Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival returns with 10 weeks of dance and 20 one-night performances only | Berkshire landscapes







people on stage

On June 11, Jacob’s Pillow celebrated the reopening of its flagship theater – the Ted Shawn Theater – which had been closed since 2019. The $9 million renovation project in January 2021.

Features of the renovated theater include a new cooling and ventilation system, an orchestra pit, increased accessibility for performers and audience members, an increased stage depth of 10 feet, and improved technology.




BECKET – Jacob’s Pillow has a lot to celebrate this summer.

Hot on the heels of its June 11 grand opening, celebrating the reopening of the renovated Ted Shawn Theater – its flagship performance space – is its 90th anniversary season, which also marks a return to indoor shows after two years of outdoor-only spaces. The first performances of the season, “America (na) to Me” (June 22-26) follow its June 18 gala and begin June 22.







People on stage cut a ribbon

Cutting the ribbon at the reopening of the renovated Ted Shawn Theater on Saturday, June 11, left to right, David Crotteau, Sandra Burton, Vinny Vigilante, Chris Jones, Artistic Director and Executive Pamela Tatge, Joan B. Hunter, State Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli and State Senator Adam Hinds.



“There is such breadth and depth to what we have programmed this summer, from works that connect us to nine decades of our history to genres that have never been part of the Festival before,” said the executive director. and artist of Jacob’s Pillow, Pamela Tatge. in a press release. “Audiences will have the chance to witness some of the best dance being created today, including works specially commissioned for the Festival, while actively participating in classes, workshops and a series of dance parties that we have organized to invite people to move together. We look forward to welcoming Pillow lovers back to the dance paradise that is Jacob’s Pillow and inviting new artists and audiences to experience this magical place for the first time.

HOW IT STARTED

In 1931, modern dance pioneer Ted Shawn purchased a New England farmhouse known as “Jacob’s Pillow”. (Shawn and his wife, Ruth St. Denis, were America’s leading dancing couple and ran the Denishawn Dance Company.) At Becket, according to Jacob’s Pillow Historical Records, he began an artistic retreat “with the intention of legitimizing dancing in America as an honorable career for men. In 1933 he recruited eight men, including Denishawn dancer Barton Mumaw and several physical education students from Springfield College, for his new company. From 1933 to 1940, Shawn and his Men Dancers toured the United States and Canada, Cuba and England, performing more than 1,250 times in 750 cities. During the summers, they held “tea lecture demonstrations” at the pillow. The group disbanded in 1940, as most of its members had joined the army.







Ted Shawn by John Lindquist.jpg

How it all started: In 1931, modern dance pioneer Ted Shawn purchased a New England farmhouse known as “Jacob’s Pillow.” He then paved the way for dancing to be an honorable career for men and became a major impresario, bringing dancing to mainstream America through performances and The School at Jacob’s Pillow.




Shawn, deeply in debt, rented the Pillow in 1940 and 1941. In 1941, British ballet stars Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin organized an international dance festival which was so successful that local supporters formed the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Committee, raised $50,000 to buy Shawn’s property and build a theater (performances had been held in the barn studio), and named Shawn director.

On July 9, 1942, the Ted Shawn Theater opened as the first performance space in America designed exclusively for dance.

THE 90TH SEASON AT A GLANCE

After two years of outdoor performances only, Jacob’s Pillow returns with 10 weeks of performances at the Ted Shawn Theater and 20 one-night performances on the Henry J. Leir Stage. with performances ranging from ballet and contemporary dances to powwows, hip-hop, house, tap, bustle, flamenco, zapateado, classical and folk styles. This summer’s program also includes three special performances on the grounds of Pillow.

Where: Jacob’s Pillow, 358 George Carter Road, Becket







Sign of Jacob's Pillow

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival celebrates its 90th anniversary this season.




For more information and tickets: 413-243-9919; jacobspillow.org

TED SHAWN THEATER

June 22-26: America(na) to Me dance show, $55-85, 8 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

June 29-July 3: Ronald K. Brown/PROOF, $55-$85, 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

July 6-10: SW!NG OUT dance show, $55 to $85, 8 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

July 13-17: Kyle Abraham’s AIM Dance Show, $55-$85, 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

July 20-24: Limón Dance Company, $55-$85, 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

July 27-31: Black Grace Dance Show, $55-$85, 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

August 3-7: Alonzo King LINES Ballet Dance Show, $55-$85, 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

August 10-14: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, $55-$85, 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

August 17-21: Cleo Parker Robinson Ensemble Dance Show, $55-$85, 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

August 24-28: Miami City Ballet Dance Show, $55-$85, 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.







Locker rooms

The new dressing rooms under the stage at the Ted Shawn Theater still had the plastic on the illuminated mirrors on June 11, when the renovated theater was reopened to the public.




HENRY J. LEIR SCENE

Wednesday, June 22: Eastern Woodland Dances dance performance, $15 to $35, 6 p.m.

Thursday June 23: Dance show Danse des ages, $25-$35, 6 p.m.

Friday, June 24: Collage Dance Collective, $15-$35, 6 p.m.

Saturday June 25: Dance performance from The School at Jacob’s Pillow Contemporary Ballet program, free, 6 p.m. Available to watch online live.

