AteNine and Ballet Hispanico Come to Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival

Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival presents AteNine in the Doris Duke Theatre, July 26-30. AteNine, formerly Ate9dANCEcOMPANY, is led by Artistic Director and choreographer Danielle Agami, named "choreography's It girl" by the LA Times. A former dancer and rehearsal director of the world-renowned Batsheva Dance Company, Agami draws from her background in Gaga movement practice to create bold, innovative work. The program will include two works: Exhibit b and excerpts from vickie. AteNine dancers move with an intense clarity praised as "odd, fleeting, and gorgeous, it left you wanting much, much more" (Janet Smith, The Georgia Straight).

"I was so struck by AteNine's performance on the Inside/Out stage last summer, I knew the next step was to invite the company back to make their Doris Duke Theatre debut. This company exemplifies the energy and innovation the burgeoning L.A. dance scene has to offer, and I am excited for audiences in the Northeast to experience Danielle Agami's masterwork Exhibit b and excerpts from vickie, a special collaboration with Glenn Kotche of Wilco," says Jacob's Pillow Director Pamela Tatge.

Exhibit b, a work for eight dancers, embodies the impact of the Israeli conflict on daily life. The dancers move between unison work, solos, and duets under the intimate lighting design of Jeff Forbes. White Bird, a leading dance presenter and arts organization in Portland, Oregon, commissioned Exhibit b in 2015. In 2016, AteNine performed the work at The Joyce Theater in New York City as part of the American Dance Platform festival, which showcases emerging companies from across the U.S. In Exhibit b, dancers bound in fluid waves across the stage, complementing the playful rhythms of producer Walizadeh's hip-hop and Iranian music. Born in Chicago, Illinois, Walizadeh is based in Long Beach, California, where he has produced, mixed, and arranged his own tracks.

The program continues with excerpts from vickie (2017), formerly titled Calling Glenn. In this East Coast premiere of the work, Agami and her company expose the complexities of intimacy and communication within personal, daily routines. The uninhibited nature of the work and its dynamic tempo changes allow the dancers to move through shapes that are simultaneously angular and fluid. Percussionist Glenn Kotche collaborated with Agami to compose an original score for the work. In addition to being featured on five albums of the Grammy-award winning band Wilco, Kotche appears on over 80 recordings for a variety of artists. Seattle Theatre Group and Velocity Dance Center premiered Calling Glenn in March 2017 at The Moore Theatre in Seattle, Washington, where Kotche accompanied AteNine with his live percussion. Megan Stevenson of Seattle Dances described the work as "unexpected and innovative," adding that Forbes's lighting "blurred the line between stage and seat," while Kotche produced a "rich and varied" sound score. The performance acted as a homecoming for AteNine; the company was founded at Velocity Dance Center in 2012, and the arts center commissioned Agami's first full-length piece, Sally Meets Stu, at that time. AteNine performed vickie at the Western Arts Alliance Juried Showcase at REDCAT in August 2016, a contemporary arts center in downtown Los Angeles.

Agami aims to share her knowledge of Gaga by engaging new audiences with a distinct artistic voice. Ohad Naharin developed the Gaga movement language in Israel after he was appointed the Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company in 1990. Gaga focuses on movement as a source of power and healing, and allows dancers to explore physical sensations within the body.

About AteNine

Danielle Agami, Israeli dancer and choreographer, trained at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance High School, and performed with Jerusalem's Hora Dance Company. Agami was previously a member and rehearsal director of Ohad Naharin's Batsheva Dance Company. From 2002-2005 she danced with Batsheva-The Young Ensemble, and soon after, became a member of the world-renowned Batsheva Dance Company in 2005. Agami then served as Batsheva's rehearsal director from 2008-2010. From 2007-2009, she was the Artistic Director of Batsheva Dancers Create, a program that allows Naharin's dancers to engage in their own artistic process of creating work. In 2011, Agami moved to New York City to serve as Senior Manager of Gaga U.S.A. and teach the Gaga movement language to American students and companies. Ora Brafman of The Jerusalem Post praises Agami as a "budding choreographer" with "intriguing imagination, well-developed craft and an eye for nuance."

In 2012, Agami created AteNine in Seattle, Washington, with the mission to evolve dance and reimagine its role in communities around the world. The dancers in AteNine hail from performing arts universities and companies predominantly on the West Coast, and many studied Gaga movement prior to joining AteNine. After moving her company to Los Angeles in 2013, Agami found more opportunities to present her work, including debuts at the Los Angeles Theater Center, The Music Center, REDCAT Studio, The Industry Opera, Grand Park, Carpenter Performing Arts Center, Design for Sharing (UCLA), Celebrate Dance, The Krupnick Festival, CAP UCLA, and The LA Philharmonic Orchestra @ The Hollywood Bowl, among others. Agami has set work on other notable contemporary companies as well, including her piece This Time Tomorrow for NW Dance Project, a company that also performs in the Doris Duke Theatre for Jacob's Pillow's 2017 season. In 2013 and 2014, Agami won the Grand Prize from the Annual Choreography Festival at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, California, and then won the Princess Grace Award in 2016. With this prize, Agami plans to create a new commissioned work for Visceral Dance Chicago.

