Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival

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Country and Region United StatesMassachusetts
Type of Festival Dance
Location of Festival Becket, Massachusetts USA
Festival Contact Information

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival
358 George Carter Road
Becket, MA 01223 USA
Phone: (01) 413-243-9919
Fax: (01) 413-243-0749
Email: info@jacobspillow.org
Tickets: (01) 413-243-0745

Festival Description

Jacob’s Pillow Dance, the world-renowned international dance organization and National Historic Landmark nestled in the Berkshires of Massachusetts hosts an outstanding roster of dance companies each year. The performances span the multifaceted genres of contemporary dance, tap, hip-hop, flamenco, ballet, dance-theatre, and more. The Festival runs June through August and features more than 110 ticketed events and 200 free events, including performances on three stages, moderated interviews with artists, talks by experts, film showings, exhibits, observations of The School, receptions, tours, and over 75 dance classes for the community — including weekly master classes with Doris Duke Theatre artists. The Festival also includes several exclusive programs and live music in addition to the performances by national and international artists.

Festival Dates June 14 - August 23, 2014
Festival Links http://www.jacobspillow.org

Festival Story:

Jacob’s Pillow was born out of passion and determination emblematic of an American spirit of innovation, and has moved dance forward since its inception in the 1930s. Nestled on a peak in the bucolic Berkshire Hills in Western Massachusetts, it is a vital cultural institution with global reach and perspective, and the only dance organization to be named a National Historic Landmark.

The Pillow began as a family farm in the 1700s, became a haven for the Underground Railroad movement in the 1800s, and was transformed by dance pioneer Ted Shawn in the 1930s into a school and a dance venue. Today it is recognized internationally as America’s premier dance festival. It is an institution motivated and sustained by a distinctive purpose—to move dance forward by supporting creation, presentation, education, preservation, and audience engagement. Jacob’s Pillow has developed into a thriving year-round dance institution, and in the course of its history has welcomed over 2.5 million visitors. It is manifestly more than the sum of its elements—a dance festival, a school, archives, and community programs—it is a unique, influential, and beloved destination in the arts.

The international Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival is the first and longest-running festival of its kind in the U.S. The historic site includes 161 acres, 31 buildings, three unique stages (including the first theater in the U.S. built specifically for dance), three dance studios, exhibition spaces, restaurants, the Pillow Store, residential housing, administrative offices, a health center, gardens, trails, and woodlands. The Pillow encompasses a professional School, rare and extensive Archives open to the public free of charge, an Intern Program, and year-round Community Programs. The Pillow presents international dance in all forms, styles, and traditions, and approximately 200 free events each season, including performances, lectures, tours, film showings, exhibits, and talks with artists from all over the world, which yield approximately 80,000 visitor experiences annually.


Festival Events:

Programming 2014:
  • Top companies like Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Group, and Pacific Northwest Ballet take the stage in the Ted Shawn Theatre; tap sensation Michelle Dorrance lights up the Doris Duke Theatre with a two-week run; and we celebrate the final farewell performances of Trey McIntyre Project. Click here for the full schedule in 2014


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Practical Info:

Photo slideshow credits:
  • In order of appearance
    • Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre; photo Christopher Duggan
    • Photo by Stefanie Motta
    • Danish Dance Theatre, by Christopher Duggan
    • Ballet dancer on outdoor stage
    • Ko-Ryo Dance Theater; photo Karli Cadel
    • Ballet Maribor outside the Ted Shawn Theatre; photo Karli Cadel
    • MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Pillow Scholar-in-Residence Suzanne Carboneau; photo Karli Cadel
    • Ted Shawn Theatre, photo by Christoper Duggan
    • Ted Shawn Theatre, photo by Jessica Wickham
  • Doris Duke Studio Theatre
  • Ted Shawn Theatre
Medal of Honor Recipient:
  • March 2, 2011 — President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will present Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival with the National Medal of Arts, one of the highest awards given by the United States government. The Pillow’s Executive and Artistic Director Ella Baff and Board Chair Joan Hunter are in Washington, D.C. to personally accept the Medal. Fellow honorees are Robert Brustein, Van Cliburn, Mark di Suvero, Donald Hall, Quincy Jones, Harper Lee, Sonny Rollins, Meryl Streep, and James Taylor.


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