The 2011 schedule at Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, Mass. will include Professional Advancement Programs in Ballet, Samba, Contemporary, and Jazz/Musical Theatre Dance, which will be directed by Anna-Marie Holmes, Artistic Director of Mimulus Dance Company, Jomar Mesquita, Ailey School and Juilliard faculty member and contemporary dance mentor Milton Myers, and Broadway veteran and choreographer Chet Walker.
Every year, the School at Jacob’s Pillow invites up to 100 dancers, out of approximately 1,500 applicants, to participate in master classes by performing artists, as well as to attend Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival events, including performances, talks, exhibits, community classes, tours, and to study in the Archives, one of the field’s most treasured dance resources; and by interacting with peers and living legends of the world-wide dance community.
“We help dancers create an empowering and rewarding career, and we take this goal seriously,” comments “J.R.” Glover, Director of Education at Jacob’s Pillow. “The School at Jacob’s Pillow offers a safe and nurturing studio environment, a faculty of renowned artists who coach and mentor, resources like the Pillow Archives, and an international community of students, faculty, and Festival performers. These tools allow dancers to take their art form to the next level.”
Notable alumni of The School include Artistic Director of Royal Danish Ballet Nikolaj Hübbe, Emmy Award-winning choreographer Mia Michaels, celebrated choreographer and MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient Meredith Monk, Director of Choreography at Merce Cunningham Dance Company Robert Swinston, and So You Think You Can Dance winner Joshua Allen. Others appear regularly in Dance Magazine’s “25 To Watch,” on Broadway, and in major companies all over the world. Twenty-one alumni of The School at Jacob’s Pillow participated as performers and choreographers during Festival 2010.
School at Jacob’s Pillow Auditions and Application:
Auditions and a written application are required for admittance. Video auditions (by DVD or an online video hosting website) are available for all programs. Applicants for Ballet and Samba programs are required to audition by video only.
National and international in person auditions take place January through March for Contemporary and Jazz/Musical Theatre Dance Programs; applicants for those programs are encouraged to submit a video audition if unable to attend an in person audition. Led by internationally-acclaimed artists, in person auditions are structured as Master Classes with no cuts, and provide an excellent opportunity to gain audition experience, take a professional class, and learn about The School from Jacob’s Pillow staff. Open to advanced dancers, ages 15 and up.
See www.jacobspillow.org/education for specific audition and application guidelines by program.
Contemporary in person audition schedule:
- Sunday, January 9 – Miami, FL, New World School of the Arts, led by Camille A. Brown
- Sunday, January 23 – New York, NY, New York City Center Studios, led by Milton Myers
- Saturday, February 5 – Los Angeles, CA, The Colburn School
- Sunday, February 20 – New York, NY, New York City Center Studios
- Saturday, March 26 – New York, NY, New York City Center Studios led by Milton Myers
Jazz/Musical Theatre Dance in person audition schedule:
- Saturday, January 8 – Miami, FL, New World School of the Arts led by Chet Walker
- Saturday, January 22 – New York, NY, Ripley-Grier Studios
- Monday, January 31 – Los Angeles, CA, Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
- Saturday, February 19 – New York, NY, Pearl Studios
- Sunday, March 27 – New York, NY, Chelsea Studios
Scholarships and academic credit are available. Prospective students should visit www.jacobspillow.org/education or call 413.243.9919 for more information regarding the audition and application process.
School at Jacob’s Pillow Scholarships
Scholarships are made possible by The Fund for Jacob’s Pillow and annual donor support of The School. Dancers who demonstrate financial need may be eligible for partial or full scholarships; including, among many, the Lorna Strassler Award for Student Excellence at Jacob’s Pillow. For scholarship details, visit http://www.jacobspillow.org/education/school/audition-apply/scholarships.php.
School at Jacob’s Pillow 2011 Professional Advancement Programs
Ballet, June 13-26 – Ballet luminary and recipient of the Dance Magazine Award, Anna-Marie Holmes with other distinguished faculty including Ashley Wheater, Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet, and Dennis Marshall, co-chairman of the Washington Academy of Performing Arts, among others, prepare dancers for the rigor of today’s ballet companies. Stanton Welch, Artistic Director of Houston Ballet, will create a world premiere on the dancers, to be performed at the Festival’s Season Opening Gala on June 18. Dancers will receive coaching in renowned classical solo, pas de deux, and ensemble work in preparation for a public showing on June 26 as part of the Festival’s Inside/Out series. Musicality, style characteristics, and history of the repertoire being learned will also be taught throughout the program. For additional info: Jacob’s Pillow faculty biographies.
Samba, June 27-July 10 – Led by Jomar Mesquita, Artistic Director of Mimulus, one of Brazil’s leading dance companies, the Samba Program will explore innovative technique in daily classes of Samba no Pé (solo) and Samba de Salão or Samba de Gafieira (couples). The artist faculty will share their extensive knowledge of the history, folklore, and evolution impacting the development of Samba through generations and cultures during classes and video viewing sessions. Participants will have the opportunity to perform in public showings on July 2 and 9 on the outdoor Inside/Out stage. For additional info: Jacob’s Pillow faculty biographies.
Contemporary, July 11-July 31 – Milton Myers, The Ailey School faculty member and resident choreographer of Philadanco, leads a faculty of master class artists and guest choreographers to prepare dancers to meet expectations of today’s leading artistic directors. Renowned choreographers slated to create new work on students or teach excerpts of their signature repertoire include international choreographer Stijn Celis, Artistic Director of Compañía Nacional de Danza 2 (CND2) Tony Fabre, and 2009 Princess Grace Award Winner and Artistic Director of Gallim Dance Andrea Miller. Dancers have daily classes in a wide range of movement vocabularies led by an esteemed group of artists including: Director of The Juilliard Dance Division Lawrence Rhodes, former Complexions Contemporary Ballet Company teacher Pam Pribisco, rehearsal director for multiple Canadian dance companies Ami Shulman, and ballet instructor of The Ailey School, Marymount Manhattan College, and The Juilliard School Francisco Martinez. Participants will perform in public showings on July 16, 23, and 30 as part of the Festival’s Inside/Out series. For additional info: Jacob’s Pillow faculty biographies.
Jazz/Musical Theatre Dance, August 1-22 – Artistic Director of WALKERDANCE and Fosse conceiver Chet Walker, along with veteran Broadway artist Bill Hastings and current Broadway performer Brad Musgrove, will create original works on participants. Leading performers and Broadway artists will teach classes and coach dancers in movement and vocal performance skills. Daily classes will include both group and private vocal training sessions with Ric Ryder and Teri Ralston. Afternoon and evening dance rehearsals will be held in collaboration with professional musicians, and seminars in audition and career-building will be led by artist faculty. Excerpts of work learned each week will be performed alongside a live band August 6, 13, and 20 on the outdoor Inside/Out stage and the full works will be performed at A Jazz Happening, a benefit for The School at Jacob’s Pillow performed with Broadway guest artists in the Ted Shawn Theatre on August 21. For additional info: Jacob’s Pillow faculty biographies.