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Jacob's Pillow Welcomes Jessica Lang Dance to Doris Duke Theatre, Now thru 8/11

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From today, August 7-11 in the Doris Duke Theatre, Jacob's Pillow presents the highly anticipated return of Jessica Lang Dance, a contemporary ballet company led by Artistic Director and choreographer Jessica Lang. The company debuted at the Pillow during the 2012 Festival to rave reviews and sold-out performances. Jessica Lang Dance returns this season with five works, including a world premiere.

The program at the Pillow begins with the world premiere of Within the Space I Hold danced to an original score by Polish composer Jakub Ciupinski, who designed an instrument that allows hand gestures to control the electronic music in real time. Contributing to the aesthetic of the piece is the set created by award-winning designers Stephanie Forsythe and Todd MacAllen of molo, based in Vancouver, Canada.

The company premiere of A Solo in Nine Parts (2010) is described by Paul Horsley of The Independent as "ingeniously structured and intelligently worked-out." Nine performers will grace the stage with traditional and classical ballet choreography, accompanied by Antonio Vivaldi's "Le Quattro Stagioni" ("The Four Seasons"). Lang, known for using striking sets and costumes, shows in this work that "she is equally adept at engineering interplay with just nine dancers on a bare stage" (Lisa Jo Sagolla, Kansas City Star).

An excerpt from Aria (2010), originally created for American Ballet Theatre II under the title Vivace Motifs, is also a company premiere and will be performed by three founding members of Jessica Lang Dance: Kana Kimura, Claudia MacPherson, and Laura Mead. Tim Martin of Dance Europe Magazine calls Lang's White (2011), a dance on film that captures and layers dancer in real time and slow motion, "groundbreaking...she hasn't just discovered some clever-effects-she meticulously choreographs these on-screen interactions so expertly that we feel we are no longer watching film, or dance, or dance on film: it's like a completely New Medium. "

Further demonstrating Lang's exploration of video and projection is the quirky i.n.k. (2011) inspired by visual artist Shinichi Maruyama's KUSHO series. Throughout the work, dancers move in relation to a backdrop with slow-motion projections of Maruyama's falling and colliding drops of paint and water. The fusion of choreography and video art creates a multimedia experience that Philip Gardner of Oberon's Grove describes as "compelling and poetic."

The well-accomplished cast of nine dancers boasts degrees from some of the nation's most prestigious institutions including The Juilliard School, SUNY Purchase College Conservatory of Dance, The Ailey School/ Fordham University, and Marymount Manhattan College.


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