Jacob's Pillow Dance 2012

Full Schedule June 16 through August 26

By: - Jun 07, 2012

June 5, 2012 – (Becket, Mass.) Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival kicks off June 16 with the 80th Anniversary Gala, followed by “a veritable dance explosion” (Claudia La Rocco of The New York Times) of more than 300 free and ticketed performances, talks, exhibits, classes, and events spanning three months. Founded in the early 1930s by modern dance pioneer Ted Shawn as a retreat for his company of Men Dancers, Jacob’s Pillow is a National Historic Landmark, National Medal of Arts honoree, and America’s longest-running international dance festival. Nestled in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts, “the Pillow” is acclaimed for its rich history, unique location, and forward-thinking international programming of the highest quality. Tickets are available online at, via phone at 413.243.0745, and in person at the Box Office.

The 80th Anniversary Season runs June 16 through August 26 and includes an impressive blend of world premieres, U.S. premieres, live music, company debuts, legendary dance companies, emerging choreographers, and more than 300 ticketed and free events, talks, performances, classes, exhibits, and tours hosted at the Pillow’s 163-acre National Historic Landmark site.

Executive and Artistic Director Ella Baff affirms her dedication to presenting dance of many forms and styles from around the world with an 80th Anniversary Festival that features companies spanning nine countries and five continents: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, and the United States. The Hong Kong Ballet, Luna Negra Dance Theater, and Vertigo Dance Company are among many troupes that will make their Jacob’s Pillow debuts. Morphoses, The Joffrey Ballet, and Trey McIntyre Project will present world premieres during the Festival. Companies with historical connections to Jacob’s Pillow include The Joffrey Ballet, returning for the first time in nearly 50 years, and Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, which made its 1964 U.S. debut at the Pillow.

Once-in-a-lifetime engagements will also be presented. A weeklong homage to Ted Shawn and his Men Dancers will feature a 20-member cast of some of the greatest male dancers and choreographers of today including Lar Lubovitch, Jason Samuels Smith, Arthur Mitchell, Trent Kowalik, Cartier Williams, and Jock Soto, among many others.

Three specially selected “Back by Popular Demand” productions will be discovered anew by audiences. Ella Baff comments, “I hope to encourage the public to consider more contemporary dance works as classics, to be revisited in the same way that we enjoy and deepen our appreciation for classic works of music, theatre, and the visual arts.” This series includes Tero Saarinen’s powerful Shaker-inspired Borrowed Light, which premiered in the U.S. at the Pillow in 2006; 2011Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award recipient Crystal Pite’s stunningly accomplished work Dark Matters; and Doug Elkins’ insightful and hilarious Fräulein Maria, first performed at the Pillow in 2009.

The 2012 Festival also offers more than 200 free performances, talks, exhibits, and community events. Free outdoor Inside/Out performances take place Wednesdays through Saturdays during the Festival, 6:15-7pm. This season the Inside/Out schedule includes Hawaiian company Pua Ali'i 'Ilima (June 20), students of The School at Jacob’s Pillow (every Saturday evening), Ian Spencer Bell Dance (July 11), choreographer and Broadway performer Jeremy McQueen (July 27), celebrated dancemaker Molissa Fenley and Dancers (August 17), Houston Met Dance Company (August 26), and many other dance companies.

Free PillowTalks feature directors, choreographers, visual artists, authors and filmmakers Fridays at 5pm and Saturdays at 4pm. This year’s schedule includes talks with Morphoses director Lourdes Lopez (June 29), Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison (July 13), principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre and the Bolshoi Ballet David Hallberg (August 3), Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet Ashley Wheater (August 24), and many others.

Pre-Show Briefings are given by Pillow Scholars 30 minutes before every performance; Post-Show Talks are held Thursdays in the Doris Duke Theatre and Fridays in the Ted Shawn Theatre; and public tours are held Thursdays and Saturdays at 5:30pm. Five free photography and art exhibits are open to the public throughout the Festival, including Decades of Dance, a commemorative exhibit highlighting images from each decade; Old / Pillow, the work of accomplished photographer Toby Old; and Ivan Chermayeff Designs, a look back at the iconic Jacob’s Pillow illustrations and materials created by noted artist and graphic design icon Ivan Chermayeff from the 1980s and 90s. Community Dance Day, the annual community-wide celebration, will be held July 1 and focuses on encouraging participation in dance for people of all ages. Arts Educators will be welcomed July 27-29 for the second annual Arts Educator Weekend, and Weekend OUT, a weekend of welcome for GLBT families, friends, and individuals, will take place August 10-12.

A full schedule of all ticketed and free events is below.


Decades of Dance

Blake's Barn

Open Tues-Sun, noon to approx 9pm

From its inception in 1933 to the present day, Jacob's Pillow has been home to extraordinary dance from around the world. In celebration of the Pillow's 80th Anniversary Season, remarkable images from each decade are grouped thematically in a unique commemorative exhibition. Culled from the extensive Jacob's Pillow Archives, this cornucopia of treasures includes a virtual Who's Who of the dance world and features rare materials never before exhibited. FREE

Old / Pillow

Ted Shawn Theatre Lobby

Open 60 minutes before every Ted Shawn Theatre performance

New York photographer Toby Old has focused his lens on specific locations like Coney Island and Times Square, and explored themes such as fashion shows, nightclubs, and boxing matches. His Jacob’s Pillow visits over the past five years have yielded images that capture both the place and the people who enliven it. Some of these photographs were recently featured in a Paris gallery, this exhibit marks the first time they have been shown in the U.S. FREE

