Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival to Open with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet & Juan Siddi Flamenco, 6/22-26

Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival 2016 opens its 84th annual season with exciting contemporary dance company Aspen Santa Fe Ballet presenting a diverse program, June 22-26 in the Ted Shawn Theatre. Aspen Santa Fe Ballet is dually-based in New Mexico and Colorado and led by Artistic Director Tom Mossbrucker and Executive Director Jean-Philippe Malaty. Exhibiting masterful technique and powerful performances, the company brings stirring works by a roster of esteemed choreographers including Alejandro Cerrudo's Silent Ghost, Fernando Melo's Re:play, and Cayetano Soto's Huma Rojo.

"I am thrilled to welcome Aspen Santa Fe Ballet back to the Pillow, where they are so beloved by our audiences," says Jacob's Pillow Director Pamela Tatge. "The breadth and diversity of the program promises something for everyone and a fabulous opening week for Festival 2016."

"Shape shifters who slip between pristine classicism and the oddest of contemporary movements with unconscious ease" (Janine Parker, The Boston Globe), Aspen Santa Fe Ballet is comprised of 12 uniquely talented and classically trained dancers. The company works with foremost choreographers from across the globe and rising stars to create a repertory of profound range and mastery of the contemporary ballet genre. Jennifer Dunning of The New York Times applauds the innovation and prowess of the company: "they raise the bar, and then they jump over it."

The program opens with Spanish choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo's Silent Ghost, exhibiting Cerrudo's haunting, sweeping choreography and innovative partnering. Cerrudo joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago as a dancer in 2005, and was named the first resident choreographer of the company in 2009. His work has been described as "unforced, alert, yet slinkily relaxed energy" with a "lovely looseness" (Hedy Weiss, Dance Magazine) and is now represented in the repertory of world's top companies including Nederlands Dans Theater and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Silent Ghost is set to a range of popular composers including the Icelander Ólafur Arnalds with costumes by designer and frequent collaborator Branimira Ivanova.

Re:play, Brazil-born Fernando Melo's first commissioned work for Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, focuses on the construction and reconstruction of a single scene, illustrating motifs through tightly-choreographed patterns. Dubbed "innovative" and "resonant" by Andrew Travers of The Aspen Times, Re:play is performed by a cast of ten dancers with striking lighting design by Sean Johnson, and set to a score by several artists including cellist Zoë Keating, Brussels-based contemporary music ensemble Ictus, and Belgian Blindman Kwartet.

The program closes with Catalonian choreographer Cayetano Soto's fiery Huma Rojo. Soto's trademark ferocity and powerfully physical movement is paired with cheeky theatricality, an homage to "all the strong women in my life" as stated by Soto in an interview with Andrew Travers of The Aspen Times. The resident choreographer of Ballet BC, Soto has set work on companies across the globe in Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.S. Huma Rojo is set to colorful mambo music by fellow Catalonian Xavier Cugat with bold red costumes by Paris-based fashion label Maison Ullens.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet made its Jacob's Pillow debut in 2003 and has returned to perform in four subsequent Festival seasons, including its most recent appearance in 2014. Dancer Craig Black, now in his fifth season with the company, is an alumnus of The School at Jacob's Pillow's Contemporary Program in 2011 and was the recipient of the prestigious Lorna Strassler Award that same year.

You can find previous performances by Aspen Santa Fe Ballet at Jacob's Pillow on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive.

Nicolo Fonte's The Heart(s)pace from 2014: http://danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org/aspen-santa-fe-ballet/the-heartspace/

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet was established in 1996 through the efforts of founder Bebe Schweppe inviting Tom Mossbrucker and Jean-Philippe Malaty to develop a small professional ballet company in Aspen, Colorado. After making an agreement with a presenting organization in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the company changed its name to Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and now calls each city its home. The combination of these two home cities, each known for the depth and breadth of its artistic community, creates a unique partnership and lends a strong dance presence in each area. The company's repertoire includes works by renowned choreographers such as David Parsons, George Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Trey McIntyre, Lar Lubovitch, and Twyla Tharp.

