MONGER range from $58 to $63. To buy them, visit jacobspillow.org or call 413.243.0745.
The choreographer will participate at 4 p.m. July 11 in a free PillowTalk titled 21st Century Renaissance Man that will explore Marshall’s many artistic experiences and roles.
The Dancewave Company, formerly known as Kids Company, a pre-professional modern dance company for teens ages 15 and older, will perform at 6:15 p.m. June 25 as part of the Inside/Out Series at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts. Admission is free.
The company will perform works by Donald McKayle, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar of Urban Bush Women, Susan Marshall, and David Dorfman. In the past its repertory has included
works by Paul Taylor, Bill T. Jones, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, Garth Fagan, Trisha Brown, and José Limón.
After its performance at the Pillow, the company will perform at the Aberdeen International Youth Festival in Scotland, leaving New York on July 27th and returning on August 8.
Auditions for the Dancewave Company will be held in September. For information on the auditions, Dancewave’s Summer Dance Intensive in August, its summer semester, or other Dancewave programs, call 718.522.4696.
Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal will perform Aszure Barton’s Les Chambres des Jacques and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Locked Up Laura and Zip Zap Zoom from June 30 to July 4 at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts.
Les Ballets Jazz, a contemporary dance company founded in 1972 and led by Louis Robitaille, will be making its Jacob’s Pillow debut. Under Robitaille’s direction, the company has commissioned and performed works by choreographers such as Crystal Pite, Mauro Bigonzetti, and Rodrigo Pederneiras.
Tickets range from $58 to $63. To order, visit http://jacobspillow.org or call 413.243.0745.
Sebastian Kloborg, a soloist with the Royal Danish Ballet, will join the State Ballet of Georgia in its performances June 23 to 27 at the annual Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts.
Kloborg will appear in George Balanchine’s pas de deux, Duo Concertant. Also on the program are Falling Angels by Jiří Kylián, Alexei Ratmansky’s Bizet Variations, and four rarely seen pas de deux by Sir Frederick Ashton.
Tickets to festival events range from $10 to $63, with $10 youth tickets available for Friday evening and Saturday/Sunday matinee performances. To purchase, visit jacobspillow.org or call 413.243.0745.
Jacob’s Pillow has free, open-to-the-public tap-related events, from performances to book signings, scheduled for this year’s annual dance festival in Becket, Massachusetts. In the spirit of National Tap Dance Day—which was May 25—here’s a sampling
The public is invited to watch leading tap artists work with dancers in the School at Jacob’s Pillow Tap Program on Tuesdays through Saturdays from June 28 to July 11. (Visits by parties of more than four people should be arranged in advance by calling 413.243.9919, extension 169.) The program is led by Dianne “Lady Di” Walker, and the faculty includes Harold Cromer, Derick K. Grant, Ray Hesselink, and Tasha Lawson.
Constance Valis Hill will talk about her book, Tap Dancing America, at 5 p.m. July 1 at Blake’s Barn. Tappers Harold Cromer and Dianne Walker will be on hand with Hill to sign copies.
Tap students will get to perform in a range of styles in public showings in the festival’s free Inside/Out series. A question-and-answer session with faculty and dancers will follow the showings at 6:15 p.m. July 3 and 10.
Boston Tap Company will perform as part of Let’s Dance!—a community-wide event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 4 that will include free performances; open dance classes and workshops for adults and teens in a variety of movement styles; a free master class with Doris Duke Theatre artist Camille A. Brown; a raffle; and other attractions.
To learn more, visit www.jacobspillow.org.
Armitage Gone! Dance will perform Three Theories, a contemporary ballet choreographed by the company’s artistic director, Karole Armitage, from July 14 to18 at the Jacob’s Pillow summer dance festival in Becket, Massachusetts.
Three Theories is set to a commissioned score by Rhys Chatham, Sangeeta Shankar’s South Indian classical Carnatic violin music, and John Luther Adams’ “Dark Waves.” It was inspired by physicist Brian Greene’s book The Elegant Universe, about efforts to resolve the clash between quantum mechanics and Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
Tickets range from $58 to $63. To order, visit www.jacobspillow.org or call 413.243.0745.
In June, Armitage will create a world premiere in just four days on the dancers of the ballet program of The School at Jacob’s Pillow. The new work, Red, calls for 22 dancers and will be set to a score by Christine Southworth. It will premiere at the Pillow’s opening gala June 19.
Nina Ananiashvili, director of the State Ballet of Georgia after a legendary career as a prima ballerina, will dance with her troupe at the start of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts.
The company’s performances in the Ted Shawn Theatre from June 23 to 27 will feature Falling Angels by Jiří Kylián, Alexei Ratmansky’s Bizet Variations, George Balanchine’s Duo Concertant, and four rarely seen pas de deux by Sir Frederick Ashton.
Ananiashvili, a former star of the Bolshoi Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, will also perform Fokine’s The Dying Swan at the festival’s opening gala on June 19. She also will serve as a guest artist faculty member for the School at Jacob’s Pillow’s 2010 ballet program.
For tickets, visit jacobspillow.org or call 413.243.0745.
Five intriguing gallery exhibits will be open to the public without charge from June 23 to August 29 during the annual Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts:
Lois Greenfield: Imagined Moments – This exhibition of the veteran dance photographer’s work includes portraits of Carmen de Lavallade, Bill T. Jones, Martha Graham dancer Fang-Yi Sheu, choreographer Shen Wei, and American butoh artist Maureen Fleming.
Arnie Zane on Bill T. Jones – The late Artie Zane, in addition to co-founding the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, was an active photographer. This collection includes some of his early photos of Jones, correlating specifically with the company’s performances of Serenade/The Proposition at the festival from July 21 to 25.
Pilates at the Pillow – Joseph Pilates, originator of the exercise regimen that bears his name, taught at Jacob’s Pillow in the 1940s and ’50s. This exhibit offers rare evidence of his pioneering work at the Pillow, including correspondence, class schedules, and photographs of Pilates demonstrating his signature technique.
Another Dance to Jules Feiffer – This exhibition of dance imagery in watercolors and drawings by the cartoonist and writer—including his memorable solo dancer in a black leotard—debuted last summer and receives an encore presentation this summer.
John Van Lund – Van Lund, who died in 2009, captured generations of important dancers on film as the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival photographer beginning in the late 1940s. His complete collection of negatives and prints has been donated to the Jacob’s Pillow Archives, and highlights of his vast output are on view in this exhibit.
Highlights of this year’s Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, from June 19 to August 29, include the U.S. debut of The Göteborg Ballet of Sweden; three world premieres co-commissioned by Jacob’s Pillow from choreographers Kyle Abraham, Monica Bill Barnes, and Camille A. Brown; and performances by the Trey McIntyre Project, the men in drag of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.
Festival tickets go on sale April 7; to order, call 413.243.0745 or visit www.jacobspillow.org.
Jacob’s Pillow Dance, lauded worldwide as a “hub and mecca of dancing” (Time magazine) and “one of America’s most precious cultural assets” (Mikhail Baryshnikov), is a treasured National Historic Landmark and home to America’s longest-running international dance festival. Tour the grounds in Becket, Massachusetts, view performance excerpts and hear from Director of Preservation Norton Owen as he shares the Pillow’s rich history.