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Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival presents JESSICA LANG DANCE and FAYE DRISCOLL

"A prolific choreographer of skillfully constructed dances that respectfully mesh with music and striking visual design" (The New Yorker), Jessica Lang and her company return to Jacob's Pillow for the ensemble's first Ted Shawn Theatre engagement, July 5-9. In addition to a Pillow-commissioned world premiere work, the program includes Lang's Thousand Yard Stare, a dance embodying the incredible pride and honor as well as the searing loss experienced by military veterans. The program will also include the East Coast and company premiere of Lang's Lyric Pieces as well as Solo Bach, Sweet Silent Thought, and The Calling. This season, the Pillow has formed a partnership with the Tanglewood Music Center, whereby Tanglewood Fellows and alumni will be providing the music accompaniment for this engagement.

"Jessica Lang's emergence as a major American choreographer is intertwined with her history at the Pillow. We are delighted to bring her back with a program that includes live music, a world premiere commissioned specifically for our 85th Anniversary, and the beautifully moving Thousand Yard Stare, based on her research with veterans."-Jacob's Pillow Director Pamela Tatge

The program includes Solo Bach, called "a simple, elegant solo; light, lithe and freeing" by Lauren Gallagher of DanceTabs. The work, choreographed in 2008, is danced to the violin solo "Bach Partita no. 3 in E Major" composed by Johann Sebastian Bach, performed live by Tanglewood alumna Sarah Atwood.

Created in 2016, Sweet Silent Thought is a work for four dancers, with a score by Polish musician and composer Jakub Ciupinski, featuring five Shakespearean sonnets. Alexandra Villarreal of The Huffington Post says the ballet "perfectly physicalized the sensations inspired by Shakespeare's sonnets, transforming dance into poetry."

Another recent work, Thousand Yard Stare, is the result of Lang's interviews with veterans, therapists, and her research of PTSD. Michael Upchurch of the Seattle Times called the work "a masterpiece...a study in tight camaraderie and repeated loss...the connection between dancers-as between soldiers-couldn't be more trusting or visceral." The ballet is danced to Ludwig van Beethoven's "Opus 132 (String Quartet #15)," performed live by a string quartet of Tanglewood alumni.

The program also includes Glow, the world premiere commissioned by Jacob's Pillow, an athletic, whimsical work for dancers donning sneakers and performing against an array of neon light designed by Nicole Pearce, with music composed by percussionists Owen Clayton Condon and Ivan Trevino. The captivating solo The Calling is performed in a huge, stage-wide skirt designed by Elena Comendador. Originally premiered by Ailey II in 2006 and danced to music by Norwegian vocal ensemble Trio Mediaeval, the solo has been called "A heavenly ballet ...the beautiful movements seamlessly moved from the long and lyrical to urging and angular, leaving the audience completely mesmerized" (Gina Miles, Bermuda Sun).

Lyric Pieces, a work for four men and four women, premiered in 2012 by the Birmingham Royal Ballet. The score, by Norwegian composer and pianist Edvard Grieg, will be performed live by Tanglewood Fellow Michael James Smith. The set design--huge rolls and fans of paper that are folded and unfolded by the dancers--was created by Molo Designers and frequent JLD collaborators Stephanie Forsythe and Todd MacAllen.

About Jessica Lang Dance

Founded in 2011, Jessica Lang Dance (JLD) is a Long Island City-based dance company dedicated to creating and performing the work of Jessica Lang. Since the company's inception, marked by Lang's receipt of a Joyce Theater Artist Residency supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, JLD has made rapid success performing at world renowned venues and festivals including Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival, New York City Center's Fall for Dance Festival, L.A. Music Center, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Joyce Theater, the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, the Kennedy Center, Northrop Auditorium, Winspear Opera House, Tel Aviv Opera House and Palacio de Bellas Artes, among others. The company's performances have been named among the best dance events of the year by major publications in Dallas, Chicago, Kansas City, and Boston.

JLD has received numerous grants and funding from organizations including The New York Community Trust, Howard Gilman Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, The Shubert Foundation, the Jerome Robbins Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, the Irving Harris Foundation, Harkness Foundation for Dance, and the ArtsCONNECT program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.

Jessica Lang is a choreographer and the Artistic Director of Jessica Lang Dance. Lang, a recipient of a 2014 Bessie Award and 2017 Arison Award, has created more than 95 works on companies worldwide since 1999 including American Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, the National Ballet of Japan, and Joffrey Ballet, among many others. Lang made her opera directorial debut creating Pergolesi's Stabat Mater at the 2013 Glimmerglass Opera Festival. In 2016, she choreographed San Francisco Opera's production of Aida, directed by Francesca Zambello, which will be performed by Washington National Opera and Seattle Opera in the 2017/18 season. She was a 2015 New York City Center Fellow and a 2016 Fellow at the NYU Center for Ballet and the Arts. In 2017, Lang is the Emerging Movement Artist in Residence for Dance Films Association.

