By Larry Murray
As the days grow shorter and the snow begins to fly, gardeners take to their seed catalogs and dream of Spring. Audiences immerse themselves in traditional Nutcrackers, English style pantos, Messiah sings and the ever-reliable Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
But what really gets us through the next six months are the announcements of the coming performing arts season, led first by the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and the BSO’s Tanglewood Festival schedules. Their season announcements often appear before the end of the year. Tanglewood announced their full season last year on November 20, with updates on the popular artists series added right up to the beginning of their season.
Jacob’s Pillow also tipped its hand last year with a partial preview on November 17, and the full program by mid-December.
Soon thereafter the theaters chime in, usually led by Barrington Stage Company who, in mid-January, hosts a live Q&A season announcement session with critics and arts writers present. It remains the only company that gives such unfettered access to its artistic director and insights into its choices. This sets their PR stage for the whole year.
Shakespeare & Company follows a week later. By February we hear from the Williamstown Theatre Festival and finally, the Berkshire Theatre Group. Details on casting, cabaret performances and the like trickle in all through the Spring.
First out of the chute with their 2017 summer announcements is Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, which is planning for what they call a “momentous 85th Anniversary Festival.”
In advance of its full season announcement in December, the Pillow has revealed five artists being presented during Festival 2017: powerhouse ballet company Miami City Ballet will kick off the 85th Anniversary Season in the Ted Shawn Theatre; legendary modern dance ensemble Paul Taylor Dance Company will return to the Pillow with a program of audience favorites; UK-based artist Aakash Odedra will perform the enchanting solo Rising with choreography from a roster of acclaimed international artists; 2016 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award recipient Camille A. Brown and her company Camille A. Brown & Dancers will perform her newest work BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play; and Japanese-born artist Eiko Otake will create and perform a site-specific piece during a limited engagement on the Pillow grounds.
Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.