Jacob's Pillow Connections

AteNine performed as part of Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival's Inside/Out Series in 2016. Ohad Naharin's work was first presented at Jacob's Pillow by Nederlands Dans Theater 3 in 1994, and his own Batsheva Dance Company made its Jacob's Pillow debut in 1995. In 2004, Batsheva Dance Company returned to perform Naharin's DecaDance, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago performed Naharin's work in 2001, 2003, 2007, and 2010. Naharin's work was studied in the Contemporary Traditions program of The School at Jacob's Pillow in 2002, 2012, and 2015.

Related Video on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive:

Batsheva Dance Company, DecaDance, 2004:

Performance & Ticket Details

AteNine at Jacob's Pillow

Doris Duke Theatre, July 26-30

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8:15pm

Saturday & Sunday at 2:15pm

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. Other discounts are available.

Tickets are on sale now; online at, via phone at 413.243.0745, and at the Jacob's Pillow Box Office at 358 George Carter Road, Becket, MA, 01223.


Ballet Hispánico

Ted Shawn Theatre, July 26-30

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8pm

Thursday, Saturday, Sunday at 2pm

$78, $65, $45

Ballet Hispánico brings captivating style, crisp technique, and charismatic bravado to the Ted Shawn Theatre. "The versatile Ballet Hispánico dancers are exquisite" (The Washington Post). Ballet Hispánico offers the thrilling diversity of Latino culture-a fusion of classical, Latin, and contemporary dance. The program features the Pillow-commissioned and flamenco-inspired Línea Recta by Colombian-Belgian choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, set to Spanish guitar by Eric Vaarzon Morel. Other works include Eduardo Vilaro's Danzón, which features a contemporary take on the national dance of Cuba, and Gustavo Ramírez Sansano's El Beso, a spirited look at the nuances of a kiss set to Spanish Zarzuela music. Tickets start at $45.

Related video on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive: Ballet Hispánico, Tito on Timbales, 2009:

Inside/Out Performance Series: Good Foot Dance Company

Wednesday, July 26 at 6:15pm

Free Event

Good Foot Dance Company, hailing from West Virginia, is known for high-energy, fast-paced footwork, as they explore the complex cultural beginnings of American vernacular dance from Appalachian flatfooting to tap to contemporary urban dance. By remixing traditional dance and music and bringing a critical and historical inquiry to the shared history of American dance cultures, they raise questions about connectivity, continuity, and social responsibility. Co-founders and dancers Matthew Olwell and Emily Oleson are alumni of The School at Jacob's Pillow.

Inside/Out Performance Series: Gemma Bond Dance

Thursday, July 27 at 6:15pm

Free Event

Making waves as a budding female choreographer-rare in the ballet world-Gemma Bond is a corps de ballet member of American Ballet Theatre. Since 2010, she has created three new ballets for ABT's Choreographic Institute, as well as various new works for New York Theatre Ballet, Intermezzo Ballet Company, and the Hartt School; most recently, Atlanta Ballet commissioned the world premiere of Denouement. She has received a fellowship grant from The New York Choreographic Institute and is the two-time awardee of a grant from the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. She will debut at the Joyce Theater in July 2017 with a program that includes two new works. Her Inside/Out program includes Depuis Le Jour, a fluid pas de deux, danced to an aria by French composer Gustave Charpentier, and Then and Again, an ensemble work for Alfredo Piatti's solo cello piece "Twelve Caprices." Calvin Royal III, an American Ballet Theatre corps de ballet dancer and alumnus of The School at Jacob's Pillow, will perform with the ensemble.

PillowTalk: Curating Performance

Friday, July 28 at 5pm

Blake's Barn

Free Event

Dance is increasingly finding its way into museums in all sorts of exciting new ways; the trend is explored by some of those who are closely involved in this movement.

Inside/Out Performance Series: Ologunde

Friday, July 28 at 6:15pm

Free Event

The US-based Ologunde ensemble celebrates the rich Afro-Brazilian culture of Salvador Bahia, Brazil through a diverse repertoire of music, dance, and martial arts. Comprised of artists living in the U.S. and Brazil, the ensemble is under the direction of master percussionist Dendê Macêdo. The troupe performs a diverse repertoire which includes the rituals associated with candomblé, a synthesis of the Yoruba and Catholic religions; the capoeira martial arts dance; maculêlê, a warrior dance which utilizes sticks and machetes and was originally created in the sugarcane fields by slaves; and the exhilarating samba de roda, which can be traced back to the semba of Angola.

