Jacob's Pillow Presents The World Premiere Of PARAMODERNITIES & Limón Dance Company

Highly acclaimed for her "fierce choreographic imagination" (The New York Times), Netta Yerushalmy makes her Pillow debut with the world premiere of Paramodernities, August 8-12. By deconstructing and re-examining iconic works by choreographers Vaslav Nijinsky, Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey, Merce Cunningham, Bob Fosse, and George Balanchine, Yerushalmy dismantles the modern tradition with both reverence and intensity. Performed by a diverse cast of dancers alongside contributions by scholars and writers, Paramodernities assembles some of today's best and brightest minds to bridge the sometimes disparate worlds of dance and academia.

"When I heard about Netta's research into the role of iconic choreographers in the development of modernism, all of whom have connections to Jacob's Pillow, I knew that we not only had to support the development of this work but also that we could connect it to area colleges who could benefit from the work's cross-disciplinary possibilities," says Jacob's Pillow Director Pamela Tatge.

Working across genres and disciplines, Paramodernities is an encyclopedic collection of six pieces. Each installment is devoted to the work of one pioneering choreographer, and each was created as an independent unit with a distinct creative process. Numbered through the order in which they were created, they are: #1, Vaslav Nijinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring; 1913); #2, Martha Graham's Night Journey (1947); #3, Alvin Ailey's Revelations (1960); #4, Merce Cunningham's Rainforest, Sounddance, Points in Space, Beach Birds, and Ocean (1968-1990); #5, Bob Fosse's Sweet Charity (1969 film); and #6, George Balanchine's Agon (1957).

Nineteen revered dancers and scholars take part in this expansive project, joining forces with Yerushalmy to generate questions and thoughts around different tracks taken by the modern tradition, in dance and beyond. Within each installment, fundamental tenets of modern discourse are explored-such as sovereignty, race, feminism, nihilism, and ableism-with public discussion encouraged as an integral aspect of each work. Dancers and scholars work in tandem-as dancers deconstruct pioneering choreographies, scholars and writers work to situate these works within the larger concept of Modernism, contributing written responses presented live on stage.

The process for Paramodernities began when Yerushalmy deconstructed Nijinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps in 2013 for a Berlin-based centennial celebration. Since then, it has been marked as Paramodernities #1 and acts as a blueprint for the project.

For the first time at the Pillow, access for those who are blind and visually impaired will be available through audio description. This access accommodation expands the audience for dance performance by translating aspects of the onstage movement into words. Audio devices will be offered for the Encyclopedic Series, Saturday August 11 at 1pm.


Paramodernities is co-commissioned by Jacob's Pillow and was developed in part through residencies at Jacob's Pillow and at both Trinity and Williams College, engagements that the Pillow subsidized. Yerushalmy worked closely with Director of Preservation Norton Owen in the Jacob's Pillow Archives during this time and described her time as a "rocket ship into deep investigations."

An exhibit entitled Paramodernities/Revelations, on display in the Doris Duke Theatre lobby through August 26, juxtaposes historic photos of Ailey's Revelations taken at the Pillow, with new images by Christopher Duggan featuring Yerushalmy and her collaborators in New York City.


Netta Yerushalmy is an award-winning dance artist who has been based in New York City since 2000. Her work aims to engage with audiences by imparting the sensation of things as they are perceived, not as they are known, and to challenge how meaning is attributed and constructed. The New Yorker praised her most recent work as a "perfect dance," and Eva Yaa Asentewaa of The Village Voice lauds, "Netta Yerushalmy's dances, like fresh hot spices, are pungent, potent, head-clearing. Her dancers meet near-impossible demands..."

For her extensive body of work Yerushalmy has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Jerome Robbins Bogliasco Fellowship, a Grant to Artists from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, a commission from LMCC's Extended Life program, a Six Points Fellowship, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. In 2018-19 Yerushalmy will be a Research Fellow at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, as well as a Virginia B. Toulmin Fellow for Women Leaders in Dance at the Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University. In the U.S., Yerushalmy's work has been commissioned and presented by venues such as The Joyce Theater, Danspace Project, American Dance Festival, New York Live Arts, La Mama, River to River Festival, Harkness Dance Festival, Roulette, and Movement Research. Abroad her work has been seen in Israel and Germany. Her work will be presented this fall by the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation as part of Choreography Unlocked.

Yerushalmy works across genres and disciplines: she contributed to artist Josiah McElheny's "Prismatic Park" at Madison Square Park, choreographed a Red Hot Chili Peppers music video, worked with cellist Maya Beiser and composer Julia Wolfe on "Spinning", and collaborated on evenings of theory and performance at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICI Berlin). As Guest Artist and visiting faculty, Yerushalmy has created work with repertory companies and students nationally at the Juilliard School, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Rutgers University, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, University of the Arts, University of Utah, Zenon Dance Company, American Dance Festival, Alvin Ailey School, SUNY Brockport, Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, University of Texas at Austin, James Madison University, Long Island University, UNC Charlotte, and Roger Williams University. In the fall she will be a guest at Sarah Lawrence College. As a performer Yerushalmy has worked with Doug Varone and Dancers (performing with the company at Jacob's Pillow in 2009), Pam Tanowitz Dance, Joanna Kotze, Karinne Keithley, Nancy Bannon, Mark Jarecki, and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. Netta grew up in Galilee, Israel. She received a B.F.A. in Dance from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and has been in New York ever since.


Paramodernities by Netta Yerushalmy
Doris Duke Theatre, August 8-12

Wednesday-Saturday at 8:15pm;

Saturday at 1pm and Sunday at 2:15pm

$45, $35, $25

Each Performance features different installments. Saturday's Encyclopedic Series engages with all six, with breaks and encouraged discussion beginning at 1pm. Accessible audio devices will be offered for the Encyclopedic Series, Saturday August 11 at 1pm. For more information or to reserve an audio device, call the box office at 413.243.0745.

A limited number of $20 Under 35 tickets are available; adults ages 18-35 are eligible. One ticket per person; each guest must show valid I.D. when picking up tickets at Will Call.


Limón Dance Company
August 8-12, Wednesday-Saturday at 8pm; Saturday and Sunday at 2pm

Ted Shawn Theatre

A vanguard of American modern dance since its inception in 1946, Limón Dance Company is a thriving legacy of José Limón and his mentors Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman, whose innovative works revolutionized dance in America. After making their Pillow debut in 1946, the company achieved considerable fame and recognition, known for being the first modern group to outlive its founder. Acclaimed for dramatic expression, technical mastery, and expansive yet nuanced movement, Limón Dance Company is under the new artistic direction of Colin Connor and perpetuates the timelessness of José Limón's work and vision. Today, Limón represents a changing "definition of humanity" with a "new kind of rawness" (Dance Magazine).

"Performing with luscious spontaneity" (The New York Times), the company brings Limón's Chaconne, The Moor's Pavane, and beloved A Choreographic Offering, with special archival footage of José Limón performing at the Pillow, as well as Connor's Corvidae set to music by Philip Glass and Kate Weare's Night Light. Tickets start at $45.

Related videos on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive:

José Limón performing Lament for Ignacio Sánchez Mejías in 1946:


Limón Dance Company in Orfeo in 1997: https://danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org/limon-dance-company/orfeo/

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