Jacob's Pillow Presents Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, 7/2-6

Popular contemporary company Hubbard Street Dance Chicago returns to Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival for the first time since 2010, bringing a sensational mixed-bill program. Directed by Glenn Edgerton, the 18-member company performs the dramatic Mediterranean-inspired Gnawa, choreographed by Nacho Duato, and Ji?í Kylián's vivid Falling Angels, a stark all-female work danced to "Drumming" by contemporary composer Steve Reich. The company's performance of Falling Angels earlier this year was called "a gorgeous combination of energetic and hypnotic, a celebration of what the body can do" by Lauren Whalen of Chicago Theater Beat. Hubbard Street Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo's latest work for the company, The Impossible, is a bold and theatrical work centered around themes of memory, mortality, and the human spirit.

PACOPEPEPLUTO, also by Cerrudo, features choreography "rich in circular turns, jumps and dashing Olympian form" for three male dancers set to the sweet songs of Dean Martin (Sid Smith, The Chicago Tribune). Hubbard Street performs in the Ted Shawn Theatre in an extended seven-show engagement, July 2-6.

"Hubbard Street continues to feature some of the most exciting, versatile dancers performing anywhere in the world today," comments Jacob's Pillow Executive and Artistic Director Ella Baff, adding: "Hubbard Street also sets a standard for contemporary dance in the U.S. by performing the works of emerging and great master choreographers."

Noted for its "striking group patterns, infused with echoes of flamenco and various earthy folk-dance touches" (Claudia La Rocco, The New York Times) Gnawa was created for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2005 by Spanish choreographer Nacho Duato. Set to a variety of North African and Spanish music provided by such musicians as Hassan Hakmoun, Adam Rudolph, Juan Alberto Arteche, Javier Paxariño, Rabih Abou-Khalil, Velez, and Kusur y Sarkissian, Gnawa pays homage to the vibrant culture of the Mediterranean region with joyous ensemble sections as well as poignant duets showcasing intricate partnering. Gnawa was performed at the Pillow in 2010 by CND2, when Janine Parker of The Boston Globe called the work "a vision of mysterious beauty."

Ji?í Kylián's 1989 Falling Angels, for an all-female cast of eight, is a formal work replete with "contorted movements and sheer intensity" (John Rockwell, The New York Times). Danced to Steve Reich's propulsive score, Falling Angels is one of Kylián's six "black and white ballets" and highlights rigorous precision with simple costumes and clean lighting design. Falling Angels was created for Nederlands Dans Theatre in 1989 and has been performed by classical and contemporary companies alike; in 2010, Nina Ananiashvili's State Ballet of Georgia brought it to the Ted Shawn Theatre.

Alejandro Cerrudo contributes two works to the program. The visually rich, theatrical The Impossible, his thirteenth work for the company, premiered this month and has been described as a "dark fairy tale...punctuated by great humor and warmth, as well as truly ingenious movement" (Hedy Weiss, The Chicago Sun-Times). PACOPEPEPLUTO is a suite of technically astounding solos for three men of the company performed to the smooth soundtrack of Dean Martin hit songs "In the Chapel in the Moonlight," "That's Amore," and "Memories Are Made of This." Cerrudo has been Resident Choreographer of Hubbard Street since 2009 as well as a member of the company since 2005. Claudia La Rocco wrote of his work: "Mr. Cerrudo threads deft, mysterious arm gestures throughout his easy, generous choreography, which is also marked by touches of humor and muscular but nonshowy partnering" (The New York Times). An accomplished dancer, Cerrudo performed at the Pillow during Festival 2013 as part of Wendy Whelan/Restless Creature, in a duet he choreographed for Whelan.

Dancer/choreographer Lou Conte founded Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 1977 and directed the company until his retirement in 2000. The relationship between the company and the Pillow has been a close one, encompassing over a dozen engagements since 1983 including a two-week run in 1990. The company has been led by Glenn Edgerton since the fall of 2009 and features a high-caliber roster of dancers from across the U.S., Canada, and Spain. Hubbard Street members have performed with companies such as Trey McIntyre Project, San Francisco Ballet, Richmond Ballet, the Limón Dance Company, Alonzo King's LINES Ballet, Compania Nacional de Danza 2 (CND2), Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal, [bjm danse] (formerly Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal), Gallim Dance, Aszure Barton & Artists, and others.

Performance and ticket information

Ted Shawn Theatre

Wednesday, July 2-Saturday, July 5, 8pm

Thursday, July 3, Saturday, July 5, & Sunday, July 6, 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

A Free Post-Show Talk with artists from Hubbard Street Dance Chicago will take place onstage immediately following the performance on Friday, July 4

Tickets $39-75. 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: Sun, Mon, Tues, 11am-5pm; Wednesday- Saturday, 11am-8pm

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 grounds and theaters are handicapped accessible.


