Jacob's Pillow Announces 2017 Professional Advancement Programs

In the summer of 2017, The School at Jacob's Pillow, a world renowned center for professional dance training will present Professional Advancement Programs in Ballet, Contemporary, Musical Theatre Dance, and a Tap Program led by Michelle Dorrance. These programs will take place during Jacob's Pillow's 85th Anniversary Season. Led by a faculty of highly-distinguished International Artists, they offer an incomparable combination of studio, performance, and Festival experiences.

"Jacob's Pillow's focus on nurturing and supporting artists begins with the programs of The School," says Jacob's Pillow Director Pamela Tatge. "Dancers are not only guided by a world-renowned faculty, they are also immersed in total ecology of the Festival experiencing new forms and experiences daily. Furthermore, they become a part of the Pillow's rich history, joining the countless alumni who call Jacob's Pillow home."

At The School at Jacob's Pillow, advanced level pre-professional and early-career dancers from around the globe are immersed in an inspiring professional training environment involving classes, rehearsals, coaching sessions, and Festival events six days a week, and perform weekly for Festival audiences. The 2017 Program Directors include ballet luminary Anna-Marie Holmes; noted master teacher Milton Myers; Broadway choreographer/director Chet Walker; and choreographer, performer, MacArthur 'Genius' Fellow, and Jacob's Pillow Dance Award recipient Michelle Dorrance. The Program Directors will be joined by internationally renowned dance artists, choreographers, and artistic directors.

The School at Jacob's Pillow is located in the picturesque Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. Each year, up to 100 dancers from approximately 3,500 auditioned are invited to take part in the Professional Advancement Programs of The School: Ballet, Contemporary, and Musical Theatre Dance, and a rotating fourth program (Tap in 2017). Each year, the rotating program reflects relevant dance styles and trends occurring within the field. Previous programs have focused on social dances, commercial dance, flamenco, hip hop, improvisational forms, Pacific Island traditions, Caribbean and African traditional dance forms, and others.

During each program dancers are immersed in the unparalleled world renowned Festival setting with access to performances, artist and scholar talks, exhibits, book signings, film showings and the Archives, one of the field's most treasured dance resources; and interact with peers and living legends of the world-wide dance community. The School experience involves a full day of class and rehearsal studio hours. Integral to the curriculum is performing works-in-progress weekly for Festival audiences, coaching sessions, seminars, and master classes and lunchtime career-building discussions with Festival Artists; all demand technical and performance skills, stamina, perseverance, risk-taking, and creative collaboration.

"Dancers discover the breadth of possibilities that exist to work as a dance artist in the field," says Jacob's Pillow Director of Education "J.R." Glover "and importantly, gain the confidence to be that artist while part of The School at Jacob's Pillow experience."

Notable alumni of The School include American Ballet Theatre Corps de Ballet member Calvin Royal III, Royal Danish Ballet's Artistic Director Nikolaj Hübbe, So You Think You Can Dance and Emmy Award-winning choreographer Mia Michaels, celebrated choreographer and MacArthur 'Genius' Award recipient Meredith Monk, former Director of Choreography of Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Trustee for the Merce Cunningham Trust, and Compagnie CNDC-Angers Artistic Director Robert Swinston, MTV Video Music Award winner for Best Choreography Jeffrey Page, Chez Bushwick Founder and choreographer Jonah Bokaer, Festival 2016 artist Adam H. Weinert, and ballet choreographer and artistic director Emery LeCrone. Others appear regularly in Dance Magazine's "25 To Watch," on Broadway, at The Tony's, in film, and in major companies worldwide. During the summer of 2016, 34 alumni returned to the Festival as artistic directors, choreographers, performers, and faculty. For additional notable alumni, visit https://www.jacobspillow.org/school/dance-programs/alumni/

2017 Professional Advancement Programs

Ballet, June 12-25

Ballet luminary Anna-Marie Holmes and a distinguished international faculty prepare dancers for the artistic range and technical rigor required by today's world-class ballet companies. Acclaimed choreographer Bruce Wells-former resident choreographer of Boston Ballet and Pittsburg Ballet Theatre, among other credits-will create and rehearse a new work on the dancers in just four days. Participants will perform its world premiere at the Jacob's Pillow 85th Anniversary Season Opening Gala on June 17, on a program with Festival 2017 artists. Dancers also receive in-depth coaching in renowned classical solo, pas de deux, and ensemble works by renowned choreographers, dancers, and teachers in the field. Works created and learned during the program are performed for the public on June 24 as a part of the free Inside/Out outdoor performance series.

