Jacob's Pillow Celebrates Bill T. Jones With Talks, Awards, And New Exhibit
The work of Bill T. Jones, eminent choreographer, Tony Award-winner, director, and recipient of the Jacob's Pillow Dance Award, is celebrated throughout the Pillow's 2010 Festival. The Pillow presents a six-performance engagement of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, a season-long photography exhibit titled "Arnie Zane on Bill T. Jones," and a PillowTalk, featuring Jones, who will discuss his long creative and personal partnership with Arnie Zane.
"Bill is quite simply one of the greatest artists of our time," comments Ella Baff, Jacob's Pillow Dance Executive Director. "Fearless in his thinking and aesthetic investigations, he has taken his art, and his audiences along with it, to illuminating places. He will continue to make an enormous contribution to the arts and the Pillow is proud to honor him this season."
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company performs in the Ted Shawn Theatre July 21-25. The multi-layered work, Serenade/The Proposition, was created as part of a trilogy of evening-length dances in celebration of the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth. It features striking visual design and folk and classical music that will be performed live by musicians Jerome Begin, Lisa Komara, and Christopher Antonio William Lancaster. Interspersed among Mozart and traditional American folk music are excerpts from well-known Civil War-era speeches by Abraham Lincoln, abolitionist and social activist Julia Ward Howard, William Walker, Alexander Means, and spoken word ranging from personal anecdotes to lyrics from "The Battle Hymn of the Republic".
Serenade/The Proposition has received numerous accolades since its premiere in 2008. In addition to calling this work "an obliquely powerful history lesson" Claudia La Rocco of the New York Times wrote: "Mr. Jones' choreography flows through this dance-theater edifice like water finding its way through a winding stone wall. Formal and often understated, phrases full of scything limbs, dipping torsos and elegantly minimal partnering periodically assemble into tableaus reminiscent of daguerreotype portraits. The movement runs cool against the subject matter's heat."
In addition to Serenade/The Proposition, Jacob's Pillow presents "Arnie Zane on Bill T. Jones," a photography exhibit of images featuring a young Jones by his late partner, Arnie Zane, a provocative photographer, choreographer, and company co-founder. The free exhibit is located in lobby of the Ted Shawn Theatre and is open to the public through August 29.
The partnership of Jones and Zane is also the subject of a PillowTalk on Thursday June 22 at 5pm, featuring Bill T. Jones and Pillow Scholar-in-Residence, Maura Keefe.
Bill T. Jones was recently honored with the 2010 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award at the Pillow's Season Opening Gala. The annual Award, which supports visionary choreographers, is made possible by a generous anonymous donor. Given each year to an exceptional choreographer, the Award carries a cash prize of $25,000 to be used by the artist in any way they choose.
The Jacob's Pillow Dance Award was created in 2007 as an ongoing, annual anonymous gift. In addition to the $25,000 cash award, the honoree receives a custom-desigNed Glass sculpture by Berkshire-based artist Tom Patti, whose work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, among other prominent collections worldwide. In 2007, the inaugural Award was given to Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar, co-directors of Big Dance Theater. In 2008, Alonzo King, Artistic Director of Alonzo King's LINES Ballet, was honored and in 2009 the Award was given to Merce Cunningham, whose company gave its final performances during his lifetime at Jacob's Pillow.
ABOUT JONES: Bill T. Jones choreographed and performed around the world as an innovative soloist and duet company with his late partner, Arnie Zane, before forming the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in 1982. The company gave them liberty to explore their choreography, and since its inception, Jones has created over 140 works for this singular contemporary company.
Among many accolades, Jones is the recipient of a 2007 Tony Award for his choreography for Spring Awakening and a 1994 MacArthur "Genius" Award. In 2000, The Dance Heritage Coalition named him an "Irreplaceable Dance Treasure." In addition to choreographing for his own company, Jones has choreographed for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Boston Ballet, and Lyon Opera Ballet, among others. Jones recently received a 2010 Tony Award for choreographing the hit Broadway musical FELA! based on the life of Afrobeat innovator Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. He also wrote and directed the hit musical.