Ivan Chermayeff Designs

Doris Duke Theatre Lobby

Open 60 minutes before every Doris Duke Theatre performance

A celebrated designer, illustrator, and artist, Ivan Chermayeff has created familiarly iconic images for hundreds of prominent clients such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian, and has won numerous awards. In 1955, with Tom Geismar, he co-founded the internationally-known New York City design firm of Chermayeff & Geismar. Chermayeff's designs for Jacob's Pillow in the 1980s and 90s are still remembered for their bold vision and originality, and many are collected here for the first time. FREE

Precious Medals

Blake's Barn

Open Tues-Sun, noon to approx 9pm

When President Barack Obama presented the National Medal of Arts to Jacob's Pillow at the White House last year, the Pillow became the first dance presenting organization ever to receive this distinction. The medal itself and the signed presidential proclamation are on display in this exhibit along with some of the other awards received by the Pillow and its founder, Ted Shawn, including the Capezio Award, the Commonwealth Award, Shawn's medal from the King of Denmark, and other treasures. FREE

Anniversary Highlights, Part 2

Bakalar Studio

Open to the public whenever classes or rehearsals are not in session

Photos from past Pillow seasons traditionally line the Bakalar Studio walls, and the current 80th Anniversary Festival offers a special opportunity to look back at memorable images from the Festival's history. FREE

Jacob's Pillow Dance Archives

Blake's Barn

Open Tues-Sun, noon to approx 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, and the Dance Heritage Coalition's new Secure Media Network features videos from other archives throughout the country. FREE


Members Only Film Event – Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance

Sunday, June 10, 3pm

The annual Member Appreciation Film Event will feature the new documentary Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance. Chronicling the legendary and groundbreaking Joffrey Ballet, the film has been described by The Washington Post as “a colorful, fast-paced tribute to founder Joffrey and his wish to create a truly American entity: a modern-leaning ballet company.” Tickets are free for Jacob’s Pillow Members; call 413.243.0745 to become a Member and reserve seats.

 80th Anniversary Season Opening Gala

Saturday, June 16, 5:30pm


The 80th Anniversary Season Opening Gala kicks off Festival 2012 with style and glamour. In honor of the occasion a world premiere by acclaimed British choreographer Michael Corder, former Royal Ballet principal dancer and Director of Dance at English National Ballet School, will be created, rehearsed in just four days, and performed by dancers of the Ballet Program of The School at Jacob’s Pillow. An exclusive program of performances will also feature Circa, a captivating movement and circus arts company from Australia, a duet by Brazilian dance company Mimulus, and American Ballet Theatre and Bolshoi Ballet star David Hallberg in Nacho Duato’s Kaburias. The 2012 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award will be presented to choreographer Kyle Abraham. Dinner, dancing to live music, and a live auction on the Pillow’s Great Lawn follow. The 80th Anniversary Season Opening Gala is a benefit event; funds raised support the artistic and educational programs of Jacob’s Pillow, a not-for-profit organization. Honorary Co-Chairs for the event include Governor Deval L. Patrick and First Lady Diane B. Patrick, Carmen deLavallade, and David Hallberg. Tickets and tables available for purchase at

 Mimulus Dance Company

Ted Shawn Theatre

Wednesday, June 20 – Saturday, June 23, 8pm

Saturday, June 23 & Sunday, June 24, 2pm



Mimulus blends Brazilian social dance with contemporary choreography and imaginative visual design, under the artistic direction of Jomar Mesquita. The company made its U.S. debut at Jacob’s Pillow in 2007, prompting Jennifer Dunning of The New York Times to write “Mesquita and his Mimulus dance company ought to be bottled and sold as elixir.” Mimulus opens the 80th Anniversary Festival with the U.S. premiere of Por Um Fio (By a Thread). Por Um Fio is an energetic multimedia tribute to Arthur Bispo do Rosário, an outsider artist who became well known in the contemporary visual art world after his death in 1989. Bispo do Rosário spent much of his life in a Brazilian asylum devoid of social contact, where he created art by embroidering and transforming found objects such as garments, sheets, sashes, and other materials. Mesquita uses the artist’s work and life as inspiration to play with light and shadow, control and disorder, madness and memory while dancers interact with an ingenious graffiti-adorned set of fabric, lights, wire, and thread. The dancers’ exchanges with one another are spectacular, as Mesquita and his company display their mastery of inventive partnering, spins, and lifts. Tickets $39-64, available at and via phone 413.243.0745.


Doris Duke Theatre

Wednesday, June 20 – Saturday, June 23, 8:15pm

Saturday, June 23 & Sunday, June 24, 2:15pm


Following an excerpt performance as part of the 80th Anniversary Season Opening Gala, Circa, a circus-arts company from Australia, opens the Doris Duke Theatre with its eponymous full evening program. In CIRCA, seven performers present daredevil acrobatics, aerial work, physical theatre, and astonishing, evocative contemporary movement. Artistic Director Yaron Lifschitz has directed numerous cross-genre productions including opera, theatre, physical theatre, and circus; the company has toured across Australia, Europe, and South America. Lyn Gardner of The Guardian (U.K.) calls CIRCA something extraordinary. It’s breathtaking, beautiful and sexy…But Circa is also astonishingly moving, its story of human co-operation and frailty emerging through an acro-ballet.” The Belfast Telegraph declares the production a flying circus of dance and amazingly physical theatre.” Tickets $22-38, available at and via phone 413.243.0745.