Separate men's and women's classes are part of the curriculum, as are seminars in career development, musicality, style characteristics, and ballet history. Attending Festival performances, public talks, exhibits, master classes, and studying in the Archives are integral to this immersion experience in dance. This year, the Ballet Program will coincide with the Festival appearances of Miami City Ballet, who will lead a master class and career building discussion for Ballet Program participants. Alumni of The School at Jacob's Pillow are members of American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Het Nationale Ballet, Houston Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Royal Danish Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and more.

In her 17th season as Ballet Program Director, Anna-Marie Holmes remains an internationally acclaimed master teacher, choreographer, and dance luminary, as well as a recipient of the prestigious Dance Magazine Award and Emmy Award for her staging of Le Corsaire for American Ballet Theatre's PBS Great Performances. Guest choreographer Bruce Wells is a former soloist from New York City Ballet under the direction of George Balanchine, and has since choreographed for Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Australian Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and many others. Other faculty to be announced.

For 22 advanced pre-professional or professional level ballet dancers, age 16 and up. Video audition required; priority consideration given to applications received by February 10. Visit jacobspillow.org for faculty bios and program updates.

Tap, June 26-July 9

In this program, Program Director Michelle Dorrance, in collaboration with a roster of esteemed faculty, will share a wide range of choreographic approaches and music styles to sharpen dancers' musicality and technique. Studio work will include traditional vocabulary, cutting edge styles, improvisation, a capella musical composition, and working as solo and ensemble performers. Dancers will perform works created on them for the public July 1 and 8 as part of the free outdoor performance series.

Daily classes emphasize rhythmic structures, musical phrasing, articulated and relaxed approaches to the floor, and use of the full body; particularly in relationship to tap's folkloric, street, and vernacular history. Music seminars, individual coaching, video viewing, tap history talks, and jam sessions help develop each dancer's distinctive artistry while sharing new directions influencing the field today. Integral to this immersion experience are interactions with 85th Anniversary Festival artists through Master Classes and lunchtime career-building discussions, study time in the Archives, and attendance at all Festival performances, public talks, exhibits, and events.

Michelle Dorrance, founder and artistic director of Dorrance Dance, is one of the most sought after tap dancers of her generation and "one of the most imaginative tap choreographers working today" (The New Yorker). A 2015 MacArthur Fellow, 2014 Alpert Award winner, 2013 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award winner, 2012 Princess Grace Award winner, 2012 Field Dance Fund recipient, and 2011 New York Dance and Performance ("Bessie") Award winner, Dorrance performs, teaches, and choreographs throughout the world. Mentored by Gene Medler, Michelle grew up performing with the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble and has since performed with STOMP, Manhattan Tap, Savion Glover's 'Ti Dii', JazzTap Ensemble, Barbara Duffy & Co, Rumba Tap, Derick Grant's Imagine Tap, and Jason Samuels Smith's Chasing the Bird to rave reviews. She holds a B.A. from New York University and is on guest faculty at Broadway Dance Center.

For 25 tap dancers at a professional or advanced pre-professional level with strong performance skills, age 16 and up. Visit jacobspillow.orgfor updates and how to apply.

Contemporary, July 10-July 30

Under the direction of contemporary dance mentor and master teacher Milton Myers, studio work and performance experiences prepare dancers to meet the expectations and requirements of today's most in-demand artistic directors. Supported by a stylistically diverse and highly-acclaimed faculty, Myers will have new work created on the dancers by top choreographers in the field each week, and will be present the works in progress to the public as a part of the free outdoor Inside/Out performance series on July 15, 22, and 29. A special guest artist for 2017 will include Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Robert Battle, Ballet BC Resident Choreographer Cayetano Soto, Berlin-based choreographer, formerly Ballet Director of Germany's Saarländisches Staatstheater Marguerite Donlon, and New York City-based choreographer Jae Man Joo.

