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Jacob's Pillow Announces Full Schedule of Virtual Festival

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Jacob's Pillow Announces Full Schedule of Virtual Festival

Jacob's Pillow, home to the longest-running dance festival in the United States, launches a Virtual Festival with eight weeks of free programming, July 7-August 29. Weekly highlights feature streams of beloved Festival performances from the past ten years, a series of new PillowTalks with leaders in the dance field, an online version of the beloved intergenerational movement class Families Dance together, and a new Master Class Series from The School at Jacob's Pillow. Attendees are encouraged to make a contribution in lieu of purchasing a ticket and fifty percent of donations for performances will be shared with the artists featured. Community Engagement events will share proceeds with local community organizations.

"After we canceled our on-site Festival due to the global pandemic, we soon realized the need to fulfill our mission by engaging artists and audiences in a quintessential summer experience from Jacob's Pillow virtually," says Jacob's Pillow Executive & Artistic Director Pamela Tatge. "The civic organizing and protests confronting racism and inequality in our country greatly impacts our organization's decision-making. The model we envision is one that is free for all, made more accessible by being entirely online, pays artists and scholars for their time, and provides artists with additional support during a time when many have lost their income. I'm excited to think about all the people who will now have the chance to 'visit' our campus and experience the crossroads of dance that is Jacob's PIllow."

Fifty percent of donations received from performances are shared directly with the featured artists in support of their continued work; all donations for Families Dance Together will be contributed to the NAACP Berkshire County Branch; fifty percent of proceeds raised from Dog Dance (Aug 1) will be shared with the Berkshire Humane Society; and all donations for The Land on Which We Dance (Aug 5) will be shared with the artists in support of their important work.

Performances, PillowTalks, and Master Classes will premiere weekly on YouTube. Families Dance Together and Special Events will take place on Zoom. Performances will be made available for 48 hours after the premiere; PillowTalks will be available through August 31; Master Classes and Families Dance Together will not be accessible after the duration of the event. All events are free; an RSVP is required for all events to gain access to direct links to join.

Jacob's Pillow announced the cancellation of its 10-week Festival for the first time in the organization's 88-year history in March, due to the novel coronavirus.

JACOB'S PILLOW VIRTUAL FESTIVAL

The full line-up of Jacob's Pillow Virtual Festival is below. Visit jacobspillow.org/virtual-pilllow to RSVP and for regular updates and more information.

MASTER CLASS SERIES FROM THE SCHOOL AT JACOB'S PILLOW

The Master Classes Series from The School at Jacob's Pillow features instruction from world-class artists that work with dancers in each professional development program at The School, which moved its offerings online for the first-time this summer. Master Classes are streamed every Tuesday at 4pm Eastern on YouTube, are open to intermediate/advanced dancers, and are only available for the duration of the class. For more biographical information on the artists leading each class and to RSVP, visit: jacobspillow.org/virtual-pillow/virtual-festival-master-classes/

July 7, 4pmEDT: Ballet Master Class with Sascha Radetsky

July 14, 4pmEDT: Street & Club Dances Master Class with Ephrat Asherie & Archie Burnett

July 21, 4pmEDT: Contemporary Master Class with Desmond Richardson

July 28, 4pmEDT: Vogue Femme Master Class with Omari Wiles

August 4, 4pmEDT: Ballet Master Class with Virginia Johnson

August 11, 4pmEDT: Class to be announced

August 18, 4pmEDT: Contemporary Master Class with Aszure Barton

August 25, 4pmEDT: Contemporary Master Class with Ami Shulman

PERFORMANCES

Performances premiere every Thursday at 7pm Eastern on YouTube. They will be made available to watch until that Saturday at midnight. The series features past performances. Supplemental elements are created and recorded as new content to contextualize the work for contemporary times. These include a Pre-Show Talk by a Jacob's Pillow Scholar-in-Residence, a Curtain Speech by Tatge, and a Post-Show Talk with the Artists. Individuals that attend the premiere at 7pm will have the opportunity to live-chat with the artists and audience members from around the world. For additional information and to RSVP, visit jacobspillow.org/virtual-pillow/virtual-festival-performances/

