Jacob's Pillow Announces 2019 Festival Season Lineup

Jacob's Pillow announces the full season lineup of Festival 2019 including world premieres, new commissions, International Artists, anniversary celebrations, Pillow-exclusive engagements, and work developed at the Pillow Lab. Entering its 87th consecutive summer, Jacob's Pillow is home to the longest-running dance festival in the United States, a National Historic Landmark, a National Medal of Arts recipient, and has steadily expanded its reach in the field and its local community as a year-round center for dance research and development. Festival 2019 opens June 19, attracting audiences both on and off its site in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, through August 25.

"I am thrilled to announce the wide range of artists we will bring to Jacob's Pillow next summer. Festival 2019 celebrates important milestones and commemorates the creative reach of trailblazing visionaries whose journeys are deeply rooted in Pillow history. We are also introducing new voices and showcasing powerful dialogue between movement and live music. As we continue to prioritize investing in new work, we are excited to share repertoire that was developed in the Pillow Lab. It's wonderful to feel the new rhythm of a year-round Jacob's Pillow, now a home for the creativity and vitality of the field of dance, twelve months of the year," says Jacob's Pillow Director Pamela Tatge.

World premieres include a new work by revered Compañía Irene Rodríguez, melding flamenco and Spanish dance with the company's signature contemporary Cuban flair; POWER, Reggie Wilson's new evening-length work which imagines what Black Shaker worship may have looked like, presented alongside a site-based experience at neighboring Hancock Shaker Village; THE DAY, a collaboration between world-renowned cellist Maya Beiser and legendary dancer Wendy Whelan with choreography by seminal choreographer Lucinda Childs and music by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang; a Pillow co-commission by Andrea Miller, Artistic Director of Brooklyn-based Gallim; and a new duet between New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns and postmodern dance's Jodi Melnick, included in an engagement that highlights Bessie Award-winning Mearns' multigenre collaborations.

Strengthening Jacob's Pillow's artistic core by investing in the development of new work is a primary strand in the organization's five-year strategic plan for the future, entitled Vision '22. In Festival 2019, a number of works developed at the Pillow Lab, the organization's growing developmental residency program, return as final productions. These include Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group's POWER; Halfway to Dawn, a tribute to Billy Strayhorn by David Roussève/REALITY; tap dancer Caleb Teicher and composer/pianist Conrad Tao's collaboration More Forever; and No. 1, a collaboration between the French hip-hop duo Company Wang Ramirez and Sara Mearns.

Audience favorites return in special commemoration of important milestones, a symbol of historic significance that Jacob's Pillow is synonymous with. Ballet BC celebrates ten years under the leadership of Artistic Director Emily Molnar; Robert Swinston's Compagnie CNDC-Angers brings an all-Cunningham program as part of the worldwide Merce Cunningham Centennial celebration; Dance Theatre of Harlem marks its 50th anniversary, remembering founding director Arthur Mitchell; Paul Taylor Dance Company returns for the first time since the passing of their founder; and the revolutionary Urban Bush Women ring in 35 years.

Additional 2019 Season highlights include the U.S. debut of the London-based Umanoove/Didy Veldman, established in 2016 and dedicated to the choreography of the prominent figure in the European contemporary dance scene. Other International Artists will travel to Becket, Massachusetts from Cuba, Australia, France, and Canada.

Member Pre-Sale begins February 11, 2019. Tickets go on sale to the public on April 1, 2019.

Festival 2019 Schedule

Artist dates and descriptions follow. Select Festival artist descriptions include links to supplemental video clips within Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive, featuring past Jacob's Pillow performances.

Ballet BC

June 19-23, Ted Shawn Theatre

Hailing from Vancouver, Ballet BC pushes the boundaries of classical ballet with a cutting-edge, contemporary sensibility. Praised as "physically rigorous, dramatically solid, and truly contemporary" (Dance Magazine), Ballet BC celebrates ten years under the leadership of Artistic Director and former company member Emily Molnar, whose vision has guided the company into an era of innovation and collaboration. As one of the most significant Canadian companies, Ballet BC presents a diverse repertoire of over 45 works by the most sought-after ballet choreographers.