Dancers are coached in multiple movement vocabularies, styles, techniques, and performance skills to deepen their ability to communicate choreographic intent and advance their development as articulate, versatile artists. Career discussions and daily classes in ballet, body conditioning, and contemporary dance are led by a distinguished master faculty. The Contemporary Program will coincide with the appearances of Festival artist Paul Taylor Dance Company, along with many other companies. Participants of the program utilize Festival performances, the extensive dance Archives, and talks with artists and scholars as supplementary material to their training each day.

In his 31st year as the Contemporary Program Director, Milton Myers is recognized worldwide as a master teacher, acting as resident choreographer and instructor of Philadanco as well as a faulty member of The Ailey School, the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. Program, and The Juilliard School. Philadelphia-based composer, pianist, and synthesist John Levis serves as Music Director.

For 24 contemporary dancers at an advanced pre-professional or professional level with strong performance skills, age 16 and up. Visit jacobspillow.org for faculty bios and program updates.

Musical Theatre Dance, July 31-August 21

Chet Walker invites award-winning Broadway choreographers, directors, composers/arrangers, and musicians to work collaboratively and create original numbers on dancers, with the same fast pace and rigor required to audition and mount Broadway productions. Training reflects the necessity for well-versed and multi-faceted Broadway performers, focusing on dance styles ranging from ballet to hip-hop to Fosse and contemporary jazz, with one-on-one vocal training and career discussions with top artists in the field. In three weeks, dancers present excerpts of works for the public as part of the free outdoor performance series on August 5, 12, and 19. Working as an ensemble, the program will close with a cumulative performance of the works created on participants with a live band and guest alumni, entitled A Jazz Happening. This eventwill be presented on August 20 in the historic Ted Shawn Theatre with proceeds benefitting The School at Jacob's Pillow.

Daily technique classes focus on styles seen on the Broadway stage today including ballet, jazz, musical theatre dance, hip-hop, and tap. Participants of the program will rehearse afternoons and evenings with choreographers and musicians and receive one-on-one vocal training, audition coaching, and career-building discussions as a part of the curriculum. The Musical Theatre Dance Program will coincide with the engagements of Festival artists, to be announced later in December. Attending Festival performances, public talks, exhibits, master classes, and studying in the Archives are integral to this immersion experience in dance.

A prominently featured performer in the musicals of Bob Fosse, Chet Walker enters his 19th season as the Musical Theatre Dance Program Director. Conceiver of the Tony Award-winning musical Fosse, Walker is an internationally lauded director/choreographer, and Artistic Director of WALKERDANCE. As a choreographer, his work in the Tony Awarded Best Musical Revival Pippin earned a 2013 Tony Nomination for Best Choreography and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography. Guest Choreographers and Artist Faculty for the program will be announced at jacobspillow.org. Music Director for the Broadway's Rising Stars and Broadway Originals concerts at Town Hall in New York City since 2009, John Fischer serves as the Program's Music Director.

For 24 musical theatre dancers at an advanced pre-professional or professional level with singing and acting experience, age 16 and up. Visit jacobspillow.org for faculty bios and program updates.

Auditions and Application:

The 2017 Audition Tour launches in early January and with stops in Miami, New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago for Musical Theatre, Tap, and Contemporary Program auditions. Led by internationally-acclaimed dance artists in a master class format, no cuts are made during these auditions, providing an excellent opportunity for dancers to take a professional class, gain audition experience, and learn more about The School at Jacob's Pillow. Auditions are open to advanced dancers; age 15 and up for Contemporary, Musical Theatre Dance, and Tap.

Both in person and video auditions are available. Video auditions are required for Ballet, and highly encouraged for Contemporary, Tap, and Musical Theatre Dance Programs. All applicants must also submit a written application for acceptance consideration.

If dancers are unable to attend in person auditions, video auditions are accepted and given the same consideration as in person auditions.

Visit https://www.jacobspillow.org/school/dance-programs/schedule-an-audition/ for application and audition details. February 10 is the priority consideration deadline; March 17 is the final deadline. All applications submitted after March 17 will be reviewed pending placement availability in the program.