Free Inside/Out Performance: Pua Ali’i ‘Ilima

Wednesday, June 20, 6:15pm

Based in Honolulu, under the direction of kumu hula Vicky and Jeff Takamine, Pua Ali'i 'Ilima brings together their students from Honolulu, New York City, and Vancouver, Washington to present oli (chant), hula kahiko (ancient Hawaiian dance), and hula 'auana (modern Hawaiian dance), with guest musicians on kÄ« ho'alu (slack key guitar) and slide steel guitar. The company performs new works based on traditional dances originally composed for Lili'uokalani, the last Queen of Hawai'i, as well as repertoire of sacred drum dances, works dedicated to the fire goddess, and songs from the 1920s. FREE

Free Inside/Out Performance: Naomi Goldberg Haas/Dances For A Variable Population

Thursday, June 21, 6:15pm

Featuring an audience participation finale, the interactive work FANFARE is performed by dancers ranging in age from 24-83. Set to Michael Nyman's brass compositions, FANFARE captures the diversity and energy of the multigenerational performers. The work was originally presented as a site-specific piece created and timed for the arrival and departure of the ferries at the Whitehall Terminal for Staten Island. FREE

Free PillowTalk: From Stage to Studio

Friday, June 22, 5pm
Legendary former principal ballerinas Cynthia Harvey and Anna-Marie Holmes reflect on their performing careers and how they transmit their experience to a new generation of dancers in the classroom. FREE

Free Inside/Out Performance: Bill Evans Dance Company

Friday, June 22, 6:15pm

Founded in 1975 and well-known for tap dances, here the Bill Evans Dance Company presents two contemporary works that showcase Evans's interest in full-bodied, dynamic movement. Nature Unfolding, a poignant work inspired by Evans's time in New Mexico, is performed by dancers in costumes modeled after the southwestern sunset. Craps, originally made in collaboration with the lauded jazz pianist also named Bill Evans, brings together music and movement. Evans was on faculty at The School at Jacob's Pillow in 1973, when his piece Three Bach Dances was performed by Cynthia Gregory and other members of American Ballet Theatre in the Ted Shawn Theatre. FREE

 Free PillowTalk: Where Dance and Circus Meet

Saturday, June 23, 4pm
The Associate Director of Circa, Darcy Grant, explains how the company (performing in the Doris Duke Theatre June 20-24) incorporates improvisation, multi-media, and startlingly-imagined circus skills to establish a new frontier in circus arts for the concert stage. FREE

 Free Inside/Out Performance: The School at Jacob’s Pillow – Ballet Program

Saturday, June 23, 6:15pm

To conclude their study in the Ballet Program, dancers of The School at Jacob’s Pillow present classical ballet variations coached by Program Director Anna-Marie Holmes and the incomparable ballerina Cynthia Harvey, plus a new work by lauded British choreographer Michael Corder. FREE


Ted Shawn Theatre

Wednesday, June 27 – Saturday, June 30, 8pm

Saturday, June 30 & Sunday, July 1, 2pm


Directed by former New York City Ballet principal dancer Lourdes Lopez, contemporary dance ensemble Morphoses makes its Pillow debut with the world premiere of WITHIN (Labyrinth Within), a work that merges dance-on-stage and dance-on-camera, created by prominent Swedish choreographer and filmmaker Pontus Lidberg. WITHIN (Labyrinth Within) integrates and expands upon Lidberg’s award-winning film “Labyrinth Within,” which took home top honors at the 2012 Dance on Camera film festival, focuses on a mysterious love triangle, and stars New York City Ballet principal dancer Wendy Whelan, Giovanni Bucchieri, and Lidberg himself. In WITHIN (Labyrinth Within), brilliant film imagery, evocative music, and live dancing are creatively interwoven to create a completely unique and theatrical dance experience.

Complementing on-screen performances, the Jacob’s Pillow WITHIN cast will include New York City Ballet Principal Sara Mearns and Soloist Adrian Danchig-Waring, as well as Gabrielle Lamb, Frances Chiaverini, and Jens Weber. David Lang, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and co-founder of Bang on a Can, will compose the original score. An internationally acclaimed choreographer and dancer, Pontus Lidberg has danced with The Royal Swedish Ballet and Ballet du Grand Théatre de GeneÌ€ve and has created more than 30 choreographic works for The Royal Danish Ballet, The Beijing Dance Theater, his own group Pontus Lidberg Dance, and others. Tickets $39-64, available at and via phone 413.243.0745.

Kidd Pivot Frankfurt RM

Doris Duke Theatre

Wednesday, June 27 – Saturday, June 30, 8:15pm

Saturday, June 30 & Sunday, July 1, 2:15pm



First performed at Jacob’s Pillow in 2011, Dark Matters is one of the 80th Anniversary “Back by Popular Demand” presentations. An audience and critical success, Dark Matters is a mystery thriller told in dance, as unseen forces are at work when a lonely artist creates a puppet with fateful results. The dancers of Kidd Pivot lure audiences into a fascinating world of puppetry, contemporary dance, theatre, fantasy, humor, and thrilling twists and turns, set to a compelling original score by Owen Belton. Crystal Pite was the 2011 recipient of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award, and she is widely regarded as one of the most exceptional contemporary choreographers of today. Her company is based in both Vancouver and Frankfurt, where she danced for several years with William Forsythe. Pite has created work for Nederlands Dans Theater, Ballett Frankfurt, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal (where she was Resident Choreographer 2001-2004), Ballet British Columbia, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, and for her own company. Tickets $38, available at and via phone 413.243.0745.

