Internationally Acclaimed Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival Returns For Its 92nd Season

Nine weeks of U.S.-based and international companies will offer family-friendly performances, both indoors and out, from June 26 through August 25.

By: Feb. 20, 2024
Internationally Acclaimed Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival Returns For Its 92nd Season
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This summer, Jacob's Pillow will produce the 92nd season of its premier international dance festival, in a 9-week celebration of some of today's most groundbreaking artists and dance companies performing locally, nationally, and around the world.

Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival 2024 will run Wednesday, June 26 through Sunday, August 25, and will feature indoor performances in the historic Ted Shawn Theatre and outdoor performances on the Henry J. Leir Stage. Visitors to Jacob's Pillow this summer can also note progress being made on the construction of the reimagined Doris Duke Theatre, which is scheduled to open in 2025. 

Companies featured in this summer's lineup are an eclectic mix of Jacob's Pillow debuts and longtime audience favorites who have appeared across more than 50 years of the festival's history. Onstage performances will span genres and styles from ballet and modern to hip hop, tap, flamenco, circus, Indigenous dance, and more. In addition to U.S.-based companies, the festival will also present companies based in Canada, England, Switzerland, Italy, Argentina, Spain, and beyond. Many events will feature live music, and all are family-friendly. The festival will also include special events, parties, classes and workshops, exhibitions and talks, digital premieres, livestreams, and pop-up performances in Berkshire County. Many of these offerings will be free of charge.

The nine companies to perform for one week each in the Ted Shawn Theatre are, in chronological order: Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, The Royal Ballet of the United Kingdom, Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, Social Tango Project, MOMIX, Camille A. Brown & Dancers, Parsons Dance, Soledad Barrio & Noche Flamenca, and Dance Theatre of Harlem. Companies with multi-night runs on the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage will include M.A.D.D. Rhythms, Pathways to Performance (a project of  Theresa Ruth Howard's MoBBallet), Dancers of Damelahamid, David Dorfman Dance, and Gibney Company. Descriptions may be found below.

The outdoor Leir Stage will also feature numerous one-day-only events, including performances ensembles from The School at Jacob's Pillow summer programs in Contemporary Ballet, Contemporary, and Musical Theatre. Additional performances on the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage will be announced in March, and the complete program for Festival 2024 beyond onstage performances (including exhibits, livestreams, PillowTalks, classes and workshops, community events, and more) will be announced in April.

In an exciting first, the world-renowned Royal Ballet of the United Kingdom will make their Pillow debut by staging a “takeover” of Festival Week 2 (July 3-7), with daily performances on two stages. Audiences will be able to enjoy The Royal Ballet program on the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage, then continue the experience by moving into the historic indoor Ted Shawn Theatre to see a completely different program. The indoor and outdoor portions of the “takeover” will be ticketed separately. This will mark the first time in the Festival's history that a single company will perform on both the indoor and outdoor stages with separate programs on the same day. This engagement will be The Royal Ballet's exclusive appearance in the United States in 2024.

“When we describe Jacob's Pillow as a crossroads for dance, this is the sort of wide-ranging, blockbuster summer program we are talking about,” said Jacob's Pillow Executive and Artistic Director Pamela Tatge. “The artists and companies coming to our stages here in Becket are multi-generational masters of their form, whether they come from the realm of dance, theater, activism, visual design, live music—or from many realms at once.

“Some of these brilliant creators have storied histories that intersect with the Pillow's; some are new to us and just emerging into new forms of dance and mission-making,” added Tatge. “Some of the artists tour widely and have global name recognition; some have focused mainly on celebrating and empowering local communities. Regardless, they all are intent on bringing their best work to Jacob's Pillow, and their onstage encounters with Pillow audiences—all in the span of nine weeks—will mean something unforgettable for everyone.”

The 2024 Festival was curated by Tatge and Associate Curators Melanie George and Ali Rosa-Salas, supported by International Advisor Cathy Levy and Producing Director Holly Jones

Jacob's Pillow will hold its largest fundraising event of the year—the Season Opening Gala—on Saturday, June 22, featuring a livestream of live performances and a presentation of the 2024 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award to this year's recipient, to be announced this spring. Community Day will also return this year, providing free, all-ages daytime performances by regional dance artists, as well as activities around the Pillow's campus on Friday, August 16.

