Five Senses Festival Returns This Summer
The Five Senses Festival, now in its second year, returns to Litchfield County, Connecticut this July and August. The acclaimed festival, created by internationally renowned dance company Pilobolus together with Spring Hill Vineyards, Stephanie and Tim Ingrassia, and a group of strong community supporters, presents world-class music and dance concerts, interactive art, family activities, locally-sourced and crafted food and creative conversation in a visually stunning yet intimate natural setting over three summer weekends in Washington, Connecticut.
The theme of the 2019 event is "Connect/ReConnect," encouraging guests to explore a variety of performances and activities that allow them to experience themselves and others more fully through senses. Convening world-class artists and thinkers from various fields, together with local community members of all ages, the Festival aims to strengthen a sense of place by using art and nature to gather.
"I am thrilled that we are going to be back at the festival field this summer, presenting an amazing array of events that cannot be experienced this way anywhere else," said Itamar Kubovy, Pilobolus Executive Producer. "Much of this unique experience is due to the setting in which the festival takes place: an ever-developing canvas for delights and discoveries created in collaboration with Stephanie Ingrassia, co-founder, and host for the Five Senses Festival."
"It is a joy to share our love of art and originality with our community," said Ingrassia.
The funds raised at the Gala, which kicks off the three-weekend schedule of programming, allow the event to offer free and low-cost programming to the community for the entire festival, welcoming people of all ages to enjoy food, music, dance, ideas, and art with refreshed senses from sunrise to sundown.
"This year, we are expanding on the highlights of last year's festival, including the addition of more family-friendly programming, educational workshops that encourage creative collaboration between artists and attendees, and childcare for those events that are more adult-oriented," said Emily Kent, Pilobolus Education and Community Outreach Manager. "After welcoming more than 75 artists, 600 children, and 4,000 ticket-holders last year, we are looking forward to producing an even richer experience for kids in 2019!"
There are five main tracks of programming this summer, including Performance (primarily music and dance), Tent Talks (discussions meant to intrigue, expand and connect), Wellness (exercise, meditation, yoga), Kids and Family workshops (inspiring and inviting artists of all ages to participate) and Food and Drink.
Highlights from the line-up include (schedule subject to change):
The Five Senses Ball, in support of the Five Senses Festival, kicks off the festivities on Saturday, July 20 and features cocktails, dinner, performances by writer Claire Messud (The Woman Upstairs, The Emperor's Children); Banjo player and Multi-Grammy Award winning Bela Fleck; Singer-songwriter and banjo player Abigail Washburn; Pilobolus and some additional surprises.
All seven festival days offer:
- Morning Meditation with Jampa Stewart and Yoga with Lela Ilyinsky, both of Valley Spirit Wellness Center.
- Morning and Afternoon Childcare.
- Assorted arts activities for kids and families with Jessica Russell of ARTROOM Atelier (Bantam, CT) and Festival artists in Residence.
- Food and drink by Festival chef Cassandra Purdy.
Sunday, July 21, 2019
- Opening Ceremony with Pilobolus, Abigail Washburn and a surprise guest performance.
- Tent Talk: Acclaimed Novelist Claire Messud on the role of beauty in writing and life.
- Community Square Dance.
- Concert: Multi Grammy Award-winning banjo players Béla Fleck, Abigail Washburn and Friends.
Friday, July 26, 2019
- Tent Talk: Legendary portrait photographer Mark Seliger (Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Vogue) presents a short film and portraits from Christopher Street, NYC, highlighting how the neighborhood has for years been a home to people in the world who did not find a place elsewhere. Most recently, many of those are members of the trans community. A discussion will follow the screening featuring guests from the film and musical accompaniment by Joshuah Campbell.
- Concert: Colombian Jazz Harpist Edmar Castañeda, an extraordinary artist that has entirely reimagined what the harp can do, and his trio.
- Dance Party in the Amphitheater: Back for a longer stay after their hit appearance last summer, the groundbreaking Tijuana-based group Nortec Collective creates an entirely original sound that makes it impossible not to dance.
Saturday, July 27, 2019
- Performance and Workshop: Capoeira. Afro-Brazilian martial art performance with expert artists from Bahía, Brazil.
- Concert: Pilobolus Family Show. A Pilobolus dance show made especially for families, followed by a conversation with the dancers.
- Tent Talk: Identity - "What makes me, me?" A conversation with best-selling author Dani Shapiro and guests.
- Concert: Festival favorite Bossa Nova band, "A Lua Alicia."
- Concert: Nano Stern Trio, renowned singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and composer from Santiago, Chile.
Sunday, July 28, 2019
- Tent Talk: "Cooking and Songs" - a live performance/conversation with multiple James Beard award-winning chef and culinary author Gabrielle Hamilton, and composer, singer, songwriter, bandleader and WNYC podcast host, Julian Fleisher.
- Workshop: Collaborative Songwriting. A participatory songwriting workshop with Grammy-nominated songwriter Terry Radigan.
- Concert: "Big Band Classics and Covers" with renowned soul singer and festival favorite C.C. White and Julian Fleisher. A concert of songs that are familiar to all, interpreted in a new and delightful way.
Friday, August 2, 2019
- Tent Talk: A discussion and reading of never-before-published work with bestselling novelist Nicole Krauss, on memory and the senses in her work.
- Draftsmen and Dancers: Artists from the New York Academy of Art capture the improvised movement of Pilobolus dancers.
- Concert: Sacred Music in the Amphitheater. Juilliard musicians and singers, under the direction of Ed Bilous, take guests on a 1000 year journey of beautiful music that has been written for the heavens, featuring classical, jazz and gospel from a wide variety of world-class musicians.
Saturday, August 3, 2019
- Tent Talk: A workshop on smell, taste and touch with sensory experts in wine and perfume.
- Concert: Southern Gothic singer-songwriter Amythyst Kiah and Grammy-winning cellist, singer/songwriter and festival favorite Ben Sollee.
Sunday, August 4, 2019
- The Next Generation: A performance of young local artists from across the disciplines.
- A full-length Pilobolus performance of classics and pieces of new work created during the Festival.
The Festival Field at Spring Hill Vineyard (292 Bee Brook Road in Washington, Connecticut) houses a sprawling, grassy field for music, dance, visual art, and children's workshops, as well as a 250-seat outdoor granite amphitheater designed by artist Mark Mennin using 120 tons of pink Connecticut granite; a silo houses a mirrored grotto raised 60 feet in the air created by Randy Polumbo; a tent housing headlining concerts and lectures; a wine cave; and vintage Airstream serve food and cocktails from Chef Cassandra Purdy, made with ingredients and recipes sourced from local farmers and collaborators.
Tickets to the Five Senses Ball are available here: https://www.fivesensesfestival.com/ball.
For tickets to weekend programming and to view the full programming line-up, please visit: https://www.fivesensesfestival.com/schedule.
The festival events will be held rain or shine. We kindly ask that you leave pets at home unless they are licensed service animals. There is limited parking available on site; carpooling is encouraged. Please do not park anywhere along the entrance driveway or the main road leading up to the Five Senses Field. Festival staff will be readily available to help anyone who has difficulty accessing the more rural parts of the festival site.