Free Inside/Out Performance: Swing FX

Wednesday, June 27, 6:15pm

This New York City-based company is under the co-direction of Michael Jagger and Evita Arce, with artistic contributions by Broadway choreographer Ryan Francois. Recreating the excitement of the 1930s and 40s social dance scene, Swing FX showcases partner dancing, solos, and ensemble numbers in dance styles ranging from Lindy Hop and Charleston to tap and Vaudeville. FREE

Free Inside/Out Performance: Yin Yue Dance Company

Thursday, June 28, 6:15pm    

Based in New York City, contemporary choreographer Yin Yue creates athletic yet sensual dances that combine evocative movement with powerful emotion. In One Side Of The Story, dancers explore ideas of reality, truth, and how a change in one's perception also changes reality. FREE

Free PillowTalk: Lourdes Lopez on the Move

Friday, June 29, 5pm

Lourdes Lopez is a former New York City Ballet principal dancer who now directs the dance company Morphoses and has recently been tapped as Edward Villella's successor at Miami City Ballet. In this talk she discusses her fascinatingly varied career. FREE

Free Inside/Out Performance: Nicholas Andre Dance

Friday, June 29, 6:15pm

According to the Houston Chronicle, "space-gobbling movement performed at breakneck speeds is the norm" for choreographer Nicholas Seligson-Ross. Here his company of athletic dancers performs three works including audience favorite Until Blue, a tightly choreographed and uplifting work in which dancers leap, flash and swirl to the joyous melodies and gypsy-flavored violin riffs of the Vitamin String Quartet. FREE

Free PillowTalk: Pontus Lidberg: Dancer, Choreographer, Filmmaker

Saturday, June 30, 4pm

The triple-threat Swedish creative artist Pontus Lidberg, whose new work WITHIN (Labyrinth Within) premieres at the Pillow June 27-July, shows excerpts from some of his award-winning films and discusses his diverse roles in the dance and film worlds. FREE

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

Saturday, June 30, 6:15pm

Under the direction of Dianne Walker, dancers of The School present tap dances by Walker, Lane Alexander, Chicago Human Rhythm Project co-founder, and Derick K. Grant, choreographer/director and an original company member and Dance Captain for Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk.. FREE

 Community Dance Day

Sunday, July 1, 9:30am - 12:30pm

FREE Community Event

Bringing the community together to celebrate the 80th Anniversary, Jacob’s Pillow will host its annual Community Dance Day on July 1. Featuring free beginner level dance and movement workshops ranging in social dance to yoga, along with an intergenerational workshop for children and families, the event encourages participation in dance for people of all ages. Free family friendly performances will be held on the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage throughout the morning. Free exhibits, class observation, and historical tours will also be available to the public. For intermediate and advanced dancers, a free Master Class led by members of choreographer Crystal Pite’s company Kidd Pivot Frankfurt RM will be held at 10:00am. Pre-registration required for Master Class; call 413.243.9919 x5.

Sunday Film Event – Lost Action: Trace

Sunday, July 1, 4:30pm

NEW Festival Event

Mouvement Perpétuel’s newest film Lost Action: Trace is a stereoscopic (3D) live action/animated dance film, directed by Marlene Millar and Philip Szporer, created in collaboration with celebrated choreographer Crystal Pite and animator Theodore Ushev, and produced by the National Film Board of Canada. Pillow Scholar-in-Residence Philip Szporer, co-founder of the arts film production company, and Crystal Pite will lead a discussion following the film screening. Tickets $10, available at and via phone 413.243.0745.

Vertigo Dance Company

Ted Shawn Theatre

Wednesday, July 4 – Saturday, July 7, 8pm

Saturday, July 7 & Sunday, July 8, 2pm


Vertigo Dance Company is one of Israel’s top contemporary dance troupes. They have performed internationally and received numerous awards in Israel and abroad. Founded in Jerusalem in 1992 by Noa Wertheim and Adi Sha’al, the company makes its Pillow debut with Mana, choreographed by Wertheim. Mana is a compelling exploration of contrast, energy, and transformation. The dance is packed with spiraling movement, symbolism, and the fluid athleticism that has become a hallmark of contemporary dance from Israel. Dancers leap into gravity-defying barrel turns, twist in off-kilter backbends, and reveal new ways of moving at every turn. A dramatic set and costume design places the dancers and audience in a faraway abstract world, where shadow, light, and mysterious doors both set boundaries and lead to escape routes. A vibrant score by composer Ran Bagno incorporates march and waltz rhythms with electronic and klezmer-like tones, adding to an atmosphere that The Jerusalem Post calls "intimate, soft and intensely powerful.” Tickets $39-64, available at and via phone 413.243.0745.

LeeSaar The Company

Doris Duke Theatre

Wednesday, July 4 – Saturday, July 7, 8:15pm

Saturday, July 7 & Sunday, July 8, 2:15pm

Actress, director, and writer Lee Sher and dancer/choreographer Saar Harari founded their dance company in Tel Aviv in 2000. In 2004 they relocated to New York City, where they have been intriguing critics and receiving numerous prestigious awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship. Roslyn Sulcas calls the company’s performers “never less than remarkable to watch” (The New York Times). In their newest dance theatre work FAME, an international ensemble of six dancers from Taiwan, South Korea, the United States, and Israel strive to reach moments of acclaim. The lines between reality and perception are blurred as truths are told and secrets revealed through a physical and sensual dance language that is created by Sher and Harari. Dance critic Deborah Jowitt calls FAME “fascinating…a collage of images that layer ambition, embarrassment, fear of failure, pain, desire to please, need for love, and more.” Tickets $22-38, available at and via phone 413.243.0745.

Free Inside/Out Performance: SLURP by Adam Metzger

Wednesday, July 4, 6:15pm

SLURP (Syncopated Linguistic Urban Rhythm Project) is a mixed company of Juilliard dancers, professional teachers from Steps on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center, and internationally recognized performers. At the Pillow, they combine tap and contemporary styles in Adam Metzger's When I Was Twenty One. Exploring the lines between these two forms, the work highlights differences and similarities while pushing the traditional boundaries of both dance styles. FREE

 Free Inside/Out Performance: Rukmini Vijayakumar

Thursday, July 5, 6:15pm

Rukmini Vijayakumar performs Bharatanatyam, a form of classical Indian dance that represents a spiritual and cultural connection to the Hindu gods. Featuring complex footwork, theatrical content, and traditional costumes, these works draw on ancient traditional movement and gesture. FREE

