AteNine and Ballet Hispanico Come to Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival

Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival presents AteNine in the Doris Duke Theatre, July 26-30. AteNine, formerly Ate9dANCEcOMPANY, is led by Artistic Director and choreographer Danielle Agami, named "choreography's It girl" by the LA Times. A former dancer and rehearsal director of the world-renowned Batsheva Dance Company, Agami draws from her background in Gaga movement practice to create bold, innovative work. The program will include two works: Exhibit b and excerpts from vickie. AteNine dancers move with an intense clarity praised as "odd, fleeting, and gorgeous, it left you wanting much, much more" (Janet Smith, The Georgia Straight).

"I was so struck by AteNine's performance on the Inside/Out stage last summer, I knew the next step was to invite the company back to make their Doris Duke Theatre debut. This company exemplifies the energy and innovation the burgeoning L.A. dance scene has to offer, and I am excited for audiences in the Northeast to experience Danielle Agami's masterwork Exhibit b and excerpts from vickie, a special collaboration with Glenn Kotche of Wilco," says Jacob's Pillow Director Pamela Tatge.

Exhibit b, a work for eight dancers, embodies the impact of the Israeli conflict on daily life. The dancers move between unison work, solos, and duets under the intimate lighting design of Jeff Forbes. White Bird, a leading dance presenter and arts organization in Portland, Oregon, commissioned Exhibit b in 2015. In 2016, AteNine performed the work at The Joyce Theater in New York City as part of the American Dance Platform festival, which showcases emerging companies from across the U.S. In Exhibit b, dancers bound in fluid waves across the stage, complementing the playful rhythms of producer Walizadeh's hip-hop and Iranian music. Born in Chicago, Illinois, Walizadeh is based in Long Beach, California, where he has produced, mixed, and arranged his own tracks.

The program continues with excerpts from vickie (2017), formerly titled Calling Glenn. In this East Coast premiere of the work, Agami and her company expose the complexities of intimacy and communication within personal, daily routines. The uninhibited nature of the work and its dynamic tempo changes allow the dancers to move through shapes that are simultaneously angular and fluid. Percussionist Glenn Kotche collaborated with Agami to compose an original score for the work. In addition to being featured on five albums of the Grammy-award winning band Wilco, Kotche appears on over 80 recordings for a variety of artists. Seattle Theatre Group and Velocity Dance Center premiered Calling Glenn in March 2017 at The Moore Theatre in Seattle, Washington, where Kotche accompanied AteNine with his live percussion. Megan Stevenson of Seattle Dances described the work as "unexpected and innovative," adding that Forbes's lighting "blurred the line between stage and seat," while Kotche produced a "rich and varied" sound score. The performance acted as a homecoming for AteNine; the company was founded at Velocity Dance Center in 2012, and the arts center commissioned Agami's first full-length piece, Sally Meets Stu, at that time. AteNine performed vickie at the Western Arts Alliance Juried Showcase at REDCAT in August 2016, a contemporary arts center in downtown Los Angeles.

Agami aims to share her knowledge of Gaga by engaging new audiences with a distinct artistic voice. Ohad Naharin developed the Gaga movement language in Israel after he was appointed the Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company in 1990. Gaga focuses on movement as a source of power and healing, and allows dancers to explore physical sensations within the body.

About AteNine

Danielle Agami, Israeli dancer and choreographer, trained at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance High School, and performed with Jerusalem's Hora Dance Company. Agami was previously a member and rehearsal director of Ohad Naharin's Batsheva Dance Company. From 2002-2005 she danced with Batsheva-The Young Ensemble, and soon after, became a member of the world-renowned Batsheva Dance Company in 2005. Agami then served as Batsheva's rehearsal director from 2008-2010. From 2007-2009, she was the Artistic Director of Batsheva Dancers Create, a program that allows Naharin's dancers to engage in their own artistic process of creating work. In 2011, Agami moved to New York City to serve as Senior Manager of Gaga U.S.A. and teach the Gaga movement language to American students and companies. Ora Brafman of The Jerusalem Post praises Agami as a "budding choreographer" with "intriguing imagination, well-developed craft and an eye for nuance."

In 2012, Agami created AteNine in Seattle, Washington, with the mission to evolve dance and reimagine its role in communities around the world. The dancers in AteNine hail from performing arts universities and companies predominantly on the West Coast, and many studied Gaga movement prior to joining AteNine. After moving her company to Los Angeles in 2013, Agami found more opportunities to present her work, including debuts at the Los Angeles Theater Center, The Music Center, REDCAT Studio, The Industry Opera, Grand Park, Carpenter Performing Arts Center, Design for Sharing (UCLA), Celebrate Dance, The Krupnick Festival, CAP UCLA, and The LA Philharmonic Orchestra @ The Hollywood Bowl, among others. Agami has set work on other notable contemporary companies as well, including her piece This Time Tomorrow for NW Dance Project, a company that also performs in the Doris Duke Theatre for Jacob's Pillow's 2017 season. In 2013 and 2014, Agami won the Grand Prize from the Annual Choreography Festival at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, California, and then won the Princess Grace Award in 2016. With this prize, Agami plans to create a new commissioned work for Visceral Dance Chicago.