AUDITION MASTER CLASS TOUR

Audition Master Class dates and locations for Contemporary, Tap, and Musical Theatre Dance Programs are listed below. Visithttps://www.jacobspillow.org/school/dance-programs/schedule-an-audition/ to schedule an audition and reserve your space. A $15 Audition Master Class fee is required for all Contemporary and Tap Audition Master Class participants and $35 for all Musical Theatre Dance Audition Workshop participants.

Contemporary Audition Master Class:

MIAMI, FL: Sunday, January 15

10am-12pm

New World School of the Arts

Studio 5808 A and B

25 NE 2nd Street, Miami, FL 33132

NEW YORK, NY: Sunday, January 29

Contemporary Audition Master Class

12-2pm

The Juilliard School

Glorya Kaufman Dance Studio

60 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023

NEW YORK, NY: Sunday, January 29

Contemporary Audition Master Class

4-6pm

The Juilliard School

Glorya Kaufman Dance Studio

60 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023

LOS ANGELES, CA: Saturday, February 11

Contemporary Audition Master Class

2-4pm

USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance

849 West 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90089

NEW YORK, NY: Sunday, February 19

Contemporary Audition Master Class

8-10pm

The Juilliard School

Glorya Kaufman Dance Studio

60 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023

CHICAGO, IL: Saturday, March 4

Contemporary Audition Master Class

2-4pm

Lou Conte Dance Studio at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Studio A

1147 W. Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60607

BROOKLYN, NY: Saturday, March 25

Contemporary Audition Master Class

4-6pm

Mark Morris Dance Center

Duffy Studio

3 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Tap Audition Master Class:

NEW YORK, NY: Saturday, January 28

Tap Audition Master Class

6:30-8:30pm

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana

Studio A

4 West 43rd Street, Suite 608?, New York, NY 10036

LOS ANGELES, CA: Sunday, February 12

Tap Audition Master Class

11am-1pm

USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance

849 West 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90089

NEW YORK, NY: Sunday, February 19

Tap Audition Master Class

11am-1pm

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana

Studio A

4 West 43rd Street, Suite 608?, New York, NY 10036

CHICAGO, IL: Sunday, March 5

Tap Audition Master Class

NEW YORK, NY: Sunday March 26

Tap Audition Master Class

11am-1pm

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana

Studio A

4 West 43rd Street, Suite 608?, New York, NY 10036

Musical Theatre Dance Audition Workshop*:

MIAMI, FL: Sunday, January 15

Musical Theatre Dance Audition

4-6pm

Studio 5808 A and B

New World School of the Arts

25 NE 2nd Street, Miami, FL 33132

NEW YORK, NY: Monday, January 30

Musical Theatre Dance Audition Workshop

6-9:30pm

Ripley-Grier Studios

Studio 16D

520 Eighth Avenue, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10018

LOS ANGELES, CA: Monday, February 13

Musical Theatre Dance Audition Workshop

NEW YORK, NY: Monday, February 20

Musical Theatre Dance Audition Workshop

6-9:30pm

Ripley-Grier Studios

Studio 16L

520 Eighth Avenue, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10018

CHICAGO, IL: Monday, March 6

Musical Theatre Dance Audition Workshop

NEW YORK, NY: Monday, March 27

Musical Theatre Dance Audition Workshop

6-9:30pm

Ripley-Grier Studios

Studio 16D

520 Eighth Avenue, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10018

*Musical Theatre Dance Audition cover multiple dance styles, including tap. Prepare two songs from published Musical Theatre Works. Bring sheet music; accompanist provided.

Visit https://www.jacobspillow.org/school/dance-programs/schedule-an-audition/ for additional audition tour details.