PillowTalk: Focus on Vision '22

Saturday, July 29 at 4pm

Blake's Barn

Free Event

A new plan for the Pillow culminates in 2022. Director Pamela Tatge details her goals in an ambitious blueprint known as Vision '22.

Inside/Out Performance Series: The School at Jacob's Pillow Contemporary Program

Saturday, July 29 at 6:15pm

Free Event

Dancers of the Contemporary Program present a work-in-progress created on them during their first week of study at The School at Jacob's Pillow. Guest choreographer Marguerite Donlon, critically acclaimed worldwide for her innovative works, is artistic director of the international dance festival n.o.w. dance saar and the youth project "iMove." Under the direction of master teacher and choreographer Milton Myers, program dancers also study with ballet mentor Charla Genn, School alumna Aya Kaneko, former Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and NDT dancer Mario Alberto Zambrano, and longtime Music Director John Levis. Dancers attend all Festival events, including weekly career-building interactions with Festival Ted Shawn Theatre and Doris Duke Theatre performers.

Sunday Master Class with Festival Artist: AteNine

Sunday, July 30, 10-11:30am

Doris Duke Theatre

Open to intermediate/advanced dancers ages 16+; closed to observers. Danielle Agami, founder of AteNine, leads a Gaga master class guiding participants through this distinctive technique. Gaga is a way of gaining knowledge and self-awareness through the body. It provides a framework for discovering and strengthening the body and adding flexibility, stamina, and agility while lightening the senses and imagination. The work improves instinctive movement and connects conscious and unconscious movement, and it allows for an experience of freedom and pleasure in a simple way. Please wear comfortable clothes to move in, socks or bare feet are fine.


The following exhibits and offerings are free and open to the public June 19 through August 27, 2017.


Blake's Barn

Open Wednesday-Saturday noon to final curtain (approx. 10pm), and Sunday-Tuesday noon to 5pm

Free Offering

Celebrating 85 Jacob's Pillow seasons, this exclusive new collection of original images connects today's artists with the pioneering dancers of yesteryear. From John Lindquist's iconic photos of the Men Dancers to Christopher Duggan's current season image of Camille A. Brown-with scores of others in between-these dancers truly soar.


Ted Shawn Theatre Lobby

Open Wednesday-Sunday, noon to final curtain (approx. 10pm), and Sunday-Tuesday noon to 5pm

Free Offering

In her thirty-year career of photographing and interviewing veteran and emerging dancers, Rose Eichenbaum has elicited eloquent, poetic, and insightful descriptions of the inner world of the dancer's life and art. This exhibit encompasses highlights from her new book for Wesleyan University Press, Inside the Dancer's Art, including many Jacob's Pillow images.


Doris Duke Theatre Lobby

Open Wednesday-Sunday, noon to final curtain (approx. 10pm) and Sunday-Tuesday noon to 5pm

Free Offering

In tandem with her Dance Heginbotham collaboration, The Principles of Uncertainty, premiering at the Pillow August 23-27, one-of-a-kind artist and author Maira Kalman shares some favorite images in this exhibition, created especially for Jacob's Pillow. Both whimsical and brilliant, Kalman's work explores the intersections of dance, life, and art in unexpected ways.


Blake's Barn

Open daily, Wednesday-Saturday noon to final curtain (approx. 10pm) and Sunday-Tuesday noon to 5pm

Free Offering

This newly-expanded 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 from the Pillow's Archives. The Norton Owen Reading Room also features recent donations and more archival treasures from the Stephan Driscoll Collection. Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive, available on a popular touch-screen kiosk in the Reading Room, provides instant access to rare film clips ranging from the present day back to the 1930s.


This ever-expanding website allows new dance lovers and aficionados to enjoy highlights from the past 84 seasons of Pillow performances, anytime and anywhere. Discover video excerpts from artists including Savion Glover, Martha Graham Dance Company, Carmen de Lavallade, Trisha Brown, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Michelle Dorrance, and Pillow founder Ted Shawn and his Men Dancers, among countless others. A recent expansion features a series of multimedia essays from renowned dance scholars on three distinct themes: Tap, Women in Dance, and Dance of the African Diaspora. This newly-launched editorial platform features more than 30 essays on topics richly archived and relevant to conversations surrounding today's dance field. Each essay includes archival materials of various media, including video interviews with artists, scans of original printed programs, photographs, and rare performance excerpts, resulting in an expert-led tour through the extensive Archives.


