Jacob's Pillow Presents BLEU!, a Family Friendly Dance-Theatre Show from Italy, Begins Today

From Italy, the innovative dance-theatre group Compagnia TPO travels to Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival to present Bleu!, a wondrous interactive production that will delight children, parents, and the young at heart. Directed by David Venturini and Francesco Gandi, TPO invites audiences to a journey under the sea with this spectacle of light, animation, and movement. Through immersive technology and imaginative set design, Bleu! brings viewers into a mythical world of sea creatures and ancient legends. Audiences of all ages are welcomed onstage to engage with the dancers and the responsive set, or they can choose to sit back and enjoy the adventure. Bleu! is presented in an expanded ten-show engagement in the Doris Duke Theatre from July 2-6, with $10 youth ticket pricing available for all performances.

Of Bleu!, Jacob's Pillow Executive and Artistic Director Ella Baff says: ""Wonder" knows no age. This production is made for children, but anyone can enjoy and appreciate the sophisticated skills of the performers, how they interact with the audience, and the beautiful world they create in each of their productions."

Through whimsical props, sophisticated, interactive technology-based scenic design, and engaging, theatrical performances, Bleu! creates an accessible experience inspired by the rich history and culture surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Bleu! is performed by Cristiana D'Alberto and Luca Tomao and invites active participation among audiences of all ages and physical abilities levels. Called "a rather poetic experience" by Gwenola Gabellec of La Provence (Marseille, France), Bleu! offers an intimate perspective on the delicate relationship between humans and our natural surroundings.

Jacob's Pillow audiences last experienced the interactive work of Compagnia TPO in 2008, when the company performed The Painted Garden and The Japanese Garden in the Doris Duke Theatre. Of that performance, Janine Parker of The Boston Globe wrote:

"Participants responded in all sorts of ways: shy, sheepish, curious, bold. Two children went up several times...Adults, too, were mostly game. Afterward, I asked two of them how their magic carpet ride was. "Awesome!" they simultaneously chimed. It seems that we all need a little play in our lives."

Established in 1981, Compagnia TPO has built a unique repertory of immersive dance works that synthesize advanced technology and timeless wonder. With a focus on the natural world, TPO productions educate and excite through lush visual design, playful narrative, and participatory movement. The artistic personnel of TPO have developed numerous systems employing motion-tracking and other technological innovations through which to further their mission to create works that encourage curiosity, creativity, and active engagement by child audiences.

Following each matinee performance by Compagnia TPO, young audience members are invited to continue their experiential dance adventures through Kids Corners featuring movement activities and more, funded by the LEGO Children's Fund.

Related event: Free Fun Friday at Jacob's Pillow

On Friday July 4th, families are invited to take part in an array of events at Jacob's Pillow as part of Free Fun Friday supported by the Highland Street Foundation. Activities include Kids Corners, with dance games and activities; interactive guided tours of the historic grounds; a free PillowTalk event featuring archival film clips of dances that explore the Independence Day theme in various ways; and a free Inside/Out performance by contemporary company Yin Yue Dance.

Performance and ticket information

Doris Duke Theatre

Wednesday, July 2, 4:15pm, 8:15pm

Thursday, July 3, 4:15pm, 8:15pm

Friday, July 4, 4:15pm, 8:15pm

Saturday, July 5, 11:15am, 3:15pm, 8:15pm

Sunday, July 6, 11:15am, 3:15pm

Free Pre-Show Talks with Jacob's Pillow Scholar-in-Residence Nancy Wozny are offered on the porch of the Doris Duke Theatre 30 minutes before each performance

Tickets $28 general admission, $10 Youth tickets available for all performances (must be accompanied by an adult ticket). Now on sale online at jacobspillow.org, via phone at 413.243.0745, or in person at the Jacob's Pillow Box Office.

Box Office hours: Sun, Mon, Tues, 11am-5pm; Wednesday- Saturday, 11am-8pm

Pillow Members receive exclusive benefits. To become a Member, call 413.243.9919 x125.

Jacob's Pillow is located at 358 George Carter Road in Becket, MA, 01223 (10 minutes east on Route 20 from Mass Pike Exit 2). The Jacob's Pillow campus and theaters are handicapped accessible.


