Trisha Brown Dance Company & CompaÃ±Ãa Irene RodrÃguez Come to Jacob's Pillow
Trisha Brown Dance Company (TBDC) performs at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in the Ted Shawn Theatre, August 16-20, representing the work of one of the seminal choreographers of the 20th century. Since Brown's passing this past March, witnessing TBDC in an evening-length program is an increasingly rare experience. Echoing Brown's choreographic innovation, timeless aesthetic, and 1960s postmodern approach to dance making, TBDC will perform a version of Opal Loop (1980) prepared especially for Jacob's Pillow, featuring former dancers of the company and an original cast member. Acknowledging Brown's more recent choreography, TBDC will also perform Groove and Countermove (2000) and L'Amour au théâtre (2009). As the company ventures into a new era, viewing Brown's work in a proscenium venue "feel[s] increasingly essential" (The New Yorker).
As a co-presentation by Jacob's Pillow Dance and The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA, the TBDC will present Trisha Brown: In Plain Site on August 13 at 1pm and 4pm at the Clark. This unique site-specific engagement reconstructs Brown's work made for the proscenium stage and takes it into unconventional spaces, occurring on and around the Clark's idyllic outdoor landscape.
"We are delighted to once again put Trisha Brown's work front and center in one of its most hallowed homes, the Ted Shawn Theatre," says Jacob's Pillow Director, Pamela Tatge. "Originally, this special program was planned to celebrate our anniversary, and now the performances have gained new meaning and weight: these dancers will also be dancing in memory of Trisha. They will connect us to the countless choreographers and dancers around the world who have been influenced by Trisha's ideas and questions, her sense of space, her connection to visual art, and most of all, her fierce commitment to "pure movement." I'm both honored and proud to welcome this company back to the Pillow as a tribute to one of the undisputed greats in our field," says Jacob's Pillow Director Pamela Tatge.
Opal Loop reflects Brown's 1978-1983 research on visibility and invisibility. Scholar Susan Rosenberg describes the dance as "a monument to a period in Brown's work when she was attempting to 'reign in the esprit' of improvisation in fixed form choreography." Brown created Opal Loop by teaching the original dancers a phrase made on her body as well as an improvisation by dancer Steve Paxton. The dancers then altered the movement with specific directions, creating choreographed "loops" and double-duets. The original dance, Opal Loop/Cloud Installation #72503, was performed with Fujiko Nakaya's shifting fog sculpture made for the original performance space. Lance Gries, Eva Karczag (one of the work's original dancers), Keith Thompson, and Shelley Senter will be performingOpal Loop at the Pillow in this unique, multi-generational presentation. Alastair Macaulay of The New York Times describes Opal Loop as "a fascinating chain sequence of hitches, ripples, shimmies, hops, knee bends."
Groove and Countermove, the last part of a three-section work, represents a more recent chapter in Brown's career. This dance pairs an intricate world of counterpoint between one dancer and the ensemble to jazz music by trumpeter Dave Douglas. Equally calming and explosive, the dancers' sequential bodies paint a colorful environment on stage while cohesion and reaction between music and movement creates a signature "groove" in this dance. Jack Anderson for The New York Times writes that the "music had an attractive pulsing rhythm" while the "dancers moved to it in a loose-limbed, easygoing manner."
L'Amour au théâtre ends the program in a series of signature duets described byTBDC as "constantly shifting aerial architecture" continuously moving the space as "the dancers anchor each other's flight." The movement consists of buoyant partnering and a seamless weaving of bodies that ebb and flow with the Baroque tones of French composer Jean-Phillipe Rameau's "Hippolyte et Aricie." L'Amour au théâtre was developed in partnership with the operatic nature of Rameau's music and seamlessly combines with Brown's noteworthy vocabulary and choreographic values. Judith Mackrell for The Guardian praises L'Amour au théâtre as "not only a piece of ravishing beauty, but a repository of profound technical knowledge."
About The Trisha Brown Dance Company
Trisha Brown and her company are staples of postmodern dance. Brown is most well-known as a pioneer of Judson Dance Theater, an experimental dance movement established in the 1960s. Founding Trisha Brown Dance Company in 1970, Brown continued abstracting, questioning, and investigating. Through her company, Brown created 100 dances, six operas, and was a firm believer in collaboration with other art mediums. Layered within her iconic approach to dance making, critics have praised, "Ms. Brown's barefoot idiom -- democratic dance at its most sensuous...can have a deeply affecting kinesthetic quality" (Alastair Macaulay, The New York Times). She created pieces with musicians such as John Cage and Laurie Anderson and with visual artists, including her long-time collaborator Robert Rauschenberg. Today, Trisha Brown Dance Company tours internationally as an influential and seminal postmodern dance group. Eva Yaa Asantewaa for Dance Magazine describes Brown's work as "unlocked houses that never wait for us to wander inside. Instead, they reach out, from the first moment, quietly, gently breaking and entering one's nervous system. We remain helpless, and enchanted, as they dance us."
