It’s only December 14, but this morning we received an early Christmas gift: Jacob’s Pillow Dance announced the programming for its 85th season. After perusing the long list of world premieres, commissions and special engagements, we’ve definitely started filling in our summer dance calendar. Here are some of the highlights we’re looking forward to.
Women who lead: In a world where female choreographers and directors are all too often added to programming to fill a quota, the Pillow’s new director, Pamela Tatge, makes a strong statement with this summer’s lineup. Eleven groups with women artistic directors will take the stage. And with names like Lourdes Lopez, Danielle Agami, Julie Kent and Camille A. Brown, it’s clear they have the chops to be there. We’re hoping this signals a larger trend in future programming arranged by Tatge.
A brand-new “tap experience” from Michelle Dorrance: The longtime Pillow darling and tapper extraordinaire will return to the Berkshires with TIRELESS: A Tap Dance Experience. Curated by Dorrance, the program will showcase a diversity of tap talent from the U.S. and beyond. Performances will feature tapper Reona Seo and bassist Takishi Seo from Japan; a group piece by Chicago’s Jumaane Taylor; solo work from San Francisco–based Joe Orrach; and sibling duo Joseph and Josette Wiggan from L.A. Any lineup handpicked by Dorrance is sure to impress.
Cool collaborations: The world premiere of The Principles of Uncertainty, a co-commission between Jacob’s Pillow and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, melds the movement of downtown choreographer John Heginbotham with the writings and illustrations of Maira Kalman. This new dance theater work will feature Dance Heginbotham, an original score by Brooklyn Rider and the Silk Road Ensemble’s Colin Jacobsen, and live music. One of the year’s hottest collaborations, Jonah Bokaer’s Rules Of The Game, featuring a score by Pharrell Williams, is also on tap.
International appeal: Jacob’s Pillow continues its tradition of bringing the best in international dance to Becket, Massachusetts. This summer will include visits from Israeli company Roy Assaf Dance in its American debut; the experimental Compagnie Marie Chouinard from Canada; flamenco troupe Compañía Irene Rodríguez direct from Cuba; and contemporary/Indian dancer Aakash Odedra from the UK.
A dance for your dog: Yes, you read that correctly. On August 26, the Pillow’s Great Lawn will transform into a canine haven. Participants and their pets will be led through a dance experience and all donations will benefit the Berkshire Human Society. (B.Y.O. dog.)
For more details about the 2017 festival, click here.