July 9, Limón Dance Company, 7pmEDT: Celebrated as one of the world's greatest modern dance groups, the Limón Dance Company marks its 75th anniversary this year. The company's Virtual Festival stream includes performances from their 2018 Pillow performance, featuring Limón's Chaconne, The Moor's Pavane, Suite from A Choreographic Offering, and former Artistic Director Colin Connor's Corvidae. Pre-Show Talk by Jacob's Pillow Director of Preservation Norton Owen; Post-Show Talk with former Artistic Director Colin Connor and new Artistic Director Dante Puleio.

July 16, Circa, 7pmEDT: 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. The company's Virtual Festival stream features an excerpt from S, originally performed in the Ted Shawn Theatre in 2014. Pre-Show Talk by Jacob's Pillow Scholar-in-Residence Maura Keefe; Post-Show Talk with Founder and Director Yaron Lifschitz.

July 23, Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, 7pmEDT: Founded by 2020 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award Winner Ronald K. Brown, EVIDENCE, A Dance Company has deeply moved audiences for over 30 years, praised for a "sophisticated amalgam of Afrocentric movement and modern dance" that often makes "spirituality...something vibrant and transformative" (Los Angeles Times). EVIDENCE'S Virtual Festival stream highlights Brown's deep history with the Pillow and features Brown's solo tribute to Katherine Dunham In Gratitude (performed at the Pillow 2002); Grace (performed at the Pillow in 2005); and New Conversations (performed at the Pillow in 2018 to live music by GRAMMY-Award Winner Arturo O'Farrill). Pre-Show Talk with Jacob's Pillow Scholar-in-Residence Melanie George; Post-Show Talk with Ronald K. Brown and Arturo O'Farrill.

July 30, Royal Danish Ballet, 7pmEDT: Revered as the world's third oldest ballet company, the Royal Danish Ballet has a distinctive repertoire of Danish choreographer August Bournonville and is currently led by Artistic Director Nikolaj Hübbe. The company's Festival stream features highlights from their 2018 Pillow performance including A Folktale (pas de sept); La Sylphide (pas de deux); The Kermesse in Bruges (1st act pas de deux); Giselle (2nd Act pas de deux); and Napoli (pas de six and tarantella). Pre-Show Talk by Jacob's Pillow Director of Preservation Norton Owen; Post-Show Talk with Artistic Director Nikolaj Hübbe.

August 6, Dance Theatre of Harlem, 7pmEDT: Dance Theatre of Harlem was founded by the late Arthur Mitchell and co-founder Karel Shook in 1969 to create a new vision of ballet as well as an opportunity where none had existed before. Dance Theatre of Harlem's Virtual Festival stream includes Darrel Grand Moultrie's Harlem On My Mind; Christopher Wheeldon's pas de deux This Bitter Earth; George Balanchine's Valse Fantaisie; and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's Balamouk-all performed during their Festival 2019 engagement. Pre-Show Talk with Jacob's Pillow Scholar-in-Residence Theresa Ruth Howard; Post-Show Talk with Artistic Director Virginia Johnson.

August 13, Bereishit Dance Company, 7pmEDT: Founded in 2000 by choreographer Soon-ho Park, Bereishit Dance Company is a Seoul-based dance company that approaches Korean traditional culture from a contemporary view. The company's Virtual Festival stream highlights their rare U.S. performance and Pillow debut in 2016, and features the works BOW (that later evolved into CONTROL) and Balance and Imbalance. Pre-Show Talk with Jacob's Pillow Scholar-in-Residence Maura Keefe; Post-Show Talk with founder and choreographer Soon-ho Park.

August 20, Tero Saarinen Company & The Boston Camerata, 7pmEDT: Finland-based Tero Saarinen Company is in permanent residence at Helsinki's Alexander Theatre, the former home of the Finish National Opera and Ballet. The resonance of Borrowed Light's U.S. premiere in 2006 led to a rare return engagement as part of the Pillow's 80th anniversary celebration in 2012, streamed again during the Virtual Festival. The work is inspired by Shaker music and dance, seamlessly integrates singers and dancers on stage, and is presented in association with Berkshire-based Hancock Shaker Village. Pre-Show Talk with Jacob's Pillow Scholar-in-Residence Maura Keefe; Post-Show Talk with Artistic Director Tero Saarinen and Boston Camerata Director Anne Azéma.