Jacob's Pillow and Bill T. Jones have enjoyed a rich and mutually supportive relationship since the first appearance of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in 1989. Most recently Jones himself performed as part of the 2008 Gala and the company was presented the same year in Chapel/Chapter. The company has also participated in Creative Development Residencies, creating segments of the 1990 work Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin/The Promised Land at the Pillow and rehearsing repertory pieces in 1996. Jones has said, "Jacob's Pillow is like a banner on the battlement of our country's cultural edifice. The winds whip it every which way, but still it is there, glorious and as bold as its programming, as vital as the armies of choreographers and dancers that move through it, as open and receptive as its audiences and as steadfast as its administration and the vision that drives it. Long may it wave!"
Performance and Ticket Information
Wednesday, July 21 through Saturday, July 24 at 8pm
Saturday, July 24 and Sunday, July 25 at 2pm
Free Pre-Show Talks with Jacob's Pillow Scholars-in-Residence are offered in Blake's Barn 30 minutes before every performance. A Post-Show Talk will take place after the performance on Thursday, July 22.
Tickets range from $58-63.
Tickets on sale now online at jacobspillow.org, via phone at 413.243.0745, or in person at Jacob's Pillow.
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 Events at the Pillow July 7 - 11
Free "Inside/Out" Performance - Melanie Aceto Contemporary Dance
NEW TIME Wednesday, July 21, 6:15pm
This upstate New York contemporary dance company uses comedy and lush movement to communicate with audiences. Knit is a sensitive, sweet duet, and Portage builds momentum through swirling group interactions.
Free "PillowTalk" Discussion - Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane
NEW DAY Thursday, July 22, 5pm
In conjunction with the current exhibition of Arnie Zane's early photography, the Jacob's Pillow Dance Award to Bill T. Jones, and the company that bears both of their names, Jones will discuss the evolution of this influential partnership.
Free "Inside/Out" Performance - Rennie Harris RHAW
NEW TIME Thursday, July 22, 6:15pm
Rennie Harris Awe-inspiring works (RHAW) is a pre-professional youth dance troupe that teaches young dancers the deep history and distinctive style of hip-hop. The next generation of hip-hop artists perform locking, popping and boogaloo, b-boy/girl, and house styles.
Free "Inside/Out" Performance - Avi Scher & Dancers
NEW TIME Friday, July 23, 6:15pm
Alumnus of The School at Jacob's Pillow Avi Scher returns to Inside/Out with a group of extraordinary ballet artists. The program includes Touch, a stark, contemporary work, and Feeling Lucky, a fun duet set to music by Jason Mraz.
Free "PillowTalk" Discussion and Film Screening- 40 Years of One Night Stands
Saturday, July 24, 4pm
An audience favorite at this year's Dance on Camera Festival in New York, this film charts the unlikely and engaging story of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Fascinating interviews and rare footage celebrate Canada's first professional ballet company and its historic 1964 breakthrough at the Pillow.
Free "Inside/Out" Showing - The School at Jacob's Pillow - Contemporary
NEW TIME Saturday, July 24, 6:15pm
The three-week program directed by master teacher/choreographer Milton Myers covers a range of diverse contemporary choreographers. The second week concludes with dancers directed in a new work by Didy Veldman, an outstanding choreographer based in the Netherlands.
The 2010 Gallery Exhibits
All exhibits are free and open to the public June 23-August 29.
Lois Greenfield: Imagined Moments
Open Tues-Sun, noon-after the show
With a recognizable style that is frequently emulated, Lois Greenfield has been at the forefront of dance photography for more than three decades. She collaborates with dancers to create photographic moments that are improvised and often risky, capturing bodies in mid-air. This new exhibition, the most extensive of the 2010 offerings, features Greenfield's unique body of photography, and is exclusive to the Pillow. Featured dance artists include legendary Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater artist Carmen de Lavallade, Martha Graham dancer and LAFA & Artists co-founder Fang-Yi Sheu, choreographer Shen Wei, American Butoh artist Maureen Fleming, Invisible Wings creator Joanna Haigood, and Festival 2010 artist Bill T. Jones.