Gotta Dance!

Blake's Barn

Open Tues through Sun, noon through final curtain.

The art of the dance movie poster is celebrated in this extraordinary group of vintage posters from throughout the world, selected from the personal collection of one of the genre's foremost experts, Mike Kaplan, an award winning campaign designer and producer. Among the star dancers featured are Gene Kelly, Rita Hayworth, Cyd Charisse, and Astaire & Rogers, with a special salute to Marge Champion on the occasion of her 95th birthday.

Denishawn Centennial

Ted Shawn Theatre Lobby

Open 60 minutes pre-performance

One hundred years ago this summer, the iconic dance soloist Ruth St. Denis married Pillow founder Ted Shawn and formed a company that spawned American modern dance. Their union was celebrated here with a lavish 50th Anniversary celebration in 1964 (despite their formal separation in 1930), and now their partnership is explored through treasures from the Jacob's Pillow Archives.

104 Work Weeks: On Tour With Merce Cunningham Dance Company

Doris Duke Theatre Lobby

Open 60 minutes pre-performance

Visual artist Kenneth E. Parris III documented the Merce Cunningham Dance Company's final tour in a series of drawings and paintings focusing on the dancers' backstage life, displayed here on the five-year anniversary of the company's last Pillow performances and Merce Cunningham's death that same week.

Jacob's Pillow Dance Archives

Blake's Barn

Open Tues-Sun, noon to approximately 9pm

This 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. Pillow Interactive, the popular touch-screen kiosk, provides instant access to rare film clips ranging from the present day back to the 1930s. Visitors may also sample videos from other Dance Heritage Coalition archives and companies throughout the country. FREE


Free Inside/Out Performance: Patricia Kenny Dance Collection

Wednesday, July 2, 6:15pm

Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space

This New York-based group performs lush and lyrical contemporary choreography. The company's repertory includes works by Robert Battle, Katarzyna Skarpetowska?, Orion Duckstein, and artistic director Patricia Kenny Reilly, a former member of Parsons Dance. FREE

Free Inside/Out Performance: Amalgamate Dance Company

Thursday, July 3, 6:15pm

Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space

Contemporary dance, fearless partnering, and silky virtuosity - with a social purpose. Founded in 2005, Amalgamate Dance Company's mission is to raise awareness around significant topics and events that affect human development through authentic storytelling. Artistic Director Alana Marie Urda creates dance events that educate audiences, involve communities, and provide opportunities for dancers. FREE

July 4th at the Pillow

Friday, July 4, all day

The Pillow hosts Free Fun Friday, supported by the Highland Street Foundation, with free daytime activities, Kids Corners, a themed PillowTalk, guided tour of the historic grounds, and a performance on the Inside/Out stage with stunning views of the Berkshire Hills.

Free PillowTalk: Dancing Fourth at the Pillow

Friday, July 4, 5pm

Blake's Barn

Jacob's Pillow typically celebrates Independence Day with dance of all kinds, from all around the world. Some themed video highlights and special memories from years past help illustrate that every day is a holiday here at this world-renowned center for dance. FREE

Free Inside/Out Performance: Yin Yue Dance Company

Friday, July 4, 6:15pm

Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space

Founded by choreographer Yin Yue, Yin Yue Dance is a New York City-based contemporary dance company. Yin's work entertains the contrast between fluidity and explosive strength, sensuality and power. Yin Yue Dance returns to Jacob's Pillow with works exemplifying virtuosity and grace. FREE

Free PillowTalk Film: Tap or Die

Saturday, July 5, 4pm

Blake's Barn

Loaded with terrific dance sequences and rare Pillow footage, this documentary film focuses on both the triumphs and the challenges faced by today's tap artists. The screening will be followed by a conversation with filmmaker Jaclyn Paré. This event coincides with the Tap Program of The School at Jacob's Pillow, directed this summer by 2013 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award recipient Michelle Dorrance, who appears in the film. Extended 90-minute program. FREE

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

Saturday, July 5, 6:15pm

Dancers from the Tap Program of The School at Jacob's Pillow present variations coached by program director Michelle Dorrance. Dorrance is a recipient of the Jacob's Pillow Dance Award (2013), and her troupe Dorrance Dance performs for two weeks in the Doris Duke Theatre, July 16-27. FREE


Jacob's Pillow, celebrating its 82nd Festival in 2014, 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 Jazz/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 80 years 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. Virtual Pillow is 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. As part of the Virtual Pillow initiative, Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive is a curated online video collection of dance highlights from 1936 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.

Photo by Todd Rosenberg

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