Since 1980, Trisha Brown and TBDC have worked closely with Jacob's Pillow Dance. Former Jacob's Pillow Director Liz Thompson studied and danced with Trisha Brown in the 1950s and 1960s and initiated the connection between Brown and the Pillow. Brown taught at The School at Jacob's Pillow in 1980 and 1986.
Along with teaching, Brown and her company have performed multiple times at the Festival since 1980, gracing all three stages (Inside/Out Performance Space, Doris Duke Theatre, and the Ted Shawn Theatre). Jacob's Pillow commissioned the creation of Brown's emblematic 1983 Set and Reset, performed at Jacob's Pillow in 1986, 1999, and 2011. In 1999, TBDC premiered Five Part Weather Invention at the Festival, co-commissioned by Jacob's Pillow, and had residency workshops and events co-commissioned by MASS MoCA and Jacob's Pillow.
Brown was highlighted in a PillowTalk in 2003 with dance scholar Deborah Jowitt, had a season-long exhibit at the Festival in 2011, and was on advisory committees for Jacob's Pillow including the Century Fund Honorary Committee and the 65th season's Artists' Committee. Brown is featured in Jacob's Pillow Scholar-in-Residence Maura Keefe's series of essays for the Pillow titled Women in Dance.
Related content on Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive
Scholar-in-Residence Maura Keefe's Women in Dance chapter on Trisha Brown:
Trisha Brown Dance Company performing Les Yeux et l'âme in 2011 in the Ted Shawn Theatre:
Trisha Brown Dance Company performing Later Pass in 1986 in the Ted Shawn Theatre:
Trisha Brown: In Plain Site at the Clark
Sunday, August 13 at 1pm & 4pm
The Trisha Brown Dance Company continues Brown's legacy through its Trisha Brown: In Plain Site initiative. Through this effort, the company draws on Brown's model for reinvigorating her choreography at new sites and in new contexts. In a co-presentation by Jacob's Pillow and The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, the company will present Trisha Brown: In Plain Site on the Clark's grounds in Williamstown.
Compañía Irene Rodríguez
Doris Duke Theatre, August 16-20
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8:15pm
Thursday, Saturday, Sunday at 2:15pm
$45, $35, $25
The "intense, exacting" (The New York Times) performer and choreographer Irene Rodríguez is one of the most prominent figures in Cuban dance. Alongside her six talented dancers and an ensemble of live musicians, Rodríguez melds flamenco's fiery passion and exhilarating footwork with a unique Afro-Cuban flair, leaving a "trail of triumph and applause" (Granma, Cuba). The program will include a world premiere work and a U.S. premiere. Among many other honors, Rodríguez has received First Prize in the Ibero-American Choreography Competition "Alicia Alonso" CIC' 2012, an award from the Author's Foundation of the Spanish General Society of Authors and Editors (SGAE), and the Excellence Award for the Best Choreography from the International Choreography Contest of the XXII International meeting of Ballet Academies in 2016.
The School at Jacob's Pillow: A Jazz Happening
Sunday August 20 at 5:00pm
Ted Shawn Theatre
$65, $45, $25
This one-night-only performance features the über-talented dancers of The School at Jacob's Pillow's Musical Theatre Dance Program. Directed by Broadway's Chet Walker, students sing and dance their hearts out with a live jazz band and special guests. This inspiring evening supports The School at Jacob's Pillow.
Inside/Out Performance Series: Xan Burley & Alex Springer
Wednesday, August 16 at 6:15pm
Xan Burley and Alex Springer are dancers, choreographers, teachers, collaborators, and members of Doug Varone and Dancers. Following the company's engagement in the Ted Shawn Theatre, August 2-6, Burley and Springer will stay on as Jacob's Pillow Research Fellows and will create a site-specific work, which will premiere on August 16. As creative and life partners, collaboration is inherent and key for this duo. Since 2008, their cohesive efforts have taken shape as dance theater for the stage and camera, interdisciplinary work, site-specific performance, durational exhibition, and community engagement. Their choreography has been commissioned by colleges and universities across the U.S. As members of Doug Varone and Dancers, both have taught and performed extensively in the U.S. and abroad, including Korea, the Dominican Republic, Russia, Argentina, Peru, and Hungary.
Third Thursday in Pittsfield: Stilo Dance
Thursday, August 17 at 5:00pm
Founded in 2007 by David Olarte, Stilo Dance Company is a multi-faceted group that exists as both a performance team and as a community-centered, research-based educational entity. Stilo's roots lie in Latin social dance, but they pride themselves on breaking the rules and blurring the lines between Afro-Cuban Folklorico, contemporary/modern, and traditional Latin styles. This holistic approach places the most value on connection, listening, and finding authentic movement in social dance. The audience will be invited to dance after the performance.