Jacob's Pillow Connections

Jessica Lang first appeared at Jacob's Pillow as a company member in Twyla Tharp's company THARP! in 1998. Jessica Lang Dance made its official company debut at the Pillow in 2012 in the Doris Duke Theatre and the company returned in 2013 and 2015 for a two-week run. Pacific Northwest Ballet and Jacob's Pillow co-commissioned Lang's Her Door to the Sky, which the company premiered at the Festival in 2016. Jessica Lang was a guest choreographer for the Ballet Program of The School at Jacob's Pillow in 2014, and created a work which premiered at the 2014 Season Opening Gala. Lang's evening-length work The Wanderer was created during a Creative Development Residency at the Pillow in the fall of 2014.

Performance & Ticket Details

Jessica Lang Dance at Jacob's Pillow

Ted Shawn Theatre, July 5 - 9

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8pm

Saturday & Sunday at 2pm

$78, $65, $45

A limited number of $35 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.

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.


Faye Driscoll

Doris Duke Theatre, July 5-9

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

Saturday & Sunday at 2:15pm

New York Dance and Performance ("Bessie") Award-winning choreographer Faye Driscoll is an alumna of The School at Jacob's Pillow and "one of the most original talents on the contemporary dance scene" (Roslyn Sulcas, The New York Times). Her ensemble work Thank You for Coming: Attendance is the first installment of a trilogy which softens the borders between artist and audience, making for an "unpredictable, funny, and endlessly entertaining" experience (Laura Molzahn, The Chicago Tribune). Performed in the round with an intimate number of audience members, Driscoll's work is rich, surprising, and deeply human. Tickets are $35, general admission.

Inside/Out Performance Series: Thunderbird American Indian Dancers

Wednesday, July 5 at 6:15pm

Free Event

Live Music

Thunderbird American Indian Dancers is the oldest resident Native American dance company in New York, founded in 1963 by a group of men and women who were descended from Mohawk, Hopi, Winnebago, and San Blas tribes. With a mission to keep alive the traditions, songs, and dances they learned from their parents, the troupe has toured the U.S., expanding and sharing traditional repertoire. This program will introduce audiences to new forms of indigenous American dance, including the traditional Fancy Dance and Hoop Dance, as well as a variety of other distinct regional tribal dances.

Inside/Out Performance Series: Dušan Týnek Dance Theatre

Thursday, July 6 at 6:15pm

Free Event

Dušan Týnek is a Czech-born choreographer, and for more than 10 years his company and works have been known for sophistication, expert craftsmanship, and an exceptional level of artistry. Employing tactics of game strategy and seduction, his work Middlegame takes its inspiration from the game of chess and 19th Century cafe life. Exploring ideas of elitism, power, and seduction, the dance considers the manipulation of "being played, while playing along." This work is creative and energetic, danced to music by J.S. Bach, Carlos Paredes, and Yann Terisen. The New Yorker calls it "a mad party in Victorian undergarments ...the internal designs thrill with lovely detail and ingenious mayhem."

PillowTalk: Connecting Artists & Audiences

Friday, July 7 at 5pm

Blake's Barn

Free Event

Choreographers Faye Driscoll and Jessica Lang work in very different ways to forge strong connections with audiences; both will have their work presented at the Festival July 5-9. In this PillowTalk, they explain their aims and contrast their approaches.

Inside/Out Performance Series: The Black Iris Project

Friday, July 7 at 6:15pm

Free Event

Founded in 2016 by choreographer-on-the-rise Jeremy McQueen, The Black Iris Project is a ballet collaborative and education vehicle that creates relevant and engaging classical ballet works that celebrate diversity and Black history. Already an award-winning emerging choreographer, Jeremy McQueen is a 2013 recipient of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago's Choreographers of Color Award. His choreography was previously presented as part of the Inside/Out Performance Series in 2012 and 2013. The ensemble will perform Madiba, one of McQueen's newest ballets inspired by the life of Nelson Mandela. Madiba was recently presented at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of the Ballet Across America series.

PillowTalk: Into Sunlight

Saturday, July 8 at 4pm (90-minute presentation)

Blake's Barn

Free Event

Director Ron Honsa's new documentary film brings together choreographer Robin Becker and author David Maraniss to explore the effects of war on those in battle and at home, with all collaborators here for a post-film Q&A.

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

Saturday, July 8 at 6:15pm

Free Event

Dancers of the Tap Program have journeyed from around the world to study with Tap Program Directors Michelle Dorrance and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards. To conclude their final week in The School at Jacob's Pillow, they perform traditional tap vocabulary, cutting edge styles, improvisation, and a capella compositions as soloists and ensemble performers. Program faculty also include Joseph Wiggan, Jumaane Taylor, and Sam Weber. 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: Faye Driscoll

Sunday, July 9, 10am

Doris Duke Theatre

Artists of Faye Driscoll's company will teach a 90-minute master class open to all intermediate and advanced dancers ages 16 and over. Pre-registration is required at Quiet observation is welcome; $15 per class or $80 for a 6-class card.


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)

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)

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.


Doris Duke Theatre Porch

Open July 5-30

Free Offering

Historian/photographer William Johnston captured these unforgettably powerful images of Eiko Otake, in Fukushima, Japan, in 2014 and 2016 after an earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdowns hit the area. The photographs capture Eiko's response to these events as well as the evolving landscape over their three visits.


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 have all participated 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 hosts international auditions and workshops. 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

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