Jacob's Pillow continues to be a home for presentations of premiere works, and this year will feature world premieres by Camille A. Brown and Wayne McGregor and U.S. premieres by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Pam Tanowitz, among others, on both the Ted Shawn Theatre and Henry J. Leir stages. Artists and companies making their Jacob's Pillow debuts this season include The Royal Ballet, Social Tango Project, and Dancers of Dahmelahamid. The Festival also features the return of companies who have not graced these stages in decades: Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, MOMIX, and Parsons Dance.

As Jacob's Pillow continues to strengthen its role in serving artists year-round, the Festival will also feature work developed at the Pillow Lab, a residency program now in its seventh year. This work includes works to be performed by Camille A. Brown & Dancers and MoBBallet's Pathways to Performance project. 

Festival 2024 will host the return of two beloved annual gatherings: Pillow Pride and the All Styles Dance Battle. Pillow Pride—a celebration of LGBTQIA+ individuals and communities—will be held on the weekend of July 13-14, including a performance by the MasterZ at Work Dance Family with Courtney Topanga Washington. The All Styles Dance Battle will be held on the evening of Friday, August 2. Tickets to parties will be available beginning in March, in time for Member Pre-Sale.

Ticketed performances and parties will be enriched by talks, exhibitions, workshops, and the return of the free On the Road performance series to towns around Berkshire County, with details to be announced later this year. Digital offerings will include PillowTalks and livestreams of several performances.

Member Pre-Sale begins Monday, March 4, with tiered access available to Jacob's Pillow Members based on membership level. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Thursday, April 11. To learn more about the Membership program at Jacob's Pillow, visit jacobspillow.org/membership.

Founded by American modern dance pioneer Ted Shawn in 1933, Jacob's Pillow is home to the longest-running dance festival in the United States. Jacob's Pillow is a National Historic Landmark, a National Medal of Arts recipient, and a year-round center for dance research and development.

FESTIVAL 2024 PERFORMANCES

Additional programming will be announced this spring. Programs and casts are subject to change without notice. The Season Opening Gala kicks off the Festival on Saturday, June 22, 2024.

INDOOR WEEK-LONG PERFORMANCES — Ted Shawn THEATRE

Tickets start at $65

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

Festival Week 1 | Wednesday, June 26 – Sunday, June 30 | Ted Shawn Theatre

Coming from New York City

50th Anniversary Season | First Appearance Since 2010

Festival 2024 opens with the trailblazing comic ballet company Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (the “Trocks”), celebrating their 50th anniversary this year.

Founded in the wake of the Stonewall Uprising in New York City as a gender-skewering company of professional male dancers, the Trocks perform a full range of ballet and modern dance repertoire, offering humorous yet faithful renditions.

After fifty years of globe-spanning performances, the company now plays to a world that is, as they put it, “catching up with their once highly-subversive viewpoint, allowing their style of ballet to be viewed simply as sheer entertainment.” In their long-awaited return to the Pillow, the Trocks will perform the second act of Swan Lake, plus their singular take on Paquita, among other favorites.

The Royal Ballet of the United Kingdom

Festival Week 2 | Wednesday, July 3 – Sunday, July 7 | Ted Shawn Theatre

Coming from England

World Premiere | U.S. Premiere | Pillow Debut | Live Music | Only U.S. Appearance in 2024

One of the most famous and celebrated companies in the world, The Royal Ballet will appear at Jacob's Pillow for the first time, as the company's sole stop in the U.S. in 2024. To celebrate this milestone, this Festival week will feature daily back-to-back performances from The Royal Ballet, with a program on the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage followed by a separate program in the Ted Shawn Theatre.

The company's celebrated repertory is drawn from 19th-century ballet classics as well as the distinctive English works of its Founder Choreographer Frederick Ashton and Principal Choreographer Kenneth MacMillan, and continues to resonate with audiences strongly today through the striking contemporary sensibility of Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor and Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon.

This summer's program will feature a world premiere by Wayne McGregor, created especially for Jacob's Pillow, alongside works by Ashton, McMillian, and Wheeldon, and will also include the U.S. premiere of Secret Things by American choreographer Pam Tanowitz. The Royal Ballet Principals Matthew Ball, Mayara Magri, Natalia Osipova, Marcelino Sambé, Anna Rose O'Sullivan, and Sarah Lamb will perform in this engagement along with a vibrant array of the company's dancers. 

Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève

Festival Week 3 | Wednesday, July 10 – Sunday, July 14 | Ted Shawn Theatre

Coming from Switzerland

U.S. Premiere | Live Music | First Appearance Since 2011

Switzerland's acclaimed ballet company returns to Jacob's Pillow for the first time in over a decade, featuring classically trained dancers performing breathtaking contemporary choreography, boasting a rich, century-long history.

This summer's appearance at the Pillow will mark the company's first U.S. engagement under the artistic direction of the groundbreaking Belgian and Moroccan choreographer, dancer, and director Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, who received the Jacob's Pillow Dance Award in 2022. Winner of the Olivier Award and Kairos Prize, Cherkaoui is also the artistic director of his own company, Eastman, and former artistic director of Belgium's Royal Ballet of Flanders. In 2018, he choreographed the music video “Apeshit” for The Carters (Beyoncé and Jay-Z), and supported the couple on their subsequent live tour. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his work on Jagged Little Pill, featuring the music of Alanis Morissette.

This summer, Ballet du Grand Théatre de Genève will perform an all Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui program, including his groundbreaking Faun, inspired by Claude Debussy's L'après-midi d'un faune, and the U.S. debut of Noetic, created with a distinguished team including renowned sculptor Sir Antony Gormley, fashion designer duo Les Hommes, and composer Szymon Brzóska. 

Social Tango Project

Festival Week 4 | Wednesday, July 17 – Sunday, July 21 | Ted Shawn Theatre

Coming from Argentina

Pillow Debut | Live Music

Founded and based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Social Tango Project's mission is to share the social value of dance, celebrating the tango community through live performances, music, and film. Under the artistic direction of Agustina Videla, the company aims to inspire individuals to join the dance floor and cultivate tango communities worldwide.

Social Tango Project offers a stunning interactive and immersive dance performance that blends movement and live music with cinematic documentary film projection, offering a colorful window into Tango's power to create and maintain social cohesion at times of political unrest. Because the company encourages the audience to embrace the Tango and make it their own, each performance will also feature onstage appearances by local and regional dancers.

Social Tango Project offers audiences a deep dive into this very special social dance—which originated in the 1880s along the border of Argentina and Uruguay—showcased on the Ted Shawn Theatre stage like never before. The company comes to Jacob's Pillow following a spring appearance in the RiverRun Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. 

MOMIX

Festival Week 5 | Wednesday, July 24 – Sunday, July 28 | Ted Shawn Theatre

Coming from Washington, Connecticut

First Appearance Since 2002 

Famous across the globe for exceptional inventiveness and physical beauty, MOMIX is a company of dancer-illusionists under the direction of Moses Pendleton, one of America's most renowned and widely performed choreographers.

A co-founder of the groundbreaking Pilobolus Dance Theater in 1971, Pendleton formed his own company in 1980. Based in Connecticut, MOMIX conjures thrilling and family-friendly performances that move from humorous to athletic, sensual to physical, and dynamic to lyrical, always using props, bodies, costumes, and screen projections in new and unique ways, with eye-popping visuals and an extraordinary sense of fun.

Returning to the Pillow for the first time since 2002, the company will perform VIVA MOMIX, a magical collection of the company's most astonishing works. 

Camille A. Brown & Dancers

Festival Week 6 | Wednesday, July 31 – Sunday, August 4 | Ted Shawn Theatre

Coming from New York City

World Premiere | Commission | Live Music | First Appearance Since 2017 

Recipient of the Jacob's Pillow Dance Award in 2016, three-time Tony Award-nominated director and choreographer Camille A. Brown continues her meteoric rise creating new work on stage, TV, and film as the founder of Camille A. Brown & Dancers.

Brown is a Bessie Award-winning choreographer and director. She made history as the first Black director at the Metropolitan Opera to direct a mainstage production when she co-directed Fire Shut Up In My Bones (2021). With the Broadway revival of for colored girls… (2022), she became the first Black woman to direct and choreograph a Broadway play since Katherine Dunham in 1955. 

Following her work this spring as the choreographer of the new Alicia Keys musical Hell's Kitchen, opening in April 2024, Brown returns to the roots of her own dance company, presenting the world premiere of I AM in the Ted Shawn Theatre, developed in part through a Pillow Lab residency in 2023. Inspired by the “I AM” episode of the HBO series Lovecraft Country, this exciting and uplifting work is  accompanied by a live band and features the dances and gestures of the African diaspora to celebrate the past, and boldly push into the future. The work was commissioned by Jacob's Pillow with the Joan B. Hunter New Work Commission.




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