 Free PillowTalk: Gotta Move: Women in Tap

Friday, July 6, 5pm
Jazz Tap Ensemble founder Lynn Dally presents Gotta Move: Women in Tap, her exciting new film featuring tap legends Dianne Walker, Brenda Bufalino, and others, with personal appearances by some of the film's subjects. FREE

Free Inside/Out Performance: Thomas/Ortiz Dance

Friday, July 6, 6:15pm

Thomas/Ortiz Dance is a contemporary dance company founded in 2003, based on the collaborative choreography of Ted Thomas and Frances Ortiz, and comprised of 12 dancers from culturally diverse backgrounds. The company is noted for its sensual movement, using exuberant breath and pinpoint musicality. Frayed Ends is set to a Sergei Rachmaninov score and depicts the unyielding love between two people; and Dynamite Walls illustrates the boundaries within a crowded metropolis to the music of Japanese Kodo Drums. FREE

 Free PillowTalk: Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance

Saturday, July 7, 4pm

Judith Brin Ingber’s astoundingly comprehensive new book, Seeing Jewish and Israeli Dance, charts the history of Jewish dance in Israel and throughout the world, including a wealth of eminent contributors and rare photos. She discusses her book in this PillowTalk, a topic timed perfectly with performances by Vertigo Dance Company and LeeSaar July 4-8. FREE

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

Saturday, July 7, 6:15pm

Under the direction of Dianne Walker, dancers of The School present tap dance works by Walker, choreographer and master tap teacher Brenda Bufalino, and Lisa La Touche, cast member in the hit off-Broadway show STOMP. FREE

 Borrowed Light by Tero Saarinen

Ted Shawn Theatre

Wednesday, July 11 – Saturday, July 14, 8pm

Saturday, July 14 & Sunday, July 15, 2pm



Created by Finnish dancer and choreographer Tero Saarinen, Borrowed Light debuted in the U.S. at Jacob’s Pillow in 2006 to audience and critical acclaim. Inspired by the history, music, and dances of the Shakers, Borrowed Light is performed to a score of beautifully-powerful traditional Shaker spirituals, performed live by the preeminent early music group The Boston Camerata. Saarinen does not attempt to re-create Shaker dances; instead he invents a language all his own by drawing on the sect’s traditions and culture. Tero Saarinen Company dancers are dressed in flowing black costumes and don heavy boots as they twist, turn, and stomp in serious and ecstatic movement. The integration of lighting and set design by Mikki Kunttu along with music and dance culminate in a highly theatrical experience. Karen Campbell of The Boston Globe called Borrowed Light “a powerful, strikingly original evocation of communal devotion unlike anything this reviewer has experienced.” John Rockwell of The New York Times commented, “The movements evoke religious austerity and ecstasy.” He also proclaimed, “considering the…deep Shaker tradition in this part of the country, Jacob’s Pillow is the ideal spot to see and hear this dance.” Tickets $59-64, available at and via phone 413.243.0745.

 The Men Dancers: From the Horse’s Mouth

Doris Duke Theatre

Wednesday, July 11 – Saturday, July 14, 8:15pm

Saturday, July 14 & Sunday, July 15, 2:15pm


Today’s most exceptional male dancers and choreographers pay homage to the Pillow’s pioneering founder Ted Shawn and his company of Men Dancers in this exclusive program, only to be seen at the Pillow. An extraordinary cast of approximately twenty outstanding dancers and choreographers of all ages and traditions will perform solos and share extraordinary personal stories with the audience. A rotating cast of performers will include Dance Theatre of Harlem founder Arthur Mitchell; tap superstar Jason Samuels Smith; Trent Kowalik, one of the original “Billy” performers in the musical Billy Elliot; master choreographer Lar Lubovitch; choreographer, performer and dance writer Gus Solomons Jr; legendary former New York City Ballet principal Jock Soto; choreographer Arthur Aviles; hoofer prodigy and choreographer Cartier Williams; John Heginbotham, Artistic Director of Dance Heginbotham; dancer and choreographer Germaul Barnes; Merce Cunningham Dance Company Director of Choreography Robert Swinston; Indian classical and contemporary artist Hari Krishnan, and many others. Additional cast members to be announced; cast subject to change. The Men Dancers: From the Horse's Mouth is conceived and directed by Tina Croll and Jamie Cunningham. Tickets $38, available at and via phone 413.243.0745.

Free Inside/Out Performance: Ian Spencer Bell

Wednesday, July 11, 6:15pm

Choreographer Ian Spencer Bell, described as "stealthy as a nocturnal feline," by The Village Voice, is interested in strenuous, athletic movement, as well as repetition, speed, and stillness. Two-Minute Songs―set to music by the Beastie Boys, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Roy Orbison and others―is danced in six sections, each part repeating, changing qualities with the music, and expanding in size. His group, Ian Spencer Bell Dance, also performs Split, set to the sound of keys dropping and inspired by the poem "One Art" by former U.S. Poet Laureate Elizabeth Bishop. FREE

Free Inside/Out Performance: Cari Cunningham/bellē contemporary dance co.

