Jacob's Pillow 2018: Dance inside and outside the box

BECKET — Jacob's Pillow opens its 2018 season June 20 in the Ted Shawn Theatre with the Royal Danish Ballet in its first appearance at the international summer dance festival in over a decade.

The company, which will be at the Shawn through June 24, kicks off a season of U.S. company debuts, world premieres, international artists, newly commissioned work, and work developed through the Pillow's growing residency program at the Pillow Lab.

The season, which runs through Aug. 26, will feature companies from Denmark, Israel, Belgium, Australia, France, Spain, and Scotland. Representation from across the United States ranges from New York City, Minneapolis and Houston to Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Chicago, among others.

"This summer, we introduce new work through Pillow debuts and world premieres, welcome back fan favorites, and reconnect audiences with the work of companies that are returning to the Pillow for the first time in years, like PHILADANCO!, Lim n Dance Company, Houston Ballet, and ODC/Dance," Jacob's Pillow director Pamela Tatge says in a news release.

"Opening our season with The Royal Danish Ballet, presenting the U.S. debut of Compa a Sharon Fridman, and ending with an artist-curated program by New York City Ballet's Daniel Ulbricht, are just a few special highlights for me.

"With live music collaborations, work that was developed at our Pillow Lab, and site-specific special engagements, I truly believe Festival 2018 has something for everyone."

Under its newly announced Vision '22 five-year development initiative, the Pillow this summer will present work by four artists developed through the Pillow Lab, an incubator of new work — the world premiere of b-girl-led Ephrat Asherie Dance's "Odeon;" Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE's collaboration with Grammy Award-winning Afro-Cuban jazz artist Arturo O'Farrill; the world premiere of Jacob's Pillow Dance Award winner Michelle Dorrance's newest work; and the world premiere of "Paramodernities" by Netta Yerushalmy.

Live music will be integral aspect to seven multidisciplinary collaborations this season, including

- Ragamala Dance Company's distinct alchemy of Iraqi, jazz, and Carnatic instruments composed by Doris Duke Performing Artist Awardee Amir ElSaffar;

- live music by 20th century Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth in Ephrat Asherie Dance's "Odeon;"

- a diverse blend of Korean, Indian, Congolese, and Japanese music in Eastman's "Fractus V;"

- an original, live score by Donovan Dorrance and Gregory Richardson featuring vocals by eclectic soul vocalist Aaron Marcellus in Dorrance Dance's "Myelination;"

- Grammy Award-winning Arturo O'Farrill's Afro-Cuban jazz in New Conversations;

- an original music score composed by indie folk duo The Bengsons, performed as dance symphony with six on-stage musicians in Sonya Tayeh's "you'll still call me by name;"

- and a selection of works by composer Leonard Bernstein to coincide with a program of Jerome Robbins in Stars of American Ballet.

The Pillow will also present several special engagements:

- June 16: Season opening gala. Ted Shawn Theatre

An annual night of exclusive performances with a program that features a world premiere by sought-after Colombian-Belgian choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, performed by students of the Ballet Program of The School at Jacob's Pillow, the presentation of the 2018 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award, POP-UP Duets by Scottish company Janis Claxton Dance in their U.S. debut, and more.

- June 21: Janis Claxton Dance. POP-UP Duets. Pittsfield's Third Thursday

A series of five minute, multi-site specific contemporary dance duets, based around the theme of love and designed for a wide range of public spaces.

- June 24-27: Translucent Borders: Cross-cultural collaborations

Three-day residency at Jacob's Pillow, bringing together for the first time its global collaborators from Cuba, Israel, Ghana, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States, and Italy, with some artists making their U.S. debuts. The residency will culminate in the debut presentation of intercultural works-in-progress with more than 20 musicians and dancers as part of the Inside/Out Performance Series, June 27.

- July 1: All Styles Dance Battle. 8 p.m., Doris Duke Theatre

- July 26-Aug 4: Monica Bill Barnes & Company's Happy Hour. Sommers Studio

Monica Bill Barnes & Company turns Sommers Studio into an after-work office party hosted by company member Robbie Saenz de Viteri with a karaoke machine and dime store decor.

VIP Pre-Sale begins Feb. 20. Tickets go on sale to the public on April 2.


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