Explore past Pillow performances on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive:

Ballet BC in Consagracion in 2015: danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org/ballet-bc/consagracion/

Ballet BC in Return to the Strange Land in 1993: danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org/ballet-british-columbia/return-strange-land/

Explore Themes & Essays on Emily Molnar on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive:



June 19-23, Doris Duke Theatre

"Circus at its purest and most thrilling" (Daily Review), Brisbane-based Circa is at the forefront of a new wave of contemporary Australian circus, creating awe-inspiring performance from extreme physicality. Three fearless acrobats challenge perceptions of what the human body is capable of through a sublime display of interlocking bodies, aerial rope, and trapeze work in What Will Have Been, accompanied by a live, on-stage violinist who plays a thrilling fusion of electronic music. Founded by visionary Yaron Lifschitz, the ensemble blurs the lines between movement, dance, theater, and circus and has toured to over 39 countries across six continents since 2004, returning to the Pillow for the third time.

Explore past Pillow performances on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive:

Circa in CIRCA in 2012: danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org/circa/circa/

Circa in S in 2014: danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org/circa/S/

Compañía Irene Rodríguez

June 26-30, Ted Shawn Theatre

Compañía Irene Rodríguez is a revered voice in the emerging contemporary Cuban dance scene, known for a particular vision of flamenco that is both Spanish and Cuban. Rodríguez, praised as "intense" and "exacting" by The New York Times, created her company in 2012 and has since "succeeded in positioning itself among the best of the Spanish genre in Cuba" (Granma, Cuba). After a sold-out Pillow debut in 2017, this fiery ensemble of dancers and live musicians returns with a world premiere and audience favorites. Among many accolades, Rodríguez was recently awarded the Order Isabel la Católica from the King of Spain and the Spanish government. The Festival presentation coincides with a two-week Professional Advancement program in the current and historic traditions of flamenco and Spanish dance, directed by Rodríguez in The School at Jacob's Pillow.

Explore past Pillow performances on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive:

Compañía Irene Rodríguez in Pena Negra in 2017:


Abby Z and the New Utility

June 26-30, Doris Duke Theatre

Abby Zbikowski makes her Pillow debut with abandoned playground, an adrenaline-inducing sequence of hyper physicality and extreme virtuosity. Creating an intimate setup, nine dancers are pushed to the brink of their capabilities and endurance. Recipient of the 2017 Juried Bessie Award, Abby Z is highlighted for bold, rhythmic, and high-intensity choreography that draws from tap, hip-hop, West African, postmodern, and a deep-rooted punk aesthetic as primary influences. The New York Times describes abandoned playground as "an onslaught of thwacking arms, emphatic kicks, dizzying spins, swift somersaults, perilous balances and slippery contortions."

Compagnie CNDC-Angers/Robert Swinston

July 3-7, Ted Shawn Theatre

Compagnie CNDC-Angers/Robert Swinston makes its Pillow debut with work by one of the greatest artistic innovators of the 20th century as part of the worldwide Merce Cunningham Centennial celebration. The company is led by current director of the National Center for Contemporary Dance in Angers, France, Robert Swinston, a longtime dancer with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, later assistant to the choreographer and finally director of choreography. A revered holder of Cunningham's body of work and revelatory technique, Time Out lauds, "If we can trust anyone to uphold Merce Cunningham's choreographic legacy, it's Robert Swinston." Commemorating a special Pillow history-the last time Cunningham saw his company perform was through a live stream of the company's closing performance on the Ted Shawn Theatre stage-the program opens with archival film of Merce Cunningham at Jacob's Pillow followed by Suite for Five (1953-1958), Inlets 2 (1983), and the frolic How to Pass, Kick, Fall, and Run (1965), which Swinston was awarded a Bessie Award for his role as a dancer and for his participation with Cunningham and Carolyn Brown in the reconstruction of the 2003 revival. Swinston is an original trustee on the Merce Cunningham Trust, whose mission is to carry Merce Cunningham's legacy into the future.