Thursday, July 12, 6:15pm

Based in Reno, Nevada, this all-female contemporary dance company has performed across the country and is joined for this engagement by guest performer Trannon Mosher. 30/Love was inspired by the give-and-take of a tennis match, Unforseeable explores tactile intimacy in relationships, and Slipping the Circumference comments on the dancers' femininity as they negotiate large hoop skirts. FREE

Free PillowTalk: Judith Jamison’s Life in Dance

Friday, July 13, 5pm

This PillowTalk features an intimate conversation with Judith Jamison, Alvin Ailey’s star dancer in the 1960s and ‘70s, who became his successor in leading Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and recently retired after more than two decades of triumphs. FREE

 Free Inside/Out Performance: OtherShore

Friday, July 13, 6:15pm

OtherShore's mission is to showcase the works of diverse contemporary choreographers, including former New York City Ballet dancer Edwaard Liang, Big Dance Theater directors Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar, and most recently Stephen Petronio. Their Inside/Out program includes Bird, Bear, Grey Violet-Blue by Bessie Award-winning choreographer and recent Festival performer Jodi Melnick, a deliberately illusive quartet that is imbued with subtle gestures and unexpected twists. FREE

Free PillowTalk and Film Screening: Finding Billy: The Search for Broadway’s Billy Elliot

Saturday, July 14, 4pm
This 90-minute presentation include a screening of the acclaimed film Finding Billy, about the search for the stars of the hit Broadway show Billy Elliot. Trent Kowalik, one of Broadway's three original “Billys,” appears in person along with film director Joe Locarro. FREE

Free Inside/Out Performance: The School at Jacob’s Pillow Contemporary Program

Saturday, July 14, 6:15pm

Under the direction of master teacher Milton Myers, dancers conclude their first week of study with work created by and set on them by Artistic Director Emerita of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Judith Jamison and her assistant, notable Ailey dancer and faculty member, Elizabeth-Roxas-Dobrish. FREE

Sunday Film Event – Never Stand Still

Sunday, July 15, 4:30pm

NEW Festival Event

Winner of “Best Documentary” prizes at Dance Camera West and the San Francisco Dance Film Festival, the film Never Stand Still has been screened at film festivals and theatres across the U.S. and Europe. This feature-length documentary about dance, filmed over many seasons at the Pillow, is directed by Ron Honsa, narrated by acclaimed choreographer Bill T. Jones and includes performances and interviews with dance artists including Suzanne Farrell, Paul Taylor, Judith Jamison, Merce Cunningham, Rasta Thomas, Shantala Shivalingappa, and many others.

The Hong Kong Ballet

Ted Shawn Theatre

Wednesday, July 18 – Saturday, July 21, 8pm

Saturday, July 21 & Sunday, July 22, 2pm


In a rare North American engagement, The Hong Kong Ballet makes its Pillow debut under the direction of Madeleine Onne, former Artistic Director of the Royal Swedish Ballet. The program is international in scope and style, displaying the dancers’ exquisite classical technique and contemporary vision. The company will perform the U.S. premiere of Kinsun Chan's contemporary ballet Black on Black. This arresting work explores the timelessness of the color black; striking costumes, staging, and lighting reflect the facets of its symbolism and multiple meanings. Black on Black is danced to “String Quartet No. 2, Op. 64 ‘Quasi Una Fantasia’by Polish composer Henryk Górecki. The program continues with the emotionally charged, sensual work Luminous, by Canadian choreographer Peter Quanz, danced to “Affairs of the Heartby composer Marjan Mozetich. Symphony in Three Movements, by Dutch choreographer Nils Christie, rounds out the evening with an eponymous score by Igor Stravinsky, embodying the power and intensity of his acclaimed “war symphony.” Tickets $65-70, available at and via phone 413.243.0745.

Luna Negra Dance Theater

Doris Duke Theatre

Wednesday, July 18 – Saturday, July 21, 8:15pm

Saturday, July 21 & Sunday, July 22, 2:15pm

Luna Negra Dance Theater produces a unique contemporary movement style with elements of Latino culture, serving as a platform for contemporary Latino choreographers. The company’s first Pillow engagement is a varied program that includes the work of up-and-coming Latino dancemakers. Bate, by choreographer Fernando Melo, was inspired by the melodrama of Brazilian soap operas and the masculine side of Samba, and plays with male bravado and vulnerability. Spanish choreographer Fernando Hernando Magadan originally created Naked Ape for Nederlands Dans Theater in 2009. This exploration of the need for physical interaction in a technological age combines fierce dancing, multimedia effects, and music by jazz trumpet player Erik Truffaz, Mexican electronica recording artist Murcof, Johann Sebastian Bach, and instrumental duo Jónsi & Alex. Tickets $38, available at and via phone 413.243.0745.

Free Inside/Out Performance: z3movement project          

Wednesday, July 18, 6:15pm

Contemporary choreographer Christie Zimmerman and her dance-theatre collaborative present Valley of Four Dolls, Parts 43 A, B, & C, a narrative work that follows the adventures of a young girl and an imagined world inhabited by her favorite dolls through contemporary movement and theatrical elements. FREE

Free Inside/Out Performance: Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company          

Thursday, July 19, 6:15pm

Known for high-energy, charismatic performers that "can't help but smile" (The New Yorker), Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company thrives on teaching and performing. Encore invites the audience into a dress rehearsal of Broadway dancers preparing for a tour and features a score of jazz classics paired with rhythmic, joyful dance. FREE

Free PillowTalk: From Studio to Stage

Friday, July 20, 5pm
Faculty members of The School at Jacob’s Pillow Milton Myers, Igal Perry, and Ariel Freedman talk about mentoring young dancers as they embark on professional careers, sharing some of the differences between classroom execution and stage performance.

