Miami City Ballet Performs With A Live Orchestra In The Final Week Of Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival 2022

Ladies of Hip-Hop Dance Collective, Boston Dance Theater, Kayla Hamilton, and YYDC to appear in one-night-only performances on the Henry J. Leir Stage

By: Jul. 27, 2022
Miami City Ballet Performs With A Live Orchestra In The Final Week Of Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival 2022

The tenth and final week of the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival 2022 welcomes Miami City Ballet to the Ted Shawn Theatre, from Aug. 24-28, when the theater's new orchestra pit will be used for the first time.

Week 10 of the Festival will also feature several one-night-only performances on the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage, including Ladies of Hip-Hop Dance Collective, Boston Dance Theater, Kayla Hamilton, and Yin Yue Dance Company (YYDC).

In addition to these onsite performances, PillowTalks will be offered free of charge in Blake's Barn. On Saturday, Lourdes Lopez, former New York City Ballet principal, reflects on the accomplishments of her past decade at the helm of Miami City Ballet, and what's ahead. On Sunday, choreographer Sydney Skybetter, founder of Brown University's Center for Research on Choreographic Interfaces, talks with artists Yanira Castro and Toni Dove about how technology might impact dance's future. Also on Sunday, Yin Yue will teach a workshop on FoCo Technique, an original contemporary dance technique developed by Yin Yue, inspired by traditional Chinese dance, folk forms, ballet, and contemporary movement. The workshop is open to intermediate/advanced dancers, ages 16+.

"We are so grateful to the many friends and donors who have made it possible for Miami City Ballet to return to the Pillow with a company of 35 dancers and 17 musicians," said Pamela Tatge, Executive and Artistic Director of Jacob's Pillow. "For the first time, the Pillow will be able to present a work like Balanchine's iconic Serenade, the first work he created in America in 1934 - only a year after our founding - a work which may only be performed with live music, and the new orchestra pit in the renovated Shawn makes that possible. It is an honor to celebrate this world-class American company on the tenth anniversary of their visionary Artistic Director, Lourdes Lopez."

Praised by The New York Times as "an exceptional troupe, by Balanchine standards, anywhere in the world," the Miami City Ballet celebrates the 10th anniversary of Lourdes Lopez as Artistic Director, and is known for nurturing new choreographic voices, creating innovative collaborations, and opening new avenues of inclusivity within classical ballet.

The Ted Shawn Theatre program will feature Martha Graham's Diversion of Angels, the world premiere of Margarita Armas' Geta, George Balanchine's Serenade, and Jerome Robbins' Antique Epigraphs; the latter two works will be seen for the first time at the Pillow, both accompanied by a live orchestra.

In one-night-only performances on the outdoor Leir Stage, on Wednesday, the all-women intergenerational Ladies of Hip-Hop Dance Collective will perform the Black Dancing Bodies Project, which is an ongoing journey through layers of identity and existence for Black women in street dance and the world at large. On Thursday, Boston Dance Theater will perform, under the co-artistic direction of Jessie Jeanne Stinnett and Dutch-Israeli choreographer Itzik Galili. Boston Dance Theater is committed to presenting works of socio-political relevance that challenge the edges of current world issues, and will perform works by Rosie Herrera and Marco Goecke, celebrating the range of vocabularies this company is known for.

On Friday, Kayla Hamilton, a Black Disabled choreographer, producer, and educator originally from Texarkana, Tex., now residing in the Bronx, will take the stage. In her Pillow debut, Hamilton brings her work, Nearly Sighted/unearthing the dark, which explores how to gather information from artistic experiences without relying on eyesight, and challenges the audience's imagination by providing multiple ways in which to "see" the movement.

Finally, on Saturday, YYDC, founded by internationally-recognized performer and choreographer Yin Yue, will come to Jacob's Pillow with two recent works. The first is Ripple, an intimate and intricate group work representing the spectrum between order and chaos, which premiered in 2021 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. The Time Followed, which premiered in 2019 at the Schrittmacher Festival in Germany, is a moving duet created by Yin Yue, performed with longtime collaborator Grace Whitworth.

