The School At Jacob's Pillow Announces Exclusive Flamenco Program & New, Biennial Tap Program

The School at Jacob's Pillow, a world-renowned center for professional advancement in artistic excellence, announces 2019 programs in Contemporary Ballet, Flamenco, Contemporary, Tap, Choreography, and Dance Photography. Situated in the heart of Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, the longest-running dance festival in the United States, The School has been instrumental to the careers of dance artists for over 80 years, connecting them to highly-acclaimed choreographers of the day in a curriculum made current by one of the most influential international dance networks in the field-a network dancers join as School alumni.

Beginning this summer, The School at Jacob's Pillow launches a biennial Tap Program, directed by Michelle Dorrance and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and an annual Contemporary Ballet Program, directed by Matthew Neenan and Alexandra Damiani in 2019 and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Luis Torres in 2020. Exclusively for summer 2019, Irene Rodríguez, along with international legends from Spain and Cuba, leads a rare, in-depth course in the traditions and current directions of flamenco. Additionally, Milton Myers and Didy Veldman will direct the Contemporary Program; Bebe Miller and Risa Steinberg will direct the Ann & Weston Hicks Choreography Fellows Program; and Rose Eichenbaum will direct the Art of Photographing Dance Workshop.

"The Pillow's focus on nurturing and supporting artists begins with programs of The School. We're thrilled to usher in this exciting new chapter for The School," says Jacob's Pillow Director Pamela Tatge.

The School experienced a historic expansion in the summer of 2018 when it moved into its new home, the 7,373 square-foot, state-of-the-art Perles Family Studio, praised as a "study in cutting edge design" (Architectural Digest). A symbol of the Pillow's investment in future generations of dance artists, the Perles magnifies the professional training and new paths of artistic practices emblematic of The School's curriculum.

To best inform its future at this important time in its development, staff conducted a self-study of The School. An independent consultant then led an external review involving site visits by a dozen prominent artists with and without first-hand School involvement. Then, a review task force consisting of Tatge, long-time Director of The School "J.R." Glover, Wendy Whelan, and Kyle Abraham, delineated recommendations in order to continue distinguishing The School as a foremost center for accomplished young performers and choreographers to develop uniquely resonant voices as dance artists. Key findings established that learning, access, and transformation were intrinsic to The School experience. Beginning in 2019 and ongoing into 2022, a series of initiatives will be implemented to illuminate these key components. Each will also align with Vision '22, the Pillow's strategic five-year plan for positioning Jacob's Pillow as a year-round center for dance research and development.

Distinctly new in 2019, shared directorships bring multiple networks, expertise, and perspectives to each program's design and direction. Each director takes part in the selection of artist faculty, dancers, and fellows, and will increase the invaluable one-on-one mentorship available to dancers, providing them with the experiences and relationships critical for entering the field as astute professionals. The online application, with a required video audition, increases access and eliminates the geographical challenge of dancers training far away from recruitment tour sites.

"J.R." Glover, The Carole & Dan Burack Director of The School at Jacob's Pillow endorses this new approach, noting that "increasing the coaching and mentoring each dancer receives is one of the most supportive ways we can guide students forward in actualizing their goals and aspirations. We already know from the single director approach that these relationships can be long-lasting; a duet of directors significantly expands mentoring and the meaningful relationships possible post-Pillow."

2019 PROFESSIONAL ADVANCEMENT PROGRAMS

Brief program overview descriptions and biographical information on directors below. For more information and regular updates: visit jacobspillow.org/school.

The School at Jacob's Pillow is pivotal to the development of a uniquely resonant voice as a performer and choreographer. Small ensembles of dancers are treated as professionals by today's foremost international legends and innovators who serve as faculty. Creating work, and being a co-creator of work in-development by acclaimed choreographers, occurs with the typical rigor and fast pace of company schedules. Dancers are coached and mentored during these in-depth, company-oriented studio experiences and perform weekly on an iconic outdoor stage for Festival audiences. Immediate access to one of the most important international dance festivals provides master classes with the artistic directors of Festival companies, career-building discussions with company members, performances by five different dance companies on three stages each week, and daily opportunities to research in the Jacob's Pillow Archives and reflect on the beautiful retreat-like grounds of the Pillow. Immersion in The School and Festival's international communities opens dancers to a breadth of possibilities; as alumni they join a worldwide network of artists defining and shaping the field today.

Contemporary Ballet Program | June 10-23

Alexandra Damiani & Matthew Neenan, Program Directors

The Contemporary Ballet Program is directed by Matthew Neenan, co-founder of Philadelphia's premier contemporary ballet company BalletX, and Alexandra Damiani, former artistic director of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. Working with acclaimed choreographers, dancers are integral to the creative process as contemporary ballet works are created on them. An international artist faculty coaches the ensemble to meet the technical, stylistic, and performance qualities required by today's leading ballet companies worldwide. Dancers perform a world premiere by Matthew Neenan for the Festival Opening Gala on June 15 and a new additional work on June 22 for opening week of the Festival.

