Jacob’s Pillow will host Dance We Must: A Virtual Event Supporting Jacob’s Pillow on June 20, at 7pm EDT. Co-hosted by Pillow Trustees Kyle Abraham and Wendy Whelan, this event is free, open to all, and will be streamed on Jacob’s Pillow’s website and social media channels. Dance We Must highlights include the announcement of the recipient of the 2020 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award; performances by Kyle Abraham’s A.I.M, Michelle Dorrance, Irene Rodríguez, Daniel Ulbricht and Danielle Diniz, and Calvin Royal III; and pop-up visits by artistic directors of acclaimed dance companies from around the world.
“This special Virtual Pillow event will connect our audience and dance fans from around the world with the joy and transformative power of dance and help us navigate these uncertain times together,” says Jacob’s Pillow Executive and Artistic Director Pamela Tatge. “Dance We Must will support the Pillow in continuing to serve as a beacon for dance while helping the communities we serve across the globe and in our region.”
Dance We Must features the presentation of the 2020 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award, which comes with a cash prize of $25,000, which the artist can use in any way they wish. Presented to an artist with exceptional vision and achievement annually, past recipients include Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Faye Driscoll, Liz Lerman, Camille A. Brown, Michelle Dorrance and Kyle Abraham.
The event’s performances include the world premiere of a solo from Kyle Abraham’s newest work for his company A.I.M, a special