Executive director Jean-Philippe Malaty was born in France and studied at Europe's prestigious L'École Mudra, Maurice Béjart's first school in Brussels, and John Cranko's Ballet School in Stuttgart, later traveling to America to study at the David Howard Dance Center. Artistic director Tom Mossbrucker was one of The Joffrey Ballet's most celebrated dancers with a 20-year career, performing in over 70 ballets under the direct coaching of founders Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino. The company is "a class act, a classic act, and an extraordinarily engaging act: it's the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet...the company has much of the pulsating energy of the old Joffrey Ballet," wrote Clive Barnes of New York Post.

Performance and ticket information

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
Ted Shawn Theatre

Wednesday, June 22-Saturday, June 25, 8pm

Saturday, June 25 & Sunday, June 26, 2pm

  • Free Pre-Show Talks with Jacob's Pillow Scholar-in-Residence Maura Keefe are offered in Blake's Barn 30 minutes before each performance
  • Free Post-Show Talk with artists from Aspen Santa Fe Ballet will take place immediately following the performance on Friday, June 24 at the Ted Shawn Theatre.
  • Tickets start at $45. Now on sale online at jacobspillow.org, via phone at 413.243.0745, or in person at the Jacob's Pillow Box Office.
  • Box Office hours: Wednesday- Saturday, 11am-8pm; Sun, noon-5pm; Tues, 11am-5pm

Pillow Members receive exclusive benefits. To become a Member, call 413.243.9919x125.

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.

Juan Siddi Flamenco Santa Fe
June 22-26, Wednesday-Saturday at 8:15pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2:15pm
Doris Duke Theatre

Led by dancer and Artistic Director Juan Siddi, the 14 dancers and musicians of Juan Siddi Flamenco Santa Fe present a program of flamenco dance and powerful live music. Founded in Santa Fe in 2008 and in artistic partnership with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet since 2014, the company's "physical bravado" and "fabulous footwork" (Emmaly Weiderholt, Santa Fe Reporter), captures the form's rich cultural heritage and infuses it with a unique, contemporary flair. Virtuosic musicians and vocalists, many hailing from Spain, heighten the dramatic power of this electrifying ensemble. Tickets start at $25.

Free Inside/Out Performance: The Bang Group

Wednesday, June 22, 6:15pm

Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space

Delightfully family-friendly, The Bang Group bridges percussive and contemporary forms with wit and ingenuity. Led by the artistic vision of 2013 Guggenheim Fellow David Parker, an alumnus of The School at Jacob's Pillow, the New York City-based company has been presented by Dance Theatre Workshop, New York Live Arts, Danspace Project, The Yard, and DanceNow NYC, among many others. The Bang Group brings its signature comedic performances paired with a charming theatricality to the outdoor stage. FREE

Free Inside/Out Performance: Emery LeCrone Dance

Thursday, June 23, 6:15pm

Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space

Founded in 2013, Emery LeCrone Dance creates innovative contemporary ballet works in collaboration with distinguished composers, musicians, and designers. An alumna of The School at Jacob's Pillow, Emery LeCrone's work was recently seen by Pillow audiences during the Ted Shawn Theatre engagement of Daniel Ulbricht/BALLET 2014 with stars of New York City Ballet as well as during the 2014 Inside/Out performance series. The company will present HERE/NOW on the Inside/Out stage. FREE

Free Inside/Out Performance: Urban Bush Women

Friday, June 24, 6:15pm

Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space

From the female perspective of the African Diaspora community, Urban Bush Women (UBW) seeks to bring the stories of disenfranchised people to light through dance. Founded in 1984 by choreographer and 2016 The School at Jacob's Pillow Cultural Traditions Program Director Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, UBW galvanizes artists, activists, audiences, and communities through ground-breaking performances. In this interactive lecture demonstration, UBW blends dialogue and movement to give audiences the opportunity to learn methodology and view its repertory. FREE

Free Pillow Talk: Three Artists, Two Companies
Friday, June 24, 5pm
Blake's Barn

Tom Mossbrucker and Jean-Philippe Malaty have run Aspen Santa Fe Ballet for 20 years and recently joined forces with Juan Siddi of Juan Siddi Flamenco to manage both companies. In this PillowTalk, the three dance artists and directors explain their various roles. FREE