Flamenco Program | June 24-July 7

Irene Rodríguez, Program Director

A revered voice in the contemporary Cuban dance scene, Irene Rodríguez will lead dancers to work with renowned classic Spanish dance and flamenco artists from Spain and Cuba. This rare, in-depth course in the traditions and current directions of flamenco includes sharing studio work with Festival audiences on the Pillow's iconic outdoor stage on June 29 and July 6. The program culminates in the receipt of a Diploma from Escuela de Flamenco de Andalucía.

Contemporary Program | July 8-28

Milton Myers & Didy Veldman, Program Directors

Renowned mentor and Horton technique expert Milton Myers returns for his 33rd summer at Jacob's Pillow alongside Dutch artistic director, choreographer, and contemporary teacher Didy Veldman. An ensemble of 24 accomplished dancers will work with three of today's most sought-after contemporary choreographers, who coach dancers in their rehearsal practices and performance expectations. Dancers will perform the new works for Festival audiences on July 13, 20, and 27.

Tap Program | July 29-August 19

Michelle Dorrance & Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Program Directors

Dancers will learn new work and timeless classics from legends in the field. They will be mentored to push inside the jazz tradition as both improvisational soloists and practitioners of jazz vernacular dance, and some will set their own works for the stage. Working knowledgeably with jazz music and musicians and coordinating multiple, real-life elements required to mount an evening-length benefit/gala performance, will further the development of each dancer's individual voice. Works-in-progress will be shared with Festival audiences on August 3 and 10. Sunday, August 18 features works created by and on the dancers in a benefit for The School at Jacob's Pillow held in the Ted Shawn Theatre.

The Ann & Weston Hicks Choreography Fellows Program | August 20-30

Bebe Miller & Risa Steinberg, Program Directors

Eight Fellows will receive in-depth mentoring by award-winning choreographers and professors Bebe Miller and Risa Steinberg to refine their choreographic voice and expand their career-building network. With access to Jacob's Pillow studios, archives, and resources, as well as guest artist speakers, they will experience both the Festival and the Pillow as an artist retreat as they deepen their understanding of the Pillow and their craft.

Art of Photographing Dance Workshop | August 20-25

Rose Eichenbaum, Program Director

Led by award-winning photographer and author of five published books Rose Eichenbaum, photographers will develop a more highly attuned photographic eye and personal aesthetic, building their capacity to conduct successful photo shoots, while working with Festival dancers in a variety of settings on the Pillow's historic, picturesque grounds.

APPLICATIONS AND SCHOLARSHIPS

Program and scholarship application materials and guidelines will be available online at jacobspillow.org/school on December 3, 2018.

Application acceptances are ongoing, though first consideration is given to applicants who apply by the deadline schedule as follows:

January 10, 4pm EST is the priority consideration deadline for Contemporary Ballet.

February 21, 4pm EST is the priority consideration deadline for Flamenco, Contemporary, Tap, The Ann & Weston Hicks Choreography Fellows Program, and Art of Photographing Dance.

After these deadlines, applications will be accepted and reviewed as space permits.

Dancers may apply for a Jacob's Pillow Scholarship in all programs, with the exception of Photography. Scholarships are not necessary for Choreography Fellows as program fees are fully underwritten by the Ann & Weston Hicks Endowment. All dancers accepted into Contemporary Ballet, Flamenco, Contemporary, and Tap are considered for the prestigious Lorna Strassler Award for Student Excellence at Jacob's Pillow, a full scholarship plus a $2,500 cash gift.

Additionally, contemporary dancers attending New World School of the Arts are considered for the endowed Marcia Simon Kaplan Scholarship and tap dancers can become eligible for the American Dance Guild/Jacob's Pillow Scholarship by being members of American Dance Guild. Learn more at jacobspillow.org/school on December 3, 2018.

RECRUITMENT TOUR MASTER CLASSES

Master Classes provide an introduction to The School experience, but are not a required part of the application. Recruitment Tour dates and locations to be announced online at jacobspillow.org/school.

The 2019 Recruitment Tour includes open Master Classes for advanced dancers age 15 and up in Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, and other national and international cities. One or more Pillow artists lead inspirational experiences mirroring The School's professional classes and rehearsals. Dancers are coached in moving beyond their technical ability into sharing their artistry and potential as expressive performers.

Recruitment Tour Master Classes are excellent opportunities to meet Pillow artists, alumni, and staff, gain audition experience, and learn about the experience of living and training on the historic grounds of Jacob's Pillow.

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