Arnie Zane on Bill T. Jones
Ted Shawn Theatre Lobby
Open 30 minutes prior to Ted Shawn Theatre performances
The early career of choreographer Bill T. Jones was shaped by his relationship with dancer, choreographer, and company co-founder Arnie Zane (1948-1988). Zane was also a provocative photographer, whose works were exhibited in prominent venues in the 1970s and collected in a posthumous catalog and retrospective exhibit which debuted in 1999. Some of Zane's early photos of Jones are on display in this exhibit.
Pilates at the Pillow
Doris Duke Theatre Lobby
Open 30 minutes prior to Doris Duke Theatre performances
Joseph Pilates is widely recognized as originating one of the world's most popular forms of exercise, but his connection with dance and the Berkshires is not well known. He taught at the Pillow in the 1940s and 50s, and for many years owned a house nearby in Becket. Debuting this season is an exhibit of rare evidence of his pioneering work at the Pillow, including correspondence, class schedules, photographs, and films of Pilates himself demonstrating his signature technique.
Another Dance to Jules Feiffer
Open Tues-Sun, noon-after the show
The ground-breaking exhibition of dance imagery by the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and writer Jules Feiffer, which debuted last summer, receives an encore in this collection of original watercolors and drawings. Feiffer's memorable solo dancer in a black leotard returns along with new art works.
John Van Lund
Open Tues-Sun, whenever classes are not in session
As Festival photographer at the Pillow beginning in the late 1940s, John Van Lund (1916-2009) captured generations of important dancers on film. As a memorial tribute to his many years of faithful service and the donation of his complete collection of negatives and prints to the Jacob's Pillow Archives, highlights of his vast output are on view in Bakalar Studio, where founder Ted Shawn's Men Dancers performed for the first Pillow audiences.
Other Activities at Jacob's Pillow
The Archives are open to the public and allow 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, a popular touch-screen kiosk, provides instant interlinked access to rare film clips ranging from the present day back to the 1930s.
Patrons are invited to explore the historic grounds to discover all the reasons why the Pillow was named a National Historic Landmark, with Guided Tours leaving from the Welcome Center every Friday and Saturday at 5:30pm. Self-guided tour maps are always available as well.
Visitors can also relax in the historic Tea Garden, where Ted Shawn's Men Dancers welcomed the first Pillow audiences in the 1930s, as they peek into the Bakalar Studio to watch rehearsals; picnic on the grounds, or stroll through several ecological zones on the Wetlands Trail, created as part of the Pillow's responsible stewardship of its 163 acres of rural environment.
Morning Jumpstart Classes offered in Pilates, Ballet, Modern, and Arab-American Fusion, Mondays through Thursdays at 8am. All experience levels, 16 and older, fees apply. Ruth St. Denis Studio. Call the Education Hotline at 413.243.9919 x5
Weekly Master Classes are led by Festival artists on Sundays from 10-11:30am for intermediate and advanced dancers, $15 fee applies. Pre-registration is required. Call the Education Hotline at 413.243.9919 x5
The School at Jacob's Pillow featuring world renowned faculty is open to walk-in public observation Tuesdays through Saturdays, 9am-5pm, at no charge. Groups of four or more should confirm space availability by calling 413.243.9919 x5.
The Pillow Café offers fine dining and full bar on The Great Lawn. Wednesdays through Saturdays, dinner is served 5-8pm. Reservations are required, call 413.243.2455.
The Pillow Pub offers casual family fare, takeout for picnics, and full bar service. Wednesdays through Fridays 5pm-midnight, Saturdays noon-midnight, and Sundays noon-5pm.
The Coffee Bar and Ice Cream Bar are open pre-performance and during intermissions.
Sample menus for each dining venue are available at www.jacobspillow.org. Pillow Patrons are also invited to bring picnics and relax at one of many picnic areas on the Pillow grounds.
Photo credit: Monica Simoes