The Pillow Presents Exclusive UNREAL HIP-HOP, Now thru 6/29
Jacob's Pillow Executive and Artistic Director Ella Baff brings together some of today's most innovative hip-hop dancemakers for a new, Pillow-exclusive production. Unreal Hip-Hop features the diverse styles of Brooklyn-based crew Decadancetheatre, b-girl Ephrat "Bounce" Asherie, freestyle and pop 'n' lock duo The Wondertwins, plus the musical stylings of DJ Boo. These artists can only be seen together at the Pillow, today, June 25-29 in the Doris Duke Theatre.
"These particular artists are amazing movers and shakers of hip-hop," Baff comments. "We also want to show that as with classical ballet, contemporary dance, or tap, hip-hop is diverse in style, vocabulary of movement, and invention that moves the form forward."
Unreal Hip-Hop juxtaposes various traditions in the family of hip-hop dance, showcasing individual expressions and styles. Hip-hop emerged in the 1960's and encompasses forms such as uprock, breaking, locking, roboting, boogaloo, and popping. With origins as an underground, competitive "street" dance form, innovations by choreographers and crews like those featured at the Pillow are bringing more hip-hop to the concert stage.
Directed by Jennifer Weber, Decadancetheatre performs 4, its interpretation of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Andrew Boynton called 4"a deft hybrid of hip-hop and modern dance" that saw its performers "fall in and out of unison in simple gestures that riff on popping and locking" (The New Yorker). Decadancetheatre was established 10 years ago in Brooklyn, NY and has toured internationally across the U.S., U.K., and France with the mission to redefine the image of women in hip-hop. The members of Decadancetheatre, hail from France, Germany, Norway, Nigeria, Japan, and the U.S. and have performed with artists ranging from the Black Eyed Peas and Jay-Z to Faye Driscoll and Yoko Ono. Decadancetheatre has appeared as part of the Inside/Out series at Jacob's Pillow four times, most recently in 2011.
B-girl Ephrat "Bounce" Asherie originally trained in modern dance and ballet before finding her artistic home in hip-hop and breaking. Asherie, called "fiercely talented" by Siobhan Burke of The New York Times, performs a selection of acclaimed solos and duets including "brothers," an eclectic, dramatic solo drawing on her diverse movement background and silky power. Asherie has appeared live with recording artists LL Cool J and Elephant Man, at New York City Center with Jason Samuels Smith, as part of Rennie Harris' Legends of Hip Hop, and with many other artists both live and onscreen. In 2013, Asherie performed with her company as part of the Inside/Out series; she will also appear during Festival 2014 with Dorrance Dance,July 16-27.
Boston-based identical twin brothers Billy and Bobby McClain a.k.a. The Wondertwins have toured the world with the likes of Bobby Brown, won Amateur Night at The Apollo six times, and performed at numerous international festivals and conventions with their rapid-fire pop 'n' lock style. They joined dance crew The Funk Affects at the age of 10; during their time with the crew they performed with KRS One, Run DMC, LL Cool J, and Afrika Bambaataa. With captivating synchronicity and mind-blowing speed, The Wondertwins present wholly engaging and theatrical works with stylish flair.
DJ Boo, of Decadancetheatre, will provide musical interludes between dance works and will also spin during an end-of-performance jam session involving the Unreal Hip-Hop artists with audience members.
The Pillow has a strong history of presenting hip-hop dance as well as choreography with hip-hop influences beginning in the 1980s. Hip-hop has also been included in the curriculum of The School at Jacob's Pillow, most recently in 2009. Compagnie Käfig, Rennie Harris Puremovement, Mr. Wiggles, Anthony DeNaro a.k.a. Bboy Ynot, Cachet Ivey, Marjory Smarth, Moncell "ill Kozby" Durden, and the Dash Ensemble are among the artists who have performed at Jacob's Pillow and served on faculty. In addition to Decadancetheatre, Companhia Urbana de Dança and doug elkins choreography, etc.-two hip-hop related companies that have performed in recent Pillow seasons-return for week-long engagements at this year's Festival. Doug Elkins performs in the Doris Duke Theatre August 13-17, and Companhia Urbana de Dança performs in the Ted Shawn TheatreAugust 13-16.
Artistic personnel from the cast of Unreal Hip-Hop will lead a master class for intermediate/advanced dancers on Sunday, June 29 at 10am. Pre-registration is required the week prior to the class; call the Jacob's Pillow Education hotline at 413.243.9919 x5to register.
Performance and ticket information
Doris Duke Theatre
Wednesday, June 25 - Saturday, June 28, 8:15pm
Saturday, June 28 & Sunday, June 29, 2:15pm
Free Pre-Show Talks with Scholar-in-Residence Maura Keefe are offered on the porch of the Doris Duke Theatre 30 minutes before each performance.
A Free Post-Show Talk with artists appearing in Unreal Hip-Hop will take place onstage immediately following the performance on Thursday, June 27.
Tickets $22-42, $10 Youth tickets available for Friday, June 27 at 8:15pm and Saturday, June 28 at 2:15pm (must be accompanied by an adult ticket). $19 Under 35 tickets are available for Friday, June 27 (limited availability). Now on sale online at jacobspillow.org, via phone at 413.243.0745, or in person at the Jacob's Pillow Box Office.
Box Office hours: Sun, Mon, Tues, 11am-5pm; Wednesday- Saturday, 11am-8pm
Pillow Members receive exclusive benefits. To become a Member, call 413.243.9919 x125.
Jacob's Pillow is located at 358 George Carter Road in Becket, MA, 01223 (10 minutes east on Route 20 from Mass Pike Exit 2). The Jacob's Pillow campus and theaters are handicapped accessible.