Explore past Pillow performances on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive:

Robert Swinston with Merce Cunningham Dance Company in Sounddance in 2009:


David Roussève/REALITY

July 3-7, Doris Duke Theatre

Dance, music, text, and video come together in David Roussève/REALITY's new work Halfway to Dawn, a "heartfelt and heart-breaking homage" (Times Quotidian) to Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington's prolific but long-obscured collaborator, known for singles like "Take the 'A' Train", "Satin Doll", and "Lush Life". Interpreting Strayhorn's signature music sensibility through a dynamic movement vocabulary which melds jazz, modern, postmodern, and social dance, Halfway to Dawn creates an abstract portrait of Strayhorn's life as a gay, African American jazz composer in the 1950s-60s. Led by "one of this country's most inspired and inspiring dancemakers" (San Francisco Chronicle), David Roussève/REALITY returns to the Pillow after a developmental stint in the Pillow Lab.

Explore past Pillow performances on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive:

David Roussève/REALITY in Stardust in 2014:


Dance Theatre of Harlem

July 10-14, Ted Shawn Theatre

Celebrating 50 years of Dance Theatre of Harlem's signature artistry, this beloved, multi-ethnic ballet company returns in commemoration of co-founder, the late Arthur Mitchell, performing works by George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, and others. Founding member and former principal dancer Virginia Johnson now leads the 16-member company known for a forward-thinking repertoire. Along with treasured classics, this dynamic company presents innovative, culturally inclusive works that propel ballet into the 21st century. Dance Theatre of Harlem made its first public appearances at the Pillow in 1970, just one year after it was founded and prior to its New York debut.

Explore past Pillow performances on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive:

Dance Theatre of Harlem in The Lark Ascending in 2013:


Dance Theatre of Harlem in Contested Space in 2014:


Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group

July 10-14, Doris Duke Theatre

Praised for how "his sprawling movement pieces fold history into the present" (The New York Times), award-winning choreographer Reggie Wilson imagines what Black Shaker worship might have looked like in the world premiere of POWER. This Brooklyn-based company and its body of work draws from the spiritual and mundane traditions of Africa and its Diaspora; Wilson often refers to his work as a "post-Africa/Neo-HooDoo Modern dance." POWER is commissioned by Jacob's Pillow and fueled by two residencies at the Pillow Lab with supplemental research at Hancock Shaker Village, a living history museum dedicated to the Shakers, who established the village in Pittsfield, MA in 1783. A special, site-based experience with Reggie Wilson and company will be performed at Hancock Shaker Village on July 6.

Explore past Pillow performances on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive:

Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group in Moses(es) in 2014:


Mark Morris Dance Group

July 17-21, Ted Shawn Theatre

Hailed as "the most successful and influential choreographer alive, and indisputably the most musical" (The New York Times), Mark Morris is celebrated for deep, witty, poetic dance and an unwavering commitment to live music. "A tour de force of artistic storytelling" (The Los Angeles Times), this audience favorite returns to the Ted Shawn Theatre for the first time in five years with seven performances, having amassed one of the most extensive Pillow performance record of any artist, appearing more than 20 times since 1986.

Explore past Pillow performances on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive:

Mark Morris Dance Group in Crosswalk in 2014:


Mark Morris Dance Group in Deck of Cards in 1987:


Umanoove/Didy Veldman

July 17-21, Doris Duke Theatre

Dutch choreographer Didy Veldman launched her company Umanoove in 2016 with The Happiness Project, a choreographic investigation of western society's endless search for fulfillment. The London-based company makes their U.S. debut with this intricate, physical, and theatrical full-length work for four dancers, made in collaboration with celebrated violinist/composer Alexander Balanescu, who performs live. "Joy at every turn" (Scotland Herald), the dancers of Umanoove are praised for the way in which their "skillful, shared sense of exploration keeps things fresh and engaging" (The Times). Veldman is a prominent figure in the European contemporary dance scene, known for her performance career with Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève (Switzerland) and Rambert Dance Company (Britain) as well as choreography credits that boast over 45 works for 25 leading international companies.