Free Inside/Out Performance: Ballet Program of The School at Jacob's Pillow

Saturday, June 25, 6:15pm

Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space

Dancers from the Ballet Program of The School at Jacob's Pillow present a work choreographed by Boston Ballet principal dancer Yury Yanowsky originally created on the dancers only four days prior to their performance at the Pillow's Season Opening Gala. The students will also perform classical variations coached by program director Anna-Marie Holmes. FREE

Free PillowTalk: Finding Our Community
Saturday, June 25, 4pm

Blake's Barn

Urban Bush Women's founder-director Jawole Willa Jo Zollar is passionate about engaging her audiences in meaningful ways. Zollar reflects on her company's deep Pillow roots and current mission during this conversation. FREE

Sunday Master Class with Festival Artist: Juan Siddi Flamenco
Sunday, June 26, 10am
Doris Duke Theatre

Festival artist Juan Siddi Flamenco Santa Fe will teach a master class open to all intermediate and advanced dancers ages 16 and over. Pre-registration is required, call 413.243.9919 x5 the week of the class to register. Quiet observation is welcome; $15 per class or $80 for a 6-class card. Participants younger than 18 will require a parent's signature on a liability waiver.


Lois Greenfield: Moving Still
Blake's Barn
Open daily, noon to 10pm Wednesdays-Saturdays, noon to 5pm Sundays-Tuesdays.

Accompanying the publication of Greenfield's newest book, Moving Still celebrates the recent work of a singular artist who has defined dance photography for decades. In addition to her signature gravity-defying images, this exclusive exhibit debuts her latest collection of enigmatic moments, caught beneath the threshold of perception. FREE

Building the Pillow
Ted Shawn Theatre Lobby
Open 60 minutes prior to every performance.

While seemingly unchanged and timeless in many ways, the beloved structures of this National Historic Landmark have been in constant transition for more than 200 years. In this exhibit, rare photographs of the site's development are shared, many for the first time. FREE

Hirschfeld on the Move
Doris Duke Theatre Lobby
Open 60 minutes prior to every performance.

The legendary Al Hirschfeld (1903-2003) loved dance and captured movement with uncanny economy of line. One of his last masterworks was a commissioned study of Ted Shawn at Jacob's Pillow (now available on new merchandise in The Pillow Store), and exhibited among nine decades of other dance images in an exclusive exhibition created with the Al Hirschfeld Foundation. FREE

Jacob's Pillow Archives/Norton Owen Reading Room
Blake's Barn
Open daily, noon to 10pm Wednesdays-Saturdays, noon to 5pm Sundays-Tuesdays.

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. Also on display are recent donations from Ruth St. Denis's family and more treasures from the Stephan Driscoll Collection. Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive, available on the popular touch-screen kiosk in the Reading Room, provides instant access to rare film clips ranging from the present day back to the 1930s. FREE

ABOUT JACOB'S PILLOW: Jacob's Pillow, celebrating its 84th Festival in 2016, 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. Year-round Community Programs enrich the lives of children and adults through public classes, residencies in area schools, and an extensive schedule of free public events. Through Jacob's Pillow Curriculum in Motion, a nationally recognized program, Artist Educators work with Berkshire County teachers and students grades K-12, transforming curricula such as biology, literature, and history into kinesthetic and creative learning experiences. Creative Development Residencies, in which dance companies are invited to live and work at the Pillow and enjoy unlimited studio time; choreography commissions; and the annual $25,000 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award all support visionary dance artists and choreographers. During Creative Development Residencies, artists are invited to spend one to three weeks at the Pillow creating or rehearsing new work, with free housing for the company, unlimited use of studio space, and access to the Pillow's rare and extensive Archives and other Pillow resources. In the beautiful, retreat-like atmosphere of the Pillow, the Creative Development Residencies are rare opportunities for artists to focus on the creative process without distraction. 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. The Pillow's digital initiatives are aimed at expanding global audiences for dance and offers the opportunity to experience dance and Jacob's Pillow from anywhere in the world via online interactive exhibits, global video networks, and social media. An important part of the Pillow's digital presence, Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive is a curated online video collection of dance highlights from 1933 to today. On March 2, 2011, President 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 www.jacobspillow.org.

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