Free Inside/Out Performance: Erica Essner Performance Co-Op

Friday, July 20, 6:15pm

Returning to the Inside/Out performance series, Erica Essner's new work Weathered features the full company in this highly physical performance described by The New York Times as "dance magic... The dancers are continuously tossed about, as if cast into a tempest." An excerpt from The Soul Project takes on the idea of "soul" from philosophical and religious perspectives in a series of intriguing movement tableaus. FREE

 Free PillowTalk: Cultural Melting Pots: Hong Kong, China, and the World

Saturday, July 21, 4pm

Representatives of the Hong Kong Ballet exchange stories with a Clark Art Institute curator who talks about the Chinese exhibits now on view at The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, and all guests explore notions of cultural identity. FREE

 Free Inside/Out Performance: The School at Jacob’s Pillow Contemporary Program

Saturday, July 21, 6:15pm

Following two weeks of study under master teacher Milton Myers, dancers present work by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin, set by Ariel Freedman, a former dancer with the Batsheva Dance Company. FREE

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in Story/Time

Ted Shawn Theatre

Wednesday, July 25 – Saturday, July 28, 8pm

Saturday, July 28 & Sunday, July 29, 2pm

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company has performed worldwide in over 200 cities in 30 countries on every major continent. Today, the company is recognized as one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the contemporary dance world. Multi-talented director and choreographer Bill T. Jones—whose major honors include a 1994 MacArthur "Genius" Award, the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors, two Tony Awards for Best Choreography, and the 2010 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award—returns to the stage with his company in Story/Time, a new evening-length work inspired by artist and composer John Cage's “Indeterminacy” (1958). Governed by chance procedure, Jones creates a performance experience with a complete landscape of dance, music, and narrative. Story/Time explores the inexorable passage of time and our memory of it, as Jones engages audiences in the art of storytelling while surrounded by his renowned dancers and choreography. Original music composed by Ted Coffey will accompany this new work, along with 70 one-minute short stories written by Jones that range from poignant to playful, humorous, and provocative. Adult content. Tickets $39-64, available at and via phone 413.243.0745.

Jessica Lang Dance

Doris Duke Theatre

Wednesday, July 25 – Saturday, July 28, 8:15pm

Saturday, July 28 & Sunday, July 29, 2:15pm



A former member of Twyla Tharp’s company THARP!, Jessica Lang is known for her artfully crafted, emotionally engaging contemporary ballets. She has created more than 75 works for companies including Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Ailey II, and ABT II, among others. Lang recently founded her own ensemble, Jessica Lang Dance, and her Pillow program marks the first full-evening engagement for the company. A program chock-full of variety shows Lang as a prolific dance maker and will include the duet Among the Stars, called an “exquisite lyrical performance filled with sensual chemistry” (Marilee Vergati, Dallas Dance Examiner); the dramatic and rigorously structured work Lines Squared; and The Calling (from Splendid Isolation III), a gorgeous solo set to the music of Trio Mediæval; among other works. Tickets $38, available at and via phone 413.243.0745.

 Free Inside/Out Performance: Nutmeg Conservatory

Wednesday, July 25, 6:15pm

Located in nearby Torrington, Connecticut, Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts brings summer students, professional graduates, and guest artists to present excerpts from Marius Petipa's La Bayadère, a classical pas de deux, a selection of contemporary works, and choreography from Nutmeg's Artistic Director Victoria Mazzarelli. FREE

Free Inside/Out Performance: skybetter and associates

Thursday, July 26, 6:15pm

Brooklyn-based skybetter and associates presents a series of works by Artistic Director Sydney Skybetter, whose works are "quietly elegant...full-bodied, and serene" (The New Yorker). Little Boy takes its creative dance vocabulary from Skybetter's infant son, and Near Abroad, set to music by Arvo Pärt, is a poignant duet that tackles themes of shared loss. FREE

Free PillowTalk: Jessica Lang on Creating a Company

Friday, July 27, 5pm
Known primarily as a prolific choreographer of more than 75 works for both ballet and modern troupes, Jessica Lang talks about a new creative endeavor as she launches her own company this week at the Pillow. FREE

Free Inside/Out Performance: Jeremy McQueen

Friday, July 28, 6:15pm

Emerging performer and choreographer, Jeremy McQueen, of the Broadway musicals Wicked and The Color Purple, brings a cast of fifteen to Jacob's Pillow to perform a selection of his most popular works. McQueen will present a contemporary response to Bach’s "Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins" with his exuberant, joyous Concerto Nuovo ballet "giving an animal pack feel to the fast and furious movement" (Harlem World Magazine). McQueen, a 2008 graduate of the Ailey School/Fordham University, BFA in Dance program, aims to bring forth a contemporary sensibility to concert dance by infusing his technical training and experience with his personal vision of athleticism, emotional depth and intimacy. FREE

Free PillowTalk: Night’s Dancer: The Life of Janet Collins

Saturday, July 28, 4pm
Janet Collins was a pioneering African-American ballerina who appeared at the Pillow in 1949 and broke the color barrier at the Metropolitan Opera. She is now the subject of a fascinating new book by Yaël Tamar Lewin, which will be discussed in this PillowTalk. FREE

Free Inside/Out Performance: The School at Jacob’s Pillow Contemporary Program

Saturday, July 28, 6:15pm

Concluding three weeks of study under master teacher Milton Myers, dancers present work created on them by choreographer Tony Fabre, formerly artistic director of Spain's acclaimed contemporary dance company CND2. FREE

Sunday Film Event – Never Stand Still

Sunday, July 29, 4:30pm

NEW Festival Event

Winner of “Best Documentary” prizes at Dance Camera West and the San Francisco Dance Film Festival, the dance film Never Stand Still has been screened at film festivals and theatres across the U.S. and Europe. This feature-length documentary about dance, filmed over many seasons at the Pillow, is directed by Ron Honsa, narrated by acclaimed choreographer Bill T. Jones and includes performances and interviews with acclaimed dance artists including Suzanne Farrell, Paul Taylor, Judith Jamison, Merce Cunningham, Rasta Thomas, Shantala Shivalingappa, and many others. Tickets $10, available at and via phone 413.243.0745.

Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet

Wednesday, August 1 – Saturday, August 4, 8pm

Saturday, August 4 & Sunday, August 5, 2pm


Under the artistic direction of André Lewis, versatility, technical excellence, and captivating style are hallmarks of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, returning for the first time to the site of its historic 1964 U.S. debut. The company will perform Argentinean choreographer Mauricio Wainrot’s contemporary Carmina Burana, a feast for the senses set to Carl Orff’s famous score. The full-company work is packed with visual drama and theatricality, and Wainrot’s choreography is strong, passionate, and full of lush lyricism. The program also features Peter Quanz’s In Tandem, deliciously matched with composer Steve Reich’s “Double Sextet; Alastair Macaulay of The New York Times describes it as “full of social charm and fleeting suggestions of social and love relationships.” Founded in 1939, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet is the longest continually operating ballet company in North America. In 1953, the Company received its royal title, the first granted under the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Tickets $65-70, available at and via phone 413.243.0745.

Jonah Bokaer & David Hallberg, in collaboration with Daniel Arsham

Doris Duke Theatre

Wednesday, August 1 – Saturday, August 4, 8:15pm

Saturday, August 4 & Sunday, August 5, 2:15pm


Two of today’s most astonishing dance performers, from diverse contemporary and ballet dance backgrounds, collaborate with celebrated visual artist Daniel Arsham in the U.S. premiere of CURTAIN. Jonah Bokaer is a gifted performer, choreographer, and media artist; “contemporary dance’s renaissance man” according to Roslyn Sulcas of The New York Times. David Hallberg is lauded as one of the finest male ballet dancers of the century; he performs as a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre and recently made history as the first American to join the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet. The title of CURTAIN has several references, including to the Iron Curtain, whose destruction made possible the present and historic relationship between the South Dakota-born Hallberg and the Bolshoi Ballet. The full sixty-minute program is comprised of two solos--CURTAIN performed by Hallberg and SORRY performed by Bokaer--as well as a duet, Les Innocents, performed by both dance artists. The original score by Chris Garneau includes portions of a student lecture that composer John Cage gave at the 1984 Jacob’s Pillow Festival. The set design for CURTAIN is created by long-time Bokaer collaborator Daniel Arsham, who uses a non-Newtonian substance, whose state of matter (liquid, solid or gas) reacts to the stress of an outside interference. In effect, these time-based, dissolving sculptures create their own dance. Former Marc Jacobs designer Richard Chai contributes costumes. Tickets $38, available at and via phone 413.243.0745.

Free Inside/Out Performance: Danielle Russo Dance Company

Wednesday, August 1, 6:15pm

This NYC-based dance-theatre ensemble brings Learning to forget and other tragic fortune, a exploration of memory and its opposing states; repetition versus rendition, endurance versus exhaustion, presence versus absence. Six dancers perform Russo's choreography with "dramatically eloquent athleticism" (Deborah Jowitt for the The Village Voice), with live music accompaniment by bassist Jason Anastasoff. FREE

Free Inside/Out Performance: CONTINUUM Contemporary/Ballet           

Thursday, August 2, 6:15pm

Founded by Donna Salgado and based in New York City, CONTINUUM Contemporary/Ballet is comprised of classically trained dancers with distinct contemporary voices. Returning to the Inside/Out series, the program includes Diversions, an elegant sextet en pointe featuring elements of cultural dance as dancers move through shifting patterns and partnering. FREE

Free PillowTalk: David Hallberg: From New York to Moscow to Becket

Friday, August 3, 5pm

With the historic distinction of being the first American to join the Bolshoi Ballet, American Ballet Theatre’s David Hallberg continues dividing his time between these two companies, stopping here to discuss it all. FREE

Free Inside/Out Performance: BARKIN/SELISSEN PROJECT

Friday, August 3, 6:15pm

Kyla Barkin and Aaron Selissen's contemporary dance Differential Cohomology merges math and art through lush athletic choreography, hexagonal patterns, and an intriguing cyclical course that illustrates the journey toward the inevitable. FREE

Free PillowTalk: Jonah Bokaer and Daniel Arsham: Artistic Partnerships

Saturday, August 4 at 4pm

Visual artist Daniel Arsham and choreographer Jonah Bokaer bring three bold collaborations to the Pillow this week, and in this talk they discuss these and other groundbreaking stage works. FREE

Free Inside/Out Performance: The School at Jacob’s Pillow Jazz/Musical Theatre Dance Program

Saturday, August 4, 6:15pm

Following their first week of intense study and rehearsal as part of the Jazz/Musical Theatre Dance Program, dancers of The School present works created by Program Director Chet Walker and Broadway guest choreographer Lisa Gajda. FREE

Trey McIntyre Project

Ted Shawn Theatre

Wednesday, August 8 – Saturday, August 11, 8pm

Saturday, August 11 & Sunday, August 12, 2pm


A relatively young dance company with an ever-growing following, Trey McIntyre Project was invited to Jacob’s Pillow in 2005 to debut as a pickup company. TMP returned to perform in the Ted Shawn Theatre in 2006, made its full-time company debut in 2008 and returned again in 2010. Known for emotional authenticity, a fresh blend of ballet and contemporary choreography, and musicality, McIntyre’s dances connect with audiences and have made him “one of the hottest choreographers in the dance world” (The Boston Globe). The company performs Leatherwing Bat, which premiered at the Pillow in 2008, with music by the celebrated folk group Peter, Paul, and Mary; Bad Winter, set to the music of the Cinematic Orchestra; and the world premiere of LADIES AND GENTLE MEN based on Marlo Thomas’s 1970s seminal television and audio series Free to Be…You and Me. Tickets $64-69, available at and via phone 413.243.0745.

Dance Heginbotham

Doris Duke Theatre

Wednesday, August 8 – Saturday, August 11, 8:15pm

Saturday, August 11 & Sunday, August 12, 2:15pm

Acclaimed dancer and choreographer John Heginbotham has performed with the Mark Morris Dance Group for the past 14 years. More recently, he has ventured out with his own choreographic work and group of dancers, quickly becoming an emerging choreographer to watch. As a performer &ld