Explore Themes & Essays on Didy Veldman on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive:


Paul Taylor Dance Company

July 24-28, Ted Shawn Theatre

Creating 147 original works over the course of his career, Paul Taylor is remembered for dances that capture life's joys and tackle some of society's most complex issues. This esteemed American modern dance company returns to Jacob's Pillow with a retrospective program. The San Francisco Chronicle lauds, "The American spirit soars whenever Taylor's dancers dance" and The New York Times has praised Paul Taylor as "one of the most singular and searching imaginations of our time." Festival 2019 will be Paul Taylor Dance Company's 18th Pillow appearance after making its Pillow debut in 1964, with special initiatives to mark the passing of their founder.

Explore past Pillow performances on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive:

Paul Taylor Dance Company in Airs in 1982:

danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org/paul-taylor-dance- company/airs/

Paul Taylor Dance Company in Esplanade in 2017:


Caleb Teicher & Company with Conrad Tao

July 24-28, Doris Duke Theatre

"One of the brightest lights in tap today" (The New Yorker) Caleb Teicher and innovative pianist and composer Conrad Tao collaborate in More Forever, a new evening-length work. On a stage filled with a thin layer of sand, dancers explore American dance forms such as tap, vernacular jazz, and Lindy Hop, set to Tao's new contemporary score for piano and electronics. Led by Dance Magazine's "Best Emerging Choreographer," Caleb Teicher & Company is known for a unique style of theatricality, humor, emotional expression, and aesthetic exploration. Performing live, Tao is a Lincoln Center Emerging Artist regarded as "shaping the future of classical music" (New York Magazine). This highly-anticipated ensemble work was developed in part at the Pillow Lab.

A.I.M by Kyle Abraham

July 31-August 4, Ted Shawn Theatre

A Jacob's Pillow Dance Award winner, Doris Duke Artist Award winner, and MacArthur "Genius" Fellow, Kyle Abraham's "skill as a dancer is a fact" (The New York Times). One of today's most in-demand choreographers-recently the first black choreographer commissioned to create a work on New York City Ballet in over a decade-Abraham was born into hip-hop culture of the late 1970s and incorporates an artistic upbringing of classical cello, piano, and the visual arts into his work. After embracing a different identity for his company, A.I.M makes its Ted Shawn Theatre debut performing a new, mixed repertory program that demonstrates the company's diverse range of styles and Abraham's own artistry as a performer with INDY, his first major solo in nearly a decade.

Explore past Pillow performances on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive:

A.I.M in Dearest Home in 2017:


Kyle Abraham in Inventing Pookie Jenkins in 2010:



July 31-August 4, Doris Duke Theatre

World-renowned cellist Maya Beiser, legendary dancer Wendy Whelan, and seminal choreographer Lucinda Childs join forces to present the highly-anticipated world premiere of THE DAY, with music by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang. This momentous melding of multi-genre creative genius, created collaboratively by Beiser and Childs, aims to grapple with memory, aging, death, and survival of the soul through the shared language of music and dance. THE DAY was co-commissioned by Jacob's Pillow.

Explore Themes & Essays on Wendy Whelan on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive:



August 7-11, Ted Shawn Theatre

For more than a decade, Brooklyn-based Gallim has embodied human connection through bold, raw, transformative works. A former dancer with Batsheva Dance Company and, most recently, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's first choreographic Artist-in-Residence, Artistic Director Andrea Miller has established herself as a perpetually groundbreaking artist who brings unbridled vulnerability and sensitivity to her work. New York Magazine describes, "her viscerally physical movement wrings every inch of life from her dancers-and you'll be holding your breath, too." With uncompromising authenticity, Gallim makes its Ted Shawn Theatre debut with Boat, a work influenced by the Syrian refugee crisis and those who are pursuing their hopes for life and safety, and a Pillow co-commissioned world premiere that captures the intoxicating ecstasy of dancing.

