Jacob’s Pillow: Live Dance Is Back
The beautiful grounds of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Mass., will be alive with art again this summer, literally: All of the live performances will be held either on the outdoor stage formerly called Inside/Out and now known as the Henry J. Leir Outdoor Stage, or around the grounds in site-specific works.
All last year, the Pillow found ways to keep people connected to dance, through online events, short films and, eventually, COVID-safe residencies for choreographers and companies. Now, an abbreviated season will include some returning favorites, cutting edge innovators and new voices, with a special emphasis on BiPOC creators.
Highlights include Dorrance Dance (June 30-July 4), Michelle Dorrance’s tap company, which will perform on the outdoor stage in a world premiere featuring jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold. Dancers will also conduct “tap takeovers” around the grounds.
The Dallas Black Dance Theatre will premiere a new work by Darrell Grand Moultrie, who has worked with Alvin Ailey, Dance Theatre of Harlem and American Ballet Theater (Aug. 4-8).
The post-modern Brian Brooks/Moving Company performs alongside the wonderful Williamstown-based vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth (July 21-25.)
In their Pillow debut, Los Angeles-based Contra Tiempo, which performs work rooted in salsa, Afro-Cuban, hip hop and contemporary dance, will present an evening-length work called joyUS justUS, about making joy the center of a more loving world (July 7-11.)
Among the site-specific events to be performed around the ground, a group of local Indigenous dancers, coming from the Mashpee Wampanoag, Seneca, Cayuga and Nipmuc nations will come together for a performance called Easter Woodland Dances (July 17.)
Each of the performances will also stream starting about 10 days after the in-person event concludes. Performances by international companies are online-only. The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, an Indian classical dance company from Bangalore, and the Paris Opera Ballet featuring Crystal Pite, are some of the companies featured online-only.
The Ted Shawn theater will remain closed — it is undergoing significant renovation to be ready for next summer — and the Doris Duke burned in a catastrophic fire in November 2020 (cause undetermined, according to statements from the Pillow).
Seating is planned for 25% capacity and so tickets are very limited. Sales for the general public open on June 1. As of now all patrons are required to wear masks on-site, but check the website, www.jacobspillow.org, before you go, for the latest guidance, as well as for tickets, information on live-streaming, and any schedule changes.