Weekend OUT and David Rousseve's STARDUST Set for Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival this Week
Bringing a contemporary variation on the traditional coming of age story, David Roussève/REALITY comes to Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival with the company's latest dance-theatre work, Stardust, August 6-10. In this 80-minute piece, exceptional performers explore the world of a young, gay, African-American man through arresting choreography; video projections including unanswered text messages sent by the work's protagonist; original music by hip-hop fusion composer d. Sabela grimes; and classic songs interpreted by Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, and Johnny Mathis. Poignant, riveting, and challenging, Stardust depicts a moving portrait of the struggle for love and acceptance. The engagement is a part of Jacob's Pillow's Weekend OUT, which encompasses a packed schedule of talks, performances, and special events taking place throughout the weekend.
Ella Baff, Executive and Artistic Director of Jacob's Pillow, comments, "In Stardust, beautiful dancing, music, and visual images amplify an already rich narrative that is by turns poignant, funny, tragic, and altogether very human and compelling."
Stardust explores the nature of intimacy in a technology-driven, furiously-paced world. Lush, elegant movement is juxtaposed with frenetic representations of the unseen-protagonist's state of mind, utilizing spoken word, moments of emotional ferocity, and multiple movement styles including hip-hop and contemporary dance. Through the use of multimedia elements including stunning projections by Roussève's longtime collaborator Cari Ann Shim Sham* and mock-Skype conversations performed by Roussève, the story of an anguished teenager is told in conversational tones with moments of poignancy that provide a profound cathartic arc. Roussève's work has been called "shattering dance theater" that "packs an authentically emotional wallop." (Anna Kisselgoff for The New York Times)
While not autobiographical, like some of Roussève's work, Stardust is intensely personal and the first work for REALITY in which Roussève does not perform a lead role. "While it is paramount that my work retain its emotional resonance, my giving the protagonist 'voice' only through short written text allows for a more fluid choreographic structure uninterrupted by the character monologues I usually deliver," Roussève writes of this choice. "I am thrilled by this leap forward in my work."
Stardust is a part of the Jacob's Pillow Weekend OUT festivities which include talks, performances, and events throughout August 8-10. On Saturday afternoon, David Roussève will participate in a free PillowTalk at 4pm titled Creating Stardust, detailing the subject and making of his current work. Director of Preservation Norton Owen will lead a one-of-a-kind Ted Shawn and his Men Dancers tour of the historic grounds on Sunday, August 10 at noon, and patrons are encouraged to attend the informal book-club-like Audience Chat following the Sunday matinee of David Roussève/REALITY's Stardust. Sunday's events will also include a master class taught by Roussève which will be open to free observation in the Doris Duke Theatre at 10am and brunch at the Pillow Café from 11am-2pm.
Other highlights of the week include free Inside/Out performances by Texture Contemporary Ballet, principal Jonathan Porretta from Pacific Northwest Ballet in choreography by Molissa Fenley, swing dance group The Hell's Kitchen Kilowatts, and dancers from the Jazz/Musical Theatre Dance program of The School at Jacob's Pillow.