Explore past Pillow performances on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive:

Gallim in Blush in 2009: danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org/gallim-dance/blush/

Red Sky Performance

August 7-11, Doris Duke Theatre

At the forefront of contemporary Indigenous performance in Canada and worldwide, Red Sky Performance makes their Doris Duke Theatre debut with the U.S. premiere of Trace, a highly kinetic contemporary dance work inspired by Anishinaabe sky and star stories. "Magnificent in the scope of its imagination," (Globe and Mail), the award-winning Red Sky Performance is led by Artistic Director Sandra Laronde of the Teme-Augama Anishinaabe (People of the Deep Water) and is dedicated to creating and elevating the ecology of contemporary Indigenous performance informed by Indigenous culture and worldview. Trace features seven dancers and three musicians and was conceived and directed by Laronde alongside choreography by Associate Artist Jera Wolfe.

Martha Graham Dance Company

August 14-17, Ted Shawn Theatre

Imbued with the legacy of modern dance pioneer Martha Graham, this acclaimed American company returns to Jacob's Pillow with The EVE Project, in celebration of female power and the upcoming 100th Anniversary of the 19th amendment. This two-year project presents a comprehensive range of Graham's classics alongside new commissions by some of today's leading female voices, providing entrée into today's most pressing conversations. Featured works on the program include Graham's iconic Appalachian Spring and all-female Chronicle, as well as a suite of Lamentation Variations and a new work by Sleep No More's choreographer Maxine Doyle and former Batsheva dancer Bobbi Jene Smith.

Explore past Pillow performances on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive:

Martha Graham Dance Company in AXE in 2015:


Martha Graham Dance Company in Night Journey in 1994:


Sara Mearns: Beyond Ballet

August 14-18, Doris Duke Theatre

New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns is acclaimed as "a dancer who leaves everything she owns on the stage while realizing movement fully, all the way to her fingertips" (The New York Times). As the recipient of a Bessie Award for sustained achievement, Mearns has expanded notions about what it means to be a versatile dancer today. In this Pillow-exclusive engagement, Mearns performs in multiple cross-genre collaborations including Pillow-commissioned No. 1, created with the French hip-hop duo Company Wang Ramirez; the world premiere of a new duet with postmodern dance's Jodi Melnick, and others.

Explore past Pillow performances on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive:

Sara Mearns and Russell Janzen in The Bright Motion in 2015:


Boston Ballet

August 21-25, Ted Shawn Theatre

"Nothing less than brilliant" (The Boston Globe), Boston Ballet returns to Jacob's Pillow for the first time in over a decade, performing work by choreographic and visual artist William Forsythe, currently in a five-year artistic partnership with the Company, classics by Russian choreographer Leonid Yakobson, and resident choreographer Jorma Elo's Bach Cello Suites. Under the artistic directorship of Mikko Nissinen since 2001, Boston Ballet is recognized worldwide for repertoire that is "one of the most eclectic in the country" (The New York Times). As New England's first professional ballet company with a Pillow history dating to the company's infancy in 1962, Boston Ballet has mesmerized audiences for over five decades, presenting classical evening-length ballets as well as innovative contemporary works.

Explore past Pillow performances on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive:

Boston Ballet in Plan to B in 2004:


Urban Bush Women

August 21-25, Doris Duke Theatre

In this choreographic riff, Urban Bush Women return to Jacob's Pillow drawing inspiration from the musical life and spiritual journey of legendary composer and saxophonist John Coltrane. "...More than a tribute to a jazz icon. It immerses the audience in what it is to be an artist" (The Washington Post), Walking with 'Trane highlights the ensemble's genuine movement to a score inspired by the iconic album A Love Supreme. Celebrating their 35th anniversary, the revolutionary Urban Bush Women seeks to bring the untold and under-told histories and stories of disenfranchised people to light through dance, founded by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, recipient of the 2017 Bessie Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Explore past Pillow performances on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive:

Urban Bush Women in Self-Portrait in 1998:


Explore Themes & Essays on Jawole Willa Jo Zollar on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive:


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