Miami City Ballet has a diverse roster of 52 dancers and a repertoire of more than 130 works. As one of the most renowned ballet companies in the country, Miami City Ballet performs for nearly 125,000 patrons annually during its South Florida home season in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and tours to major cities domestically and internationally, including recent visits to New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, and Paris.

Miami City Ballet School, the official school of Miami City Ballet, is one of the most respected ballet training academies in America. The School trains students, ages 3-18 year-round, and grants more than $650,000 in scholarships annually. Miami City Ballet's Community Engagement programs, serving more than 12,000 people annually in schools and communities; our free programs use the power of dance to uplift, teach and bring joy.

Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez leads the company. Lopez was recently awarded the prestigious Dance Magazine Award in 2018 and was named one of "The Most Influential People in Dance Today." She is on the Ford Foundation Board of Trustees, the first artist to ever serve on its Board. Miami City Ballet was founded in 1985 by Miami philanthropist Toby Lerner Ansin and Founding Artistic Director Edward Villella. It is headquartered in Miami Beach, FL, at the Ophelia & Juan Js. Roca Center, a facility designed by renowned architectural firm, Arquitectonica.

Under the direction of founder Michele Byrd-McPhee, Ladies Of Hip-Hop Dance Collective (LOHHDC) builds on the shapeshifting paths laid out by generations of Black women artists and activists on and off the stage. As a nonprofit organization, LOHHDC's mission is to provide artistic opportunities for women of color through female-empowered workshops, performances, public talks, and professional development training.

Byrd-Mcphee is a street dance activist who works to decolonize hip-hop culture regarding gender, sex, and cultural and socio-historic racial lines. With a BS from Temple University and an MS from Drexel University, Byrd-Mcphee has worked in many sectors of the entertainment industry, having been a Production Coordinator at Brooklyn Academy of Music and a Senior Music Coordinator at Late Night with Seth Meyers, and now a leader of LOHH. Additionally, she has been awarded the Integrated Arts Residency Fellowship at University of Wisconsin-Madison, teaching her course "Hip-Hop, Women and the World" to further enforce the idea of re-contextualizing hip-hop spaces. Byrd-McPhee currently serves as a Bessie Award Committee Member along with her ongoing commitment as Executive Director for Ladies of Hip-Hop 501c3 and artistic director of LOHH Dance Collective.

Boston Dance Theater (BDT) matches the talents of Boston-based dancers with those of acclaimed global choreographers in a tour de force of performative dynamism, community connection, and trans-national ambassadorship. Directed by Jesse Jeanne Stinnett and Itzik Galili, BDT connects repertory with international ties at the leadership level. Also passionate about earning audience acclaim, BDT's community outreach tactics include collaborating with International Artists, mentoring local choreographers and dancers, and performing in non-traditional locations. Historically, BDT has premiered at venues worldwide, such as Jacob's Pillow, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Israeli Consulate to New England, Emmanuel Music, Salem State University, and elsewhere. Outreach appearances include Medfield State Hospital, North Hill Retirement Community, Gloucester Maritime Museum, and more.

Co-Artistic Director Stinnett earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from Boston Conservatory and an MFA in Creative Practice: Dance Professional Pathway from Trinity Laban Conservatoire. Notable credits have included performances at the Metropolitan Opera, Tate Britain, Prometheus Dance, and others. She is the recipient of the 2020 Boston Dancemakers Residency grant award and was the 2020 Choreographer in Residence at Boston Center for the Arts and Boston Dance Alliance.

Galili is a former member of Batsheva Dance Company and Bat-Dor Dance Company. He was awarded the originality prize at the Gvanim Choreographic Competition in 1991 for Old Cartoon, and in 1992, he won the Public Prize at the International Competition for Choreographers in Groningen with his creation The Butterfly Effect. Now focusing on building a bridge between Boston and Israel, Galili has created more than 60 works (two of which have been performed at the Pillow), and continues to do so through his work with BDT.

