April 1, 2015 Article by Dave Read
- Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival
- 358 George Carter Road
- Becket, MA 01223
- Phone: 413.243.9919
- Web: jacobspillow.org
Jacob’s Pillow 2015 schedule is highlighted by Martha Graham Dance Company’s 90th Anniversary, including a world premiere by eminent choreographer Mats Ek; a pre-Festival dance and radio stage production hosted by Ira Glass; the return of Nederlands Dans Theater 2; the U.S. debut of the German groupGauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart; the world premiere of American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Daniil Simkin’s INTENSIO; Cuban contemporary ensemble Malpaso Dance Company, performing with pianist and composer Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. Tickets went on sale April 1.
Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host – June 13 and 14, Ted Shawn Theatre
The venerable Ira Glass, host of public radio’s This American Life, hosts this new stage production which will appear at Jacob’s Pillow for two special pre-Festival performances. Glass is joined by dancers Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass of contemporary dance ensemble Monica Bill Barnes & Company in an evening of dance and storytelling.
Season Opening Gala – June 20, Ted Shawn Theatre
The exclusive Gala performance will include American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Daniil Simkin, New York City Ballet principal dancer Sara Mearns and soloist Russell Janzen, the legendary Martha Graham Dance Company, and the dancers of The School at Jacob’s Pillow Ballet Program in a world premiere by BalletX co-founder and co-Artistic Director Matthew Neenan.
Ballet BC – June 24-28, Ted Shawn Theatre
From Vancouver, Canada, Artistic Director Emily Molnar and the dynamic dancers of Ballet BC work with top contemporary choreographers from across the globe. They open the Festival with William Forsythe’s intricate Work Within Work; Cayetano Soto’s Twenty Eight Thousand Waves with music by David Lang and Bryce Dessner; and the U.S. premiere of Gustavo Ramírez Sansano’s interpretation of The Rite of Spring, score by Igor Stravinsky.
New York Theatre Ballet in Cinderella – June 24-28, Doris Duke Theatre
New York Theatre Ballet opens the Doris Duke Theatre season with Donald Mahler’s popular version of the classic story ballet, Cinderella. Cinderella is a treat for all ages, with skilled dancers, beloved Sergei Prokofiev music, and imaginative costumes and sets. $10 youth tickets are available for every family-friendly performance.
Dorrance Dance, Toshi Reagon, BIGlovely in The Blues Project – July 1-5, Ted Shawn Theatre
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award winner Michelle Dorrance and Dorrance Dance return with The Blues Project, which premiered here in 2013. The Blues Project cast includes co-choreographers and soloists Derick K. Grant and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, and the production features music composed by renowned singer-songwriter Toshi Reagon, performed live by Reagon and her band BIGLovely.
BODYTRAFFIC – July 1-5, Doris Duke Theatre
Based in Los Angeles, BODYTRAFFIC was founded in 2007 by dancers and co-directors Lillian Barbeito and Tina Finkelman Berkett. Program features Dust by Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter; Once again, before you go by Victor Quijada of RUBBERBANDance Group; and The New 45, a jazzy duet by Richard Siegal.
Nederlands Dans Theater 2 – July 8-12, Ted Shawn Theatre
NDT2, second company of Nederlands Dans Theater, presents a program with Sara by Sharon Eyal and Dai Behar of Israel, and Schubert and Shutters Shut by Spanish-British choreographic duo Sol León and Paul Lightfoot. Plus I New Then by Swedish dancemaker Johan Inger, danced to songs by Van Morrison.
Big Dance Theater in Alan Smithee Directed This Play: Triple Feature – July 8-12, Doris Duke Theatre
In 2007, Big Dance Theater co-directors Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar were the inaugural recipients of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award, given to visionary dancemakers. In their latest work Alan Smithee Directed This Play: Triple Feature the company samples films and novels including Doctor Zhivago, the film Terms of Endearment, and the 1970 French thriller Le Cercle Rouge.
Alonzo King LINES Ballet – July 15-19, Ted Shawn Theatre
Artistic Director Alonzo King presents a program with King’s Concerto for Two Violins, Men’s Quintet, and the East Coast premiere of a collaboration with natural soundscape artist Dr. Bernie Krause, author of The Great Animal Orchestra, and composer Richard Blackford.
Sébastien Ramirez and Honji Wang in Monchichi – July 15-19, Doris Duke Theatre
Sébastien Ramirez is a French dancer of Spanish origin who started out as a virtuosic b-boy. Honji Wang is a German dancer of Korean descent, with a rich background in ballet, contemporary, and urban dance styles. The duo questions interculturality within a couple in Monchichi, a show that combines hip-hop, contemporary dance, and unique set design.
Daniil Simkin’s INTENSIO – July 22-26, Ted Shawn Theatre
American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Daniil Simkin is joined by fellow dancers of ABT Isabella Boylston, Alexandre Hammoudi, Blaine Hoven, Hee Seo, Calvin Royal III, and James Whiteside, plus special guest Céline Cassone of Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal. In INTENSIO, a Jacob’s Pillow co-commission, they perform four world premieres by choreographers: Nederlands Dans Theater 2 associate choreographer Alexander Ekman of Sweden, American dancemaker Gregory Dolbashian, resident Boston Ballet choreographer Jorma Elo of Finland, and Colombo-Belgian artist Annabelle Lopez Ochoa.
Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart – July 22-26, Doris Duke Theatre
Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart presents a program including PACOPEPEPLUTO by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago resident choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo, Alexander Ekman’s Two Become Three, the solo Ballet 101 by Artistic Director Eric Gauthier, and other dances.
Daniel Ulbricht & Stars of American Ballet – July 29-August 2, Ted Shawn Theatre
New York City Ballet principal dancer Daniel Ulbricht and soloists from New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Houston Ballet present a program that includes In the Night by Jerome Robbins, Distractions by New York City Ballet’s Justin Peck, and Les Lutins by Johan Kobborg.
Jessica Lang Dance in The Wanderer – July 29 – August 9, Doris Duke Theatre
Jessica Lang returns for a two-week run of a new evening-length ballet, The Wanderer, which was created in part during a Creative Development Residency at the Pillow. The ballet is set to Franz Schubert’s famous song cycle Die schöne Müllerin, which will be performed live at the Festival. Set designed by Mimi Lien, costumes by fashion designer and former Mark Morris Dance Group company member Bradon McDonald, and lighting by Nicole Pearce.
Malpaso Dance Company with Arturo O’Farrill and Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble – August 5-9, Ted Shawn Theatre
Despedida, choreographed by Artistic Director Osnel Delgado, is a new work for ten dancers with an original score composed by pianist/composer Arturo O’Farrill and performed by O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble, the resident ensemble of the nonprofit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance. Despedida takes inspiration from the eponymous poem by Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges. The second work on the program, co-commissioned by Jacob’s Pillow and The Joyce Theater, will be created by ever-popular contemporary ballet choreographer Trey McIntyre, whose dance ensemble Trey McIntyre Project gave its final performances at the Pillow last season.
The Sarasota Ballet – August 12-16, Ted Shawn Theatre
The Sarasota Ballet, directed by Iain Webb, performs Sir Frederick Ashton’s iconic, artful trios Monotones I and Monotones II, Christopher Wheeldon’s The American set to the Dvoák music of the same name, and a world premiere by Brazilian resident choreographer and company member Ricardo Graziano.
La Otra Orilla – August 12-16, Doris Duke Theatre
From Montréal, Canada, La Otra Orilla embodies a deep mastery of traditional flamenco dance and the music of Andalusia, married with a contemporary twist. Myriam Allard, soul-stirring vocalist Hedi Graja, and a cast of vocalists, guitarists, and percussionists present a world premiere full of flamenco and contemporary dance, multimedia and video effects, and live music.
L.A. Dance Project – August 19-22, Ted Shawn Theatre
In their Pillow debut, L.A. Dance Project, founded by Benjamin Millepied, perform Murder Ballades by New York City Ballet’s Justin Peck, Millepied’s new ballet Hearts and Arrows, and the U.S. premiere of Roy Assaf’s II Acts for the Blind.
Liz Gerring Dance Company in glacier – August 19-23, Doris Duke Theatre
Liz Gerring’s contemporary dance, glacier, is a 65-minute work features set design by Robert Wierzel and is danced to an original score by company resident composer Michael J. Schumacher, whose piece “Glacier” originated during a summer stay near Colorado’s Glacier Lake.
Martha Graham Dance Company – August 26-30, Ted Shawn Theatre
The legendary modern dance company launches its 90th Anniversary, celebrating a pioneering past and trail-blazing future. This spectacular program includes Martha Graham’s dramatic classic work Embattled Garden, Echo by choreographer Andonis Foniadakis, Depak Ine by Nacho Duato, and the world premiere of AXE, by Mats Ek.
MADBOOTS DANCE – August 26-30, Doris Duke Theatre
MADBOOTS DANCE was founded in 2011 by Austin Diaz and Jonathan Campbell. Their program will include work created during a February Creative Development Residency at Jacob’s Pillow.
Further programming announcements will be made in April for more than 200 free events, including Inside/Out performances, PillowTalks, and exclusive exhibits.
Jacob’s Pillow map and directions
Annual exhibits in four venues throughout the Pillow’s National Historic Landmark grounds display photographs, video, artifacts and other engaging visual material that enrich the visitor’s experience of dance. The Archives, documenting dance and Pillow history from 1894 to the present, welcome both the general public and artistic and scholarly researchers to view videos of recent performances or historic films from years past, and browse dance or related art and history books. The full resources of the Archives are available to the public free of charge on a drop-in basis Tuesdays through Sundays, from noon until final curtain.
PillowTalks are brief Pre-Show Talks which introduce audiences to the performance they are about to attend, and Post-Show Talks with the artists just after they step offstage. All talks are free and open to the public. PillowTalks take place in Blake’s Barn, Thursdays at 5pm and Saturdays at 4pm, providing varied opportunities to gain insight from dancers, choreographers, musicians, filmmakers, visual designers, historians, and other experts.
Free guided tours of the 163-acre Jacob’s Pillow campus leave from the Welcome Center every Friday and Saturday at 5:30pm, and patrons can pick up a self-guided tour map anytime to explore the grounds on their own. Patrons are also welcome to visit The School at Jacob’s Pillow and observe renowned artist faculty working with emerging professional dancers, either on a drop-in basis or pre-arranged for groups larger than four.
Jacob’s Pillow offers many dining options including the Pillow Café, a full-service open air restaurant on The Great Lawn; the Pillow Pub, offering casual fare, ready-to-go picnics, and a full bar; and the Coffee & Ice Cream Bars. Many visitors bring a picnic lunch or dinner from home and dine on The Great Lawn or while taking in a performance on the Inside/Out stage.