Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival Announces Full Summer Schedule

Jacob's Pillow announces the complete schedule of Festival 2019. Featuring more than ten weeks with of over 350 ticketed and free performances, off-site pop-up performances, exhibits, talks, classes, films, and dance parties, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival 2019 runs from June 19-August 25. Celebrating its 87th season, Jacob's Pillow is the longest-running dance festival in the United States, a National Historic Landmark, and a National Medal of the Arts recipient. Tickets to all performances are on sale now at jacobspillow.org or through the Box Office at 413.243.0745.

"I am thrilled to announce the rich and bountiful offerings of Festival 2019. We are excited to celebrate important milestones and commemorate the creative reach of trailblazing visionaries whose journeys are deeply rooted in Pillow history. We are also introducing new voices from the U.S. and abroad and showcasing powerful dialogue between movement and live music. Audiences will have the opportunity to explore movement as scientific research and participate in a week-long celebration of Indigenous dance. We can't wait for a wide array of artists and audiences to come together to create the unforgettable experience that is the summer at Jacob's Pillow," says Director Pamela Tatge.

2019 Season highlights include U.S. company debuts, world premieres, International Artists, Pillow-commissioned work, timeless classics, and anniversary celebrations, bringing an impressive range of dance artists from around the world to the Pillow's 220-acre site in Becket, MA and to the Berkshires at large.

Approaching the halfway point of Vision '22, Jacob's Pillow continues to grow and hone newly established initiatives that constitute an ambitious five-year strategic plan for the organization's future. Examples of these initiatives include:

  • a completed second season of artist residencies in the Pillow Lab, serving 12 artists (and their companies) in addition to college partners, community groups, and Pillow Members
  • increased fall, winter, and spring program offerings on and off-site that serve Berkshire County's year-round population
  • the renewed National Dance Presenters' Forum, July 11-14
  • continued support of the long-term community engagement project Pittsfield Moves!
  • welcoming the next class of Choreography Fellows in the Ann & Weston Hicks Choreography Fellows Program, August 20-30

Ticketed performances occur every Wednesday through Sunday, and feature a world premiere in flamenco and Spanish dance from Cuba's revered Compañía Irene Rodríguez (June 26-30); Compagnie CNDC-Anger/Robert Swinston's Pillow debut as part of the global Merce Cunningham Centennial celebration (July 3-7); the 50th anniversary of Dance Theatre of Harlem (July 10-14); the return of audience favorite Mark Morris Dance Group (July 17-21); the U.S. debut of London's Umanoove/Didy Veldman (July 17-21); the world premiere of THE DAY, featuring cellist Maya Beiser and legendary dancer Wendy Whelan with choreography by prolific choreographer Lucinda Childs and music by David Lang (July 31-Aug 4); a Pillow-commissioned world premiere from Andrea Miller's Gallim (Aug 7-11); and the return of Boston Ballet for the first time in over a decade (Aug 21-25), among others.

The Inside/Out Performance Series is one of the Pillow's most beloved traditions, free every Wednesday through Saturday. Highlights include one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" LA-based Micaela Taylor's TL Collective (June 21); Maryland's Teelin Irish Dance Company (July 19); Cage Shuffle, conceived, created, and performed by Jacob's Pillow Dance Award-winning Paul Lazar of Big Dance Theater, with text by John Cage and choreography by Annie-B Parson (July 26); Sara Mearns as a guest artist with Lori Belilove & The Isadora Duncan Company (August 9); and the first live competition of Chance to Dance featuring artists from Slovenia, Vancouver, and Baltimore (August 17).

Now in its third consecutive summer of local initiatives, Jacob's Pillow continues to bolster community engagement in new and exciting ways. Highlights include:

  • the Pittsfield-Pillow Express, aimed at providing round-trip transportation from key pick-up locations and offering discounted tickets to Pittsfield residents, every Saturday June 22 through August 24
  • continuation of the Dancing Berkshires Fund, providing subsidized tickets to Berkshire County's young dancers and community organizations who might not have access to live dance performances
  • pop-up performances at every Third Thursday cultural street festival in downtown Pittsfield, featuring local artists and a variety of genres in the established Jacob's Pillow Dance Zone
  • a Community Ring Shout in Pittsfield that connects rhythmic voices in bodies led by Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group (July 8)
  • a free, week-long series of workshops driven by community and movement led by Urban Bush Women in Pittsfield (August 14-18)
  • continued collaborations with community partners including NAACP Berkshire County Branch, the Berkshire Athenaeum, Berkshire Bridges - Working Cities Pittsfield, WordXWord, and STEAM Team: a free arts, nature, and science program for Pittsfield Public School students, in collaboration with IS183, Flying Deer Nature Center, Berkshire Community College, and Pittsfield Public Schools.

Exclusive to Festival 2019, Jacob's Pillow offers three week-long special series:

· Through a special Festival thread that explores movement as knowledge-making, Boston-based Ilya Vidrin's Reciprocity Collaborative turns Sommers Studio into a research laboratory that investigates the aesthetic ideals and ethical dimensions of partnering through wearable technology (July 24-28).

· In celebration of the Pillow's LGBTQIA+ community, Pillow Pride weekend features with an Inside/Out performance by Ebony Williams Choreography & Dancers, a performance by The Hartford Gay Men's Chorus, a film screening of Hot to Trot, and the largest dance party of the summer hosted by Tyler Ashley, The Dauphine of Bushwick (Aug 2-4).

· Facilitated by Sandra Laronde of Red Sky Performance and Christopher K. Morgan of Christopher K. Morgan & Artists, The Land on Which We Dance is a landmark celebration of Indigenous dance illuminated with an exchange of song, dance, and storytelling (August 7-11).

Around the Berkshires, Jacob's Pillow partners with Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield to present a site-specific work by Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group, weaving the site's historic buildings and landscape into a moving narrative (July 6); and co-presents Martha Graham Dance Company at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown (August 18).

Blake's Barn, the home of Jacob's Pillow Archives and exhibit space, highlights notable aspects of the critically-acclaimed Dance We Must exhibit, which was created by the Williams College Museum of Art in 2018, displaying the Pillow's historic costumes, set pieces, and other artifacts. Other exhibits include Assemblages, a rare look at Paul Taylor's own visual art in the lobby of the Ted Shawn Theatre, and an abstract virtual reality portrait of Merce Cunningham created by digital artists Paul Kaiser and Marc Downie in the lobby of the Doris Duke Theatre, titled Loops.

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