Kayla earned a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Texas Woman's University and a Master of Science in Special Education from Hunter College. Hamilton is a member of the 2017 Bessie Award-winning collective "the skeleton architecture, or the future of our worlds." Her work has been presented at Gibney, Performance Space New York, and New York Live Arts. In addition to Skeleton Architecture, Hamilton has danced with Sydnie L. Mosely, Gesel Mason Performance Projects, Maria Bauman/MBDance and Nia Love, teaches master classes around the United States, and is the recipient of Angela's Pulse's Dancing While Black 2017 Fellowship. Under the name K. Hamilton Projects, Hamilton self-produces numerous projects, organizes community events, and writes arts-integrated curriculum throughout NYC.

Hamilton participated in the Winter/Spring 2022 Pillow Lab, among eight other artists who developed work during the series. In the residency, Hamilton had the rare opportunity to bring collaborators together who reside in different quadrants of the country, giving them time and space to be generative. Hamilton's collaborators for the residency included: Nicole McClam, Joselia Hughes, Christopher Unpezverde Núñez, Shawn Rene Graham, and Brandon Kazen-Maddox.

Based in New York City, YYDC is a not-for-profit contemporary dance company dedicated to the teaching, production, and performance of original choreographic works by Founder and Artistic Director, Yin Yue. Over the past decade, Yue has refined and expanded an original movement vocabulary, FOCO Technique, a fusion inspired by the Chinese dance, folk, ballet, and contemporary dance movement.

The company boasts international touring credits, presenting works at various dance festivals, namely Schrittmacher Festival in Germany. The company has also presented works at dance festivals such as SummerStage, Jacob's Pillow, New York International Fringe Festival, Open Door Dance Festival, The Wave Rising Series, DUMBO DANCE Festival, The Current Sessions, DanceNow [NYC] at Joe's Pub, and many more. In addition, YYDC has performed at venues such as Hanover International Choreographic competition, BAM Fisher, Joyce SoHo Theater, Peridance Theater, Lincoln Center Rose Hall, New York Live Arts, and many others. In addition to performance, Yin Yue Dance Company also re-staged repertories at universities, companies, and dance studios around the world.

Yue is an internationally-recognized performer and choreographer. Yue studied at the prestigious Shanghai Dance Academy and NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, where she received her Masters of Fine Arts in 2008. Yue was the recipient of the 2021 Harkness Promise Award, an honor that recognizes her innovation in choreography and education. She was the winner of the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago 2015 International Commissioning Project, the 2015 BalletX Choreographic Fellowship, and Northwest Dance Project's 5th Annual Pretty Creatives International Choreographic Competition in 2013. Through these high-profile successes, she has received commissions from all three widely-recognized companies, as well as other companies and organizations; namely, Martha Graham Dance Company, Boston Ballet, Philadelphia Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Limón Dance Company, Alberta Ballet, Balletto Teatro di Torino, and more.

Miami City Ballet first appeared at Jacob's Pillow in 1988, and then again in 1996 and 1998, performing works by George Balanchine such as Apollo, Agon, and Rubies, among other dances. In 2017, the company returned, performing works by Balanchine, Peter Martins, and Christopher Wheeldon.

Ladies of Hip-Hop Dance Collective performed as part of the Jacob's Pillow 2021 "On the Road" program, which takes free performances to towns across Berkshire County. They returned for a Pillow Lab in the Winter/Spring 2022 In-Process Series, where they focused on storytelling and documenting the relevance, power, and presence of Black women in hip-hop.

The Yin Yue Dance Company appeared on the outdoor stage as part of Jacob's Pillow's Inside/Out programming in 2012 and 2014, performing the world premiere of Yin Yue's One Side of the Story in 2012 and The Space In Between in 2014.

Kayla Hamilton participated in the Winter/Spring 2022 Pillow Lab residency, where she engaged with collaborators in the beginning stages of a creative work and dialogue around Black Disabled artistry.

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