Scholarships & Academic Credit

Scholarship support and academic credit are available. Partial and full Jacob's Pillow Scholarships are available for any dancer in need of financial assistance, made possible by annual donor support of The School. For scholarship details, visit https://www.jacobspillow.org/school/dance-programs/programs/ballet-program/scholarships/

All applicants auditioning by video for the Ballet, Contemporary, Tap, or Musical Theatre Dance Programs are eligible for consideration of the Lorna Strassler Award for Student Excellence, which provides a full scholarship and $2,500 cash award. Other merit scholarship awards can be found at https://www.jacobspillow.org/school/dance-programs/programs/ballet-program/scholarships/

Visit https://www.jacobspillow.org/school/dance-programs/programs/ for additional program, audition, application, and scholarship details.

The School at Jacob's Pillow is one of America's most prestigious training centers for dance, encompassing four professional advancement programs in Ballet, Contemporary, Musical Theatre Dance, and a rotating fourth program (Tap in 2017). An integral part of Jacob's Pillow, The School draws program participants and acclaimed artist faculty from all corners of the globe and is one of only five organizations in the United States selected for the Talented Students in the Arts Initiative award, a collaboration between the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Surdna Foundation, Inc. Through this initiative, the Pillow has been able to establish The Fund for Jacob's Pillow School Endowment to ensure the availability of scholarships, world-class faculty, and free access to all Festival performances and events for all faculty and students. Alumni of The School include dance luminaries such as Nikolaj Hübbe, Meredith Monk, Mia Michaels, Robert Swinston, and So You Think You Can Dance winner Joshua Allen. Others appear in Dance Magazine's "25 To Watch," on Broadway, and in major companies worldwide. For more information, visit www.jacobspillow.org/education/school.

ABOUT JACOB'S PILLOW: Jacob's Pillow, celebrating its 85th Festival in 2017, is a National Historic Landmark, recipient of the National Medal of Arts, and home to America's longest-running international dance festival. Each Festival includes more than 50 national and international dance companies and 350 free and ticketed performances, talks, tours, classes, exhibits, and events. The School at Jacob's Pillow, one of the most prestigious professional dance training centers in the U.S., encompasses the diverse disciplines of Ballet, Contemporary, Musical Theatre Dance, and a rotating fourth program (Tap in 2017), as well as an Intern Program in various disciplines of arts administration, design, video, and production. The Pillow's extensive Archives, open year-round to the public, chronicle more than a century of dance in photographs, programs, books, costumes, audiotapes, and videos. Year-round Community Programs enrich the lives of children and adults through public classes, residencies in area schools, and an extensive schedule of free public events. Through Jacob's Pillow Curriculum in Motion®, a nationally recognized program, Artist Educators work with Berkshire County teachers and students grades K-12, transforming curricula such as biology, literature, and history into kinesthetic and creative learning experiences. Creative Development Residencies, in which dance companies are invited to live and work at the Pillow and enjoy unlimited studio time; choreography commissions; and the annual $25,000 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award all support visionary dance artists and choreographers. During Creative Development Residencies, artists are invited to spend one to three weeks at the Pillow creating or rehearsing new work, with free housing for the company, unlimited use of studio space, and access to the Pillow's rare and extensive Archives and other Pillow resources. In the beautiful, retreat-like atmosphere of the Pillow, the Creative Development Residencies are rare opportunities for artists to focus on the creative process without distraction. Notable artists who have created or premiered dances at the Pillow include choreographers Antony Tudor, Agnes De Mille, Alvin Ailey, Donald McKayle, Kevin McKenzie, Twyla Tharp, Ralph Lemon, Susan Marshall, Trisha Brown, Ronald K. Brown, Wally Cardona, Andrea Miller, and Trey McIntyre; performed by artists such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Carmen De Lavallade, Mark Morris, Dame Margot Fonteyn, Edward Villella, Rasta Thomas, and hundreds of others. The Pillow's digital initiatives are aimed at expanding global audiences for dance and offers the opportunity to experience dance and Jacob's Pillow from anywhere in the world via online interactive exhibits, global video networks, and social media. An important part of the Pillow's digital presence, Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive is a curated online video collection of dance highlights from 1933 to today. On March 2, 2011, President Obama honored Jacob's Pillow with a National Medal of Arts, the highest arts award given by the United States Government, making the Pillow the first dance presenting organization to receive this prestigious award. For more information, visit www.jacobspillow.org.

(Photo Credit: Jacob's Pillow)



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