Morning Classes

Ruth St. Denis Studio

June 5-August 25, Monday-Friday at 8am

Open to all experience levels, Jacob's Pillow Morning Classes take place each weekday morning in the historic Ruth St. Denis Studio on the Jacob's Pillow grounds. The class schedule includes Pilates with Pilates Certified instructor Sean P. Gallagher on Mondays; African Dance with Marilyn Sylla and live drumming by Jamemurrell Stanley on Tuesdays; Ballet with Ian Spencer Bell and Sharon MacDonald on Wednesdays; Zumba with Ilana Siegal on Thursdays; and Modern with varied Guest Artists including Paul Dennis, Ryoko Kudo, and Adam H. Weinert on Fridays. Other guest artists to be announced. All participants must be age 16 and over; $10 per class or $55 for a 6-class card. Participants younger than 18 will require a parent/guardian signature on a liability waiver.

Families Dance Together

Bakalar Studio

July 7-August 18, Fridays at 5pm

Led by Pillow Artist-Educator Jeff Bliss, this intergenerational class is a unique opportunity for children and adults to experience the joy of creating simple dances together. Families Dance Together is for children ages 5-18, accompanied by an adult. Participants under 18 years require a parent/guardian signature on liability waiver. Classes are $5 per adult and $1 per child. Families Dance Together is a Jacob's Pillow/Becket Arts Center collaboration. Call 413.623.6635 to pre-register.


Pre-Show Talks

30 minutes prior to every performance

Free Offering

Pillow Scholars offer helpful insight prior to every performance; located in Blake's Barn for Ted Shawn Theatre shows and on the Doris Duke Theatre porch for Duke shows.

Post-Show Talks

Thursday and Friday, immediately following the performance

Free Offering

Pillow Scholars moderate entertaining and informative discussions with dancers, directors, and choreographers; offered Fridays for Ted Shawn Theatre performances and Thursdays for Doris Duke Theatre performances.

Observe Dancers of The School

Monday-Saturday, check or onsite signage for specific times

Sommers Studio

Free Offering

Festival visitors are welcome to observe dancers of The School at Jacob's Pillow in classes and rehearsals.

Guided Tours

Thursday and Saturday at 5:30pm

Free Offering

Visitors can learn about the history and legends of Jacob's Pillow, a National Historic Landmark, on guided tours of the grounds. Self-guided tour maps are also available in the Welcome Center.

Jacob's Pillow Year Round

Beyond its summer festival, Jacob's Pillow is an active year-round organization. Through Jacob's Pillow Curriculum in Motion, a nationally-recognized program, Artist Educators work with Berkshire County teachers and students grades K-12 to transform curricula such as biology, literature, and history into kinesthetic and creative learning experiences. 2016-2017 Curriculum in Motion residencies are taking place at Conte Community School, Becket Washington Elementary, and Monument Mountain Regional High School. Creative Development Residencies take place at the Pillow throughout the year. Dance artists are invited to live and work at Jacob's Pillow for one to three-week residencies and during that time they are given a stipend, housing, and unlimited access to rehearsal space, the Archives, and staff support. During the 2016-2017 season, Netta Yerushalmy, Ephrat Asherie & Ehud Asherie, Marsha Parrilla, Ronald K. Brown & Arturo O'Farrill, David Dorfman, dendy/Donovan projects, Camille A. Brown, Joanna Kotze, and John Heginbotham & Maira Kalman are all participating in Pillow Creative Development Residencies. The annual $25,000 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award supports visionary dance artists and choreographers with a residency, performance at the Season Opening Gala, among other engagements. Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive ( is the Pillow's online platform for videos and digital dance resources and remains active every day of the year, encompassing a wide range of Festival artists and video content from the 1930s to 2016 with new content added each month. The Jacob's Pillow Intern Program is also active year-round, offering hands-on work experience to college students and recent graduates seeking a deeper education within arts administration and production. At the same time, The School at Jacob's Pillow is hosting international auditions and workshops and planning its national audition tour, which will kick off in January in Miami. The School at Jacob's Pillow is a leading center for professional advancement; each year thousands of dancers audition and apply and only 100 are selected to participate in one of four programs in Ballet, Contemporary, Tap, and Musical Theatre Dance. The international students of The School are immersed in Festival life as they take class, attend seminars, and learn classic and new dance work from today's greatest choreographers, mentors, directors, musicians, and Broadway performers.

ABOUT JACOB'S PILLOW: Jacob's Pillow, celebrating its 85th Festival in 2017, 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 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 a century of dance in photographs, programs, books, costumes, audiotapes, and videos. Notable artists who have created or premiered dances at the Pillow include choreographers Antony Tudor, Agnes de Mille, Alvin Ailey, Donald McKayle, Kevin McKenzie, Twyla Tharp, Ralph Lemon, Susan Marshall, Trisha Brown, Ronald K. Brown, Wally Cardona, Andrea Miller, and Trey McIntyre; performed by artists such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Carmen de Lavallade, Mark Morris, Dame Margot Fonteyn, Edward Villella, Rasta Thomas, and hundreds of others. On March 2, 2011, President Barack 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