August 27, And Still You Must Swing, 7pmEDT: Dormeshia, Derick K. Grant, and Jason Samuels Smith are three of the world's most influential ambassadors of tap. They came together at the Pillow in 2016 along with Jacob's Pillow Dance Award Winner Camille A. Brown for the world premiere And Still You Must Swing, a show that captures the heart and legacy of tap dance and honors the influence of jazz roots on this outstanding art form, streamed as the finale performance of Jacob's Pillow Virtual Festival. Pre-Show Talk with Jacob's Pillow Scholar-in-Residence Melanie George; Post-Show Talk with Dormeshia, Derick K. Grant, and Jason Samuels Smith.

PILLOWTALKS

PillowTalks are live conversations with leaders in the dance field across styles and disciplines. As part of the 25th season of this series at the Pillow, they are newly imagined in an online format and some are filmed onsite. PillowTalks premiere every Friday at 5pm Eastern on YouTube. They will be made available for the duration of the summer, until August 31. Individuals that attend the premiere at 7pm will have the opportunity to live-chat with scholars, artists, and audience members from around the world. For additional information and to RSVP, visit: www.jacobspillow.org/virtual-pillow/virtual-festival-talks/

July 10, PillowTalk: Meet Shamell Bell, 5pmEDT: A visiting faculty member at Dartmouth College known as a Street Dance Activism Scholar, Shamell Bell positions street dance as an alternative strategy for radical social change. Moderated by Melanie George, dance educator, choreographer, dramaturg, and Jacob's Pillow Scholar-in-Residence since 2019.

July 17, PillowTalk: Duets from Quebec, 5pmEDT: Anne Plamondon and Sylvain Lafortune have each been exploring the art of the duet with their partners, scheduled to be presented in Festival 2020. This conversation examines their work processes and discoveries. Moderated by Philip Szporer, a Montréal-based filmmaker, writer, lecturer, and longtime Jacob's Pillow Scholar-in-Residence.

July 24, PillowTalk: 50 Years of Ballet Hispánico 5pmEDT: From its grassroots origins as a dance school and community-based performing troupe, Ballet Hispánico has grown into a world-class institution, recounted here by company director Eduardo Vilaro and special guests. Moderated by Brian Schaefer, a Jacob's Pillow Scholar-in-Residence and journalist/writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, and many other publications.

July 31, PillowTalk: Cleo Parker Robinson's 50th, 5pmEDT: In celebration of this modern dance icon's first half-century in the limelight, Robinson herself looks back on her company's history, its efforts on behalf of racial equality, and what lies ahead. Moderated by Seth Stewart Williams, an assistant professor in the Department of Dance at Barnard College of Columbia University, and Jacob's Pillow Scholar-in-Residence since 2019.

August 7, PillowTalk: Liz Lerman's Wicked Bodies, 5pmEDT: Jacob's Pillow Dance Award winner Liz Lerman will share work-in-progress footage and discuss her newest work, originally scheduled to premiere at the Pillow this season. A fable where witches along with the natural world are going extinct, the work asks why some knowledge is celebrated, some criminalized, and some erased altogether. Moderated by Executive & Artistic Director Pamela Tatge.

August 14, PillowTalk: Dancerly Intelligences, 5pmEDT: Reporting on research residencies involving both dancemakers and technologists, choreographers Brian Brooks, Marjani Forté-Saunders, and Sydney Skybetter shed light on what they're exploring and learning. Moderated by Maura Keefe, a longtime Jacob's Pillow Scholar-in-Residence and Director of the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland.

