Posts Tagged ‘Jacob’s Pillow’

First Peek at Summer 2017: Jacob’s Pillow [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

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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.

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DANCE: “Mariko’s Magical Mix” Heads Into Jacob’s Pillow [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

Hubbard Street 2, the young second company of the world-renowned Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, will present Mariko’s Magical Mix: A Dance Adventure for their Jacob’s Pillow debut, in the Doris Duke Theatre, opening tonight (Wednesday, July 13) and running through Sunday. In collaboration with design studio Manuel Cinema, Princess Grace Award recipient and recent member of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Robyn Mineko Williams creates a whimsical and family-friendly performance. Intertwining shadow puppetry and contemporary dance with an imaginative narrative, the piece is recommended for ages five and up, as well as the young at heart.

Led by Artistic Director Terence Marling, Hubbard Street 2 is known for its highly-selective six-person ensemble of young, artistically and technically mature dancers. The mission of the company is to foster artistic growth and hone the technical skills of the talented 18-25 year old company members, many of whom have gone onto become members of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, as well as other top dance companies worldwide. The Chicago Sun Times praises the consistent level of work produced by the company: “It’s called the ‘second’ company, but there is nothing second-class about Hubbard Street 2.”

Mariko’s Magical Mix: A Dance Adventure tells the story of Mariko, a young girl whose day-to-day monotony is transformed into a joyful adventure when she finds a collection of her mother’s vinyl records in their attic. The music takes Mariko on a surprising voyage where she discovers new friends, interesting machinery, and strange creatures. This journey ultimately allows her to discover a unique inner-strength and rhythm that she can use to guide her everyday experiences. In one 60-minute work, the six dancers of HS2 tell Mariko’s colorful story through beautifully mesmerizing movement, small gestures, and emotive music cues that are seamlessly integrated with cinematic shadow puppetry. Mariko’s Magical Mix: A Dance Adventure is praised for being a “gorgeous contemporary dance adventure [that] needs to be experienced by the whole family” (Kendall Mostafavi, DC Metro Theater Arts).

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Jacob’s Pillow Welcomes World Premiere [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016
Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards (photo: Eduardo Patino)

Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards (photo: Eduardo Patino)

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket is presenting the world premiere engagement of And Still You Must Swing featuring three of the world’s most celebrated tap dance luminaries — Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Jason Samuels Smith and Derick K. Grant — through Sunday (July 10) in the intimate Doris Duke Theatre. The program embraces masterful technique, musicality and improvisation including a live onstage band and a star-studded cast with critically-acclaimed guest artist and 2016 Jacob‘s Pillow Dance Award recipient Camille A. Brown.

“We are experiencing a tap renaissance in this country and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Jason Samuels Smith and Derick K. Grant are three of the exceptional artists at its core,” says Jacob’s Pillow Director Pamela Tatge. ”That they are being joined by this year’s Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award winner Camille A. Brown is a gift.”

A “fiercely elegant” and “singularly authoritative artist” (Claudia La Rocco, The New York Times), Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards joins forces with Derick K. Grant and Jason Samuels Smith to present a dynamic project that captures the heart and legacy of tap dance, honoring the profound influence of jazz and swing. A highly-anticipated engagement, the cast returns to the Pillow following several celebrated individual engagements.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Kicks Off 2016 @ Jacob’s Pillow [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016
Craig Black and Emily Proctor of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (photo: Rosalie O’Connor)

Craig Black and Emily Proctor of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (photo: Rosalie O’Connor)

Jacob’s Pillow in Becket launches its 84th annual season today (June 22) with the exciting contemporary dance company Aspen Santa Fe Ballet presenting a diverse program in the Ted Shawn Theatre through Sunday (June 26).

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet is dually-based in New Mexico and Colorado and led by Artistic Director Tom Mossbrucker and Executive Director Jean-Philippe Malaty. Exhibiting masterful technique and powerful performances, the company brings stirring works by a roster of esteemed choreographers including Alejandro Cerrudo’s Silent Ghost, Fernando Melo’s Re:play and Cayetano Soto’s Huma Rojo.

“I am thrilled to welcome Aspen Santa Fe Ballet back to the Pillow, where they are so beloved by our audiences,” says Jacob’s Pillow Director Pamela Tatge. “The breadth and diversity of the program promises something for everyone and a fabulous opening week for Festival 2016.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage

FREE: Pre-Season Community Day @ Jacob’s Pillow on Saturday [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

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Following the success of last year’s Community Day, Jacob’s Pillow – the home to America’s longest-running dance festival and recipient of the National Medal of Arts – will again host their pre-season Community Day with free, family-friendly dance classes, performances and activities from 12noon-3pm on Saturday (June 11).