Jacob's Pillow Connections

AteNine performed as part of Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival's Inside/Out Series in 2016. Ohad Naharin's work was first presented at Jacob's Pillow by Nederlands Dans Theater 3 in 1994, and his own Batsheva Dance Company made its Jacob's Pillow debut in 1995. In 2004, Batsheva Dance Company returned to perform Naharin's DecaDance, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago performed Naharin's work in 2001, 2003, 2007, and 2010. Naharin's work was studied in the Contemporary Traditions program of The School at Jacob's Pillow in 2002, 2012, and 2015.

Related Video on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive:

Batsheva Dance Company, DecaDance, 2004:

Performance & Ticket Details

AteNine at Jacob's Pillow

Doris Duke Theatre, July 26-30

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8:15pm

Saturday & Sunday at 2:15pm

A limited number of $20 Under 35 tickets are available; adults ages 18-35 are eligible. One ticket per person; each guest must show valid I.D. when picking up tickets at Will Call. Other discounts are available.

Tickets are on sale now; online at, via phone at 413.243.0745, and at the Jacob's Pillow Box Office at 358 George Carter Road, Becket, MA, 01223.


Ballet Hispánico

Ted Shawn Theatre, July 26-30

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8pm

Thursday, Saturday, Sunday at 2pm

$78, $65, $45

Ballet Hispánico brings captivating style, crisp technique, and charismatic bravado to the Ted Shawn Theatre. "The versatile Ballet Hispánico dancers are exquisite" (The Washington Post). Ballet Hispánico offers the thrilling diversity of Latino culture-a fusion of classical, Latin, and contemporary dance. The program features the Pillow-commissioned and flamenco-inspired Línea Recta by Colombian-Belgian choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, set to Spanish guitar by Eric Vaarzon Morel. Other works include Eduardo Vilaro's Danzón, which features a contemporary take on the national dance of Cuba, and Gustavo Ramírez Sansano's El Beso, a spirited look at the nuances of a kiss set to Spanish Zarzuela music. Tickets start at $45.

Related video on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive: Ballet Hispánico, Tito on Timbales, 2009:

Inside/Out Performance Series: Good Foot Dance Company

Wednesday, July 26 at 6:15pm

Free Event

Good Foot Dance Company, hailing from West Virginia, is known for high-energy, fast-paced footwork, as they explore the complex cultural beginnings of American vernacular dance from Appalachian flatfooting to tap to contemporary urban dance. By remixing traditional dance and music and bringing a critical and historical inquiry to the shared history of American dance cultures, they raise questions about connectivity, continuity, and social responsibility. Co-founders and dancers Matthew Olwell and Emily Oleson are alumni of The School at Jacob's Pillow.

Inside/Out Performance Series: Gemma Bond Dance

Thursday, July 27 at 6:15pm

Free Event

Making waves as a budding female choreographer-rare in the ballet world-Gemma Bond is a corps de ballet member of American Ballet Theatre. Since 2010, she has created three new ballets for ABT's Choreographic Institute, as well as various new works for New York Theatre Ballet, Intermezzo Ballet Company, and the Hartt School; most recently, Atlanta Ballet commissioned the world premiere of Denouement. She has received a fellowship grant from The New York Choreographic Institute and is the two-time awardee of a grant from the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. She will debut at the Joyce Theater in July 2017 with a program that includes two new works. Her Inside/Out program includes Depuis Le Jour, a fluid pas de deux, danced to an aria by French composer Gustave Charpentier, and Then and Again, an ensemble work for Alfredo Piatti's solo cello piece "Twelve Caprices." Calvin Royal III, an American Ballet Theatre corps de ballet dancer and alumnus of The School at Jacob's Pillow, will perform with the ensemble.

PillowTalk: Curating Performance

Friday, July 28 at 5pm

Blake's Barn

Free Event

Dance is increasingly finding its way into museums in all sorts of exciting new ways; the trend is explored by some of those who are closely involved in this movement.

Inside/Out Performance Series: Ologunde

Friday, July 28 at 6:15pm

Free Event

The US-based Ologunde ensemble celebrates the rich Afro-Brazilian culture of Salvador Bahia, Brazil through a diverse repertoire of music, dance, and martial arts. Comprised of artists living in the U.S. and Brazil, the ensemble is under the direction of master percussionist Dendê Macêdo. The troupe performs a diverse repertoire which includes the rituals associated with candomblé, a synthesis of the Yoruba and Catholic religions; the capoeira martial arts dance; maculêlê, a warrior dance which utilizes sticks and machetes and was originally created in the sugarcane fields by slaves; and the exhilarating samba de roda, which can be traced back to the semba of Angola.

PillowTalk: Focus on Vision '22

Saturday, July 29 at 4pm

Blake's Barn

Free Event

A new plan for the Pillow culminates in 2022. Director Pamela Tatge details her goals in an ambitious blueprint known as Vision '22.

Inside/Out Performance Series: The School at Jacob's Pillow Contemporary Program

Saturday, July 29 at 6:15pm

Free Event

Dancers of the Contemporary Program present a work-in-progress created on them during their first week of study at The School at Jacob's Pillow. Guest choreographer Marguerite Donlon, critically acclaimed worldwide for her innovative works, is artistic director of the international dance festival n.o.w. dance saar and the youth project "iMove." Under the direction of master teacher and choreographer Milton Myers, program dancers also study with ballet mentor Charla Genn, School alumna Aya Kaneko, former Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and NDT dancer Mario Alberto Zambrano, and longtime Music Director John Levis. Dancers attend all Festival events, including weekly career-building interactions with Festival Ted Shawn Theatre and Doris Duke Theatre performers.