Inside/Out: Periapsis Music and Dance
Thursday, August 17 at 6:15pm
Periapsis Music and Dance was founded with a mission to cultivate and support new repertoire at the intersection of dance and music, creating and facilitating opportunities for artists to perform with live music and for choreographers to work with living composers. The company's program, The Portrait Project, is comprised of four different short works, each featuring a solo dancer and solo musician, and each created by a different guest choreographer in collaboration with a composer. Each work will be performed with live music, including Escape Velocity by Seán Curran (with percussion), Twine by Manuel Vignoulle (with viola), Separate Rooms by Joshua Beamish (with bass clarinet), and Reflectionby Katarzyna Skarpetowska (with piano). Periapsis Artistic Director and co-founder Jonathan Howard Katz composed original music for Escape Velocity, Twine, and Reflection, and the Separate Rooms score is by composer Shawn Jaeger.
PillowTalk: Trisha Brown's Legacy
Friday, August 18 at 5pm
Trisha Brown's legacy endures through performances by her company and others, while Susan Rosenberg's new book celebrates Brown's choreography as visual art, with all efforts discussed here.
Inside/Out Performance Series: Stilo Dance
Friday, August 18 at 6:15pm
Founded in Arizona in 2007 by David Olarte, Stilo Dance Company is a multi-faceted group that exists as both a performance team and as a community-centered, research-based educational entity. Stilo's roots lie in Latin social dance, but they pride themselves on breaking the rules and blurring the lines between Afro-Cuban Folklorico, contemporary/modern, and traditional Latin styles. The company performs Paseo, a fluid expression of these values and interdisciplinary viewpoints (connection, listening, finding authentic movement in social dance). Audiences will be led on a pedagogical journey through the broad historical landscape of Latin dance, then catapulted into Stilo's vision for what lies ahead in the future.
PillowTalk: Cuba's Changing Dance Scene
Saturday, August 19 at 4pm
Spanish dancer Irene Rodríguez is integrally involved in Cuba's artscape, and a new film highlights her role in Havana's culture.
Inside/Out Performance Series: The School at Jacob's Pillow Musical Theatre Program
Saturday, August 19 at 6:15pm
Performers of the Musical Theatre Dance Program share excerpts of song and dance numbers they are preparing for A Jazz Happening, a benefit for The School at Jacob's Pillow to be held in the Ted Shawn Theatre on August 20. Under the direction of Broadway choreographer/director Chet Walker, award-winning Broadway choreographers, directors, composers, and musicians collaborate to create original numbers on the performers, with the same fast pace and rigor required to audition for and mount Broadway productions.
Sunday Master Class With Festival Artist: Compañía Irene Rodríguez
Sunday, August 20 at 10am-11:30am
Doris Duke Theatre
$15/class or $80/6-Class Card
($10 per class for dance teachers with appropriate I.D.)
Open to all levels, ages 12+
Irene Rodríguez leads a class designed to broaden knowledge of Flamenco dance with a comprehensive focus on Spanish dance culture. Participants will learn the theory and practice of four distinctly different styles of Spanish dance with an opportunity to view demonstrations throughout the class. Dancers will leave with a greater understanding of Spanish culture.
Please wear comfortable clothes to move in and be prepared with footwear: flamenco shoes are ideal, but character shoes or any other hard sole shoe with a wide heel with do. No bare feet please.
FESTIVAL 2017 EXHIBITS & ARCHIVES - ONGOING
The following exhibits and offerings are free and open to the public June 19 through August 27, 2017.
JACOB'S PILLOW JUMPS
Open Wednesday-Saturday, noon to final curtain (approx. 10pm) andSunday-Tuesday noon to 5pm
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.
INSIDE THE DANCER'S ART
Ted Shawn Theatre Lobby
Open Wednesday-Saturday, noon to final curtain (approx. 10pm) andSunday-Tuesday noon to 5pm
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.
MAIRA KALMAN'S PRINCIPLES OF UNCERTAINTY
Doris Duke Theatre Lobby
Open Wednesday-Saturday, noon to final curtain (approx. 10pm) andSunday-Tuesday, noon to 5pm
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.
JACOB'S PILLOW ARCHIVES/NORTON OWEN READING ROOM
Open daily, Wednesday-Saturday, noon to final curtain (approx. 10pm) andSunday-Tuesday, noon to 5pm
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.
ONLINE EXHIBIT: JACOB'S PILLOW DANCE INTERACTIVE
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.
FESTIVAL 2017 COMMUNITY CLASSES - ONGOING
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
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. Call413.623.6635 to pre-register.
TALKS, TOURS, OBSERVATION-ONGOING
30 minutes prior to every performance
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.
Thursday and Friday, immediately following the performance
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 jacobspillow.org or onsite signage for specific times
Festival visitors are welcome to observe dancers of The School at Jacob's Pillow in classes and rehearsals.
Thursday and Saturday at 5:30pm
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 are all participating 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(http://danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org/) 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 Pillowis hosting international auditions and workshops and planning its national audition tour, which will kick off in January in Miami. 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, visitwww.jacobspillow.org.