Free Inside/Out Performance: Patricia Kenny Dance Collection

Wednesday, July 2, 6:15pm

Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space

This New York-based group performs lush and lyrical contemporary choreography. The company's repertory includes works by Robert Battle, Katarzyna Skarpetowska?, Orion Duckstein, and artistic director Patricia Kenny Reilly, a former member of Parsons Dance. FREE

Free Inside/Out Performance: Amalgamate Dance Company

Thursday, July 3, 6:15pm

Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space

Contemporary dance, fearless partnering, and silky virtuosity - with a social purpose. Founded in 2005, Amalgamate Dance Company's mission is to raise awareness around significant topics and events that affect human development through authentic storytelling. Artistic Director Alana Marie Urda creates dance events that educate audiences, involve communities, and provide opportunities for dancers. FREE

Free PillowTalk: Dancing Fourth at the Pillow

Friday, July 4, 5pm

Blake's Barn

Jacob's Pillow typically celebrates Independence Day with dance of all kinds, from all around the world. Some themed video highlights and special memories from years past help illustrate that every day is a holiday here at this world-renowned center for dance. FREE

Free Inside/Out Performance: Yin Yue Dance Company

Friday, July 4, 6:15pm

Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space

Founded by choreographer Yin Yue, Yin Yue Dance is a New York City-based contemporary dance company. Yin's work entertains the contrast between fluidity and explosive strength, sensuality and power. Yin Yue Dance returns to Jacob's Pillow with works exemplifying virtuosity and grace. FREE

Free PillowTalk Film: Tap or Die

Saturday, July 5, 4pm

Blake's Barn

Loaded with terrific dance sequences and rare Pillow footage, this documentary film focuses on both the triumphs and the challenges faced by today's tap artists. The screening will be followed by a conversation with filmmaker Jaclyn Paré. This event coincides with the Tap Program of The School at Jacob's Pillow, directed this summer by 2013 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award recipient Michelle Dorrance, who appears in the film. Extended 90-minute program. FREE

Free Inside/Out Performance: Tap Program, The School at Jacob's Pillow

Saturday, July 5, 6:15pm

Dancers from the Tap Program of The School at Jacob's Pillow present variations coached by program director Michelle Dorrance. Dorrance is a recipient of the Jacob's Pillow Dance Award (2013), and her troupe Dorrance Dance performs for two weeks in the Doris Duke Theatre, July 16-27. FREE


Gotta Dance!

Blake's Barn

Open Tues through Sun, noon through final curtain.

The art of the dance movie poster is celebrated in this extraordinary group of vintage posters from throughout the world, selected from the personal collection of one of the genre's foremost experts, Mike Kaplan, an award winning campaign designer and producer. Among the star dancers featured are Gene Kelly, Rita Hayworth, Cyd Charisse, and Astaire & Rogers, with a special salute to Marge Champion on the occasion of her 95th birthday.

Denishawn Centennial

Ted Shawn Theatre Lobby

Open 60 minutes pre-performance

One hundred years ago this summer, the iconic dance soloist Ruth St. Denis married Pillow founder Ted Shawn and formed a company that spawned American modern dance. Their union was celebrated here with a lavish 50th Anniversary celebration in 1964 (despite their formal separation in 1930), and now their partnership is explored through treasures from the Jacob's Pillow Archives.

104 Work Weeks: On Tour With Merce Cunningham Dance Company

Doris Duke Theatre Lobby

Open 60 minutes pre-performance

Visual artist Kenneth E. Parris III documented the Merce Cunningham Dance Company's final tour in a series of drawings and paintings focusing on the dancers' backstage life, displayed here on the five-year anniversary of the company's last Pillow performances and Merce Cunningham's death that same week.

Jacob's Pillow Dance Archives

Blake's Barn

Open Tues-Sun, noon to approximately 9pm

This informal library and reading room allows impromptu visitors to view videos, browse through books, access the Pillow's computer catalog, or peruse permanent collections of Pillow programs and photographs. Pillow Interactive, the popular touch-screen kiosk, provides instant access to rare film clips ranging from the present day back to the 1930s. Visitors may also sample videos from other Dance Heritage Coalition archives and companies throughout the country. FREE


Jacob's Pillow, celebrating its 82nd Festival in 2014, 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, Cultural Traditions, Contemporary, and Jazz/Musical Theatre Dance, 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 80 years 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. Virtual Pillow is 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. As part of the Virtual Pillow initiative, Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive is a curated online video collection of dance highlights from 1936 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.

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