August 21, PillowTalk: La Meri and Her Life in Dance, 5pmEDT: This champion of cross-cultural dance performances was nearly forgotten, but Nancy Lee Chalfa Ruyter's new biography sets out to change that, as Ruyter explains how and why. Moderated by Nancy Wozny, editor-in-chief of Arts + Culture Texas, contributor to many dance publications, and Jacob's Pillow Scholar-in-Residence since 2010.

August 28, PillowTalk: Black Artists in Dance Today, 5pmEDT: Theresa Ruth Howard addresses both past practices and the changes afoot in this country's established institutions, with a panel including Kyle Abraham and John Perpener. Howard, a Jacob's Pillow Scholar-in-Residence, is a former dancer, writer, and founder/curator of Memoirs of Black in Ballet (MoBBallet).

COMMUNITY PROGRAMS

Community Programs connect participants to the physical, emotional, intellectual, and inspirational world of dance. For additional information visit and to RSVP visit: jacobspillow.org/virtual-pillow/virtual-festival-community-events/

Families Dance Together, July 10-August 28, Fridays at 3-4pmEDT

This beloved movement class has been held at Jacob's Pillow since 2001 in collaboration with Becket Arts Center. In this newly-adapted virtual class, experience the joy of creating simple dances from the comfort of your home in this intergenerational movement class, designed for movers of all ages to enjoy together. The class is led by Jacob's Pillow Artist Elizabeth Johnson Levine (Associate Artistic Director and Director of Partnerships at Dance Exchange) and Guest Artists. All donations will be contributed to community partner, NAACP Berkshire County Branch. Events are held on Zoom.

DELving into Dance History, July 11 & 18, August 1 & 8, 2:30-5pmEDT

Created in partnership with Dance Education Laboratory (DEL), this newly-designed online workshop series re-envisions embodied dance history using the extensive video and multimedia resources of Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive and is designed for K-12 dance educators and college dance history enthusiasts to enhance remote and in-person teaching. The program is facilitated by Director of DEL at Jacob's Pillow Ann Biddle and DEL Facilitator Felice Santorelli with special guest Jacob's Pillow Director of Preservation Norton Owen. Each DELving into Dance History is designed as an ongoing series. Each two-week course explores different aspects of the Pillow's Dance Interactive site. Each course can be taken on its own. The participation fee is $89 per course and includes Dance Education Laboratory resources and materials. Events are held on Zoom. To register, visit: www.jacobspillow.org/events/delving-into-dance-history/

SPECIAL EVENTS

The following one-time-only events make beloved festival events virtual, commemorate anniversaries, celebrate important milestones.

Dog Dance, Saturday, August 1 at 11:30EDT

Back by popular demand, this participatory event for beloved canines and their dance-loving companions will be led by Elizabeth Johnson Levine, Associate Artistic Director of Dance Exchange, and DZ Maciel. Meet online with your pup and be guided through a series of simple and fun movements that highlight the beauty of our pets and the unique relationship we share with our dogs. All proceeds are shared with the Berkshire Humane Society. Event is held on Zoom.

The Land on Which We Dance, Wednesday, August 5 at 5pmEDT

In 2019, Jacob's Pillow hosted a week-long landmark celebration where the campus was illuminated with an exchange of song, dance, and storytelling-bringing together local Indigenous peoples with contemporary artists based in the U.S. and Canada. Sandra Laronde, of the Teme-Augama Anishinaabe (People of the Deep Water) and Artistic Director of Red Sky Performance, worked with Jacob's Pillow to curate this week-long celebration, in association with Christopher K. Morgan and with support from Larry Spotted Crow Mann. See excerpts of performances and story-telling on the one-year anniversary of this momentous gathering. All proceeds are shared with the artists of The Land on Which We Dance in support of their important work. Event is streamed on YouTube.

Festival Finale: Virtual Dance Party, Thursday, August 27 at 8:30pmEDT

Dance a celebratory farewell to a live DJ set! in celebration of the first-ever Virtual Festival at Jacob's Pillow. Wear clothes you can groove in, and hop onto Zoom for a global moment of movement unlike any we've done before as Festival Artists join in to dance. Hosted by Christal Brown, Founding Artistic Director of INSPIRIT, and New York-based DJ DP One. Event is held on Zoom.


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