A campus-wide event in Becket, the festivities will include free dance classes for participants of all ages in varying dance styles, as well as a special children’s beginning ballet class taught by Berkshire Pulse instructor Sarah Daunt. Chuck Paquette, faculty member of Williams College and Berkshire Dance Theatre, will teach an all-levels Modern Class in the historic Sommers Studio at 12noon, followed by an all-levels Zumba class taught by certified Zumba instructor Rachael Plaine. All Community Day participants will have the opportunity to learn a hip-hop combination at the outdoor Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space from Berkshire-based company dysFUNKcrew and Berkshire Dance Theatre.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage

Pamela Tatge Takes Over as Leader of Jacob’s Pillow [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016
Pamela Tatge will lead Jacob’s Pillow into the future.

Pamela Tatge will lead Jacob’s Pillow into the future.

Pamela Tatge will lead Jacob’s Pillow into the future…

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket has announced that esteemed arts leader Pamela Tatge will join the organization as Executive Director in April, succeeding Ella Baff, who served as the leader of Jacob’s Pillow from 1998 to 2015.

Following a record-breaking 2015 season, Jacob’s Pillow, a National Historic Landmark, National Medal of Arts recipient and home to America’s longest running dance festival, launched a national search for its next leader. For the past 16 years, Tatge has served as the Director of the Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, overseeing robust programming and acclaimed artistic initiatives for dance, music, theater and the visual arts.

At Jacob’s Pillow, Tatge will set the artistic vision and strategic goals for all aspects of the organization, including festival programming, education, preservation, audience engagement, residency programming and artist support, long-term planning, collaborative programming, fundraising, marketing and more.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Announces 2016 Season [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

bosjacobspillow2016

Following the critical acclaim and record-breaking ticket sales and attendance of Festival 2015, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket announced a new season of exciting programming featuring international artists, world premieres and an impressive number of live music engagements. This season signals an exciting new era in Pillow history, as the Board of Directors plans to name a new Jacob’s Pillow Director in early 2016. Former Executive and Artistic Director Ella Baff stepped down from her role in September of 2015, following a successful 17-year tenure.

Highlights of Festival 2016 include a world premiere engagement created by tap dance powerhouses Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Derick K. Grant and Jason Samuels Smith; former New York City Ballet principal dancer Wendy Whelan and choreographer Brian Brooks in an evening of new duets and solos, accompanied by eminent string quartet Brooklyn Rider; rare U.S. appearances by France-based Compagnie Hervé KOUBI and Korea-based contemporary ensemble Bereishit Dance Company; the explosive Che Malambo of Argentina; and the return of the beloved Seattle-based company Pacific Northwest Ballet. Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, April 1, online at 12:01am and via phone at 10am (413.243.0745); Jacob’s Pillow members can order as early as Monday, January 11.

“It may be winter but the Pillow is buzzing with excitement,” states Managing Director Andrea Sholler. “We are looking forward to the selection of our new Director, a thrilling 2016 season, and enhancements to our Festival offerings including changes to the Jacob’s Pillow Store and new partnerships with Berkshire County restaurateurs. Festival 2016 features artists from all over the globe, live music for 10 of the 20 Ted Shawn and Doris Duke Theatre artists and world premieres by renowned choreographers in a multitude of genres – we can’t wait to welcome audiences back to the Pillow.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Sneak-Previews 2016 Season [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015
Virtuosic tap dance meets interactive electronic music technology in ETM: Double Down, a world premiere from Dorrance Dance. Photo by Christopher Duggan.

Virtuosic tap dance meets interactive electronic music technology in “ETM: Double Down,” a world premiere from Dorrance Dance. Photo by Christopher Duggan.

By Larry Murray

While not giving the whole schedule away – they’re still hard at work on that – the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival is giving us a sneak peek at the first four companies that it plans to showcase in 2016. The festival, located in Beckett, runs from June to August, though it also has a surprising number of year-round activities of interest to dance enthusiasts. We take a look at both, along with a look back on Summer 2015.

The quartet of companies announced early for the 2016 Festival are: the dynamic audience favorite Aspen Santa Fe Ballet; tap dance sensation and 2015 MacArthur Fellow Michelle Dorrance and her company Dorrance Dance in ETM: Double Down; the Festival 2015’s breakout star Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart, and a rare U.S. appearance of the all-male, France-based ensemble Compagnie Hervé KOUBI.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage

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