June 29-July 3: BODYTRAFFIC dance show, $15 to $35, 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Wednesday July 6: Jazz Dance ShowAntiqua Dance & Music Ensemble, $15 to $35, 6 p.m.

Friday July 8: Bill Shannon Dance Show, $15-$35, 6 p.m.

Saturday July 9: New York Korean Performing Arts Center Dance Show, $15-$35, 6 p.m.

Wednesday July 13: Ballet Nepantla dance performance, $15-$35, 6 p.m.

Thursday July 14: Mina Nishimura/Kota Yamazaki Dance Show, $15-$35, 6 p.m.

Friday July 15: Passion Fruit Dance Company with Baye and Asa Dance Show, $15 to $35, 6 p.m.

Saturday July 16: The School at Jacob’s Pillow: Dance Performance by the Contemporary Performance Ensemble, free, 6 p.m. Available to watch live online.

July 20-24: Music From The Sole, $15 to $35, 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon Sunday.

July 27-31: Being Dichotomous: An Evening of Taylor Stanley, $15-$35, 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon Sunday.

Wednesday August 3: Dance show Les Ballet Afrik, $15-$35, 6 p.m.

Thursday, August 4: Aboriginal Business Dance Show, $15-$35, 6 p.m.

Friday August 5: Soles of Duende Percussive Trio, opening performance by Freedom Dabka Group, $15-$35, 6 p.m.

Saturday August 6: The School at Jacob’s Pillow: Musical Theater Ensemble, free, 6 p.m.

August 10-14: Dance Heginbotham Dance Show, $15-$35, 6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and noon Sunday.

Wednesday August 17: Dance show Vanessa Sanchez & La Mezcla, $15-$35, 6 p.m.

Thursday August 18: Hustle at the Pillow, opening show by Estrellitas de Sorto, $15-$35, 6 p.m.

Friday August 19: East Coast Styles Dance Show, $15-$35, 6 p.m.

Saturday August 20: The School at Jacob’s Pillow: Dance Theatre: Afro-Latin Immersion Performance Ensemble, free, 6 p.m.

Wednesday August 24: Performance by the Ladies of Hip-Hop Dance collective, $15-$35, 6 p.m.

Thursday August 25: Boston Dance Theater, $15-$35, 6 p.m.

Friday August 26: Kayla Hamilton Dance Show, $15-$35, 6 p.m.

Saturday August 27: YYDC Dance Show, $15-$35, 6 p.m.

SITE SPECIFIC

July 1 and 2: Loni Landon Dance Project with Mary Lattimore / Solace of Surrender Dance Performance, $15-35, 4:30 p.m. Friday and 12:30 p.m. Saturday in the Great Lawn Tent.

July 29 and 30: Michelle N. Gibson with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra/NOJO Dance Show 7, $15-$35, 4:30 p.m. Friday and 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday.

August 10-13: Dance performance by Liz Lerman, $15 to $35, 8:15 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday in the festival tent.

JACOB’S PILLOW ON THE ROAD

Saturday July 16: Versa-Style Dance Company performs ORIGINS of Hip Hop; dance performance. Performers based at Berkshire TBA. Free. 1 p.m., behind City Hall, 334 Main Street, Great Barrington.

Sunday July 17: Versa-Style Dance Company performs ORIGINS of Hip Hop; dance performance. Free. 1 p.m., North Becket Park, Maple Street, Becket.

Thursday July 21: Mambo Royalty, Pittsfield is moving! and other artists to be announced; dance performance. Performers based at Berkshire TBA. Free. From 5.30pm to 7.30pm on The Common, First Street, Pittsfield.

PILLOWTALK SERIES

Free, 4 p.m., in Blake’s barn

Saturday June 25: “Ted Shawn: His Life, Writings, and Dances.”

Sunday June 26: “Perseverance in Cinema.” Saturday July 2: “Christopher Duggan: Now & Then.

Sunday July 3: “When Langston dances.” Saturday July 9: “Rooted Jazz Dance”.

Sunday July 10: “WEB DuBois and the Black Berkshires.”

Saturday July 16: “A visit with Kyle Abraham.”

Sunday July 17: “Remembering Kariamu Welsh.”

Saturday July 23: “Slime on film.”

Sunday July 24: “Dancing the basic program.”

Saturday July 30: “The Nijinska”.

Sunday July 31: “Black Grace: From Canon’s Creek to Jacob’s Pillow.”

Saturday August 6: “Century + from Ann Hutchinson’s guest.”

Sunday August 7: “Studio/Theatre” at MoMA. »

Sunday August 14: “Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.

Saturday August 20: “Round table all styles”.

Sunday August 21: “Documenting the turmoil.”

Saturday August 27: “Celebrating Lourdes Lopez.”

Sunday August 28: “Technology and Dance”.

CLASSES

Sundays, June 26 – August 28: Workshops with festival artists provide unique experiences for movers to explore the repertoire, genres and techniques of leading dance artists. 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Pay via online registration or cash/card at the door; learn more at jacobspillow.org.

Tuesday to Friday, June 21 to August 26: A variety of in-person dance and movement classes open to participants of all experience levels, including beginners, ages 16 and up. 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Pay via online registration or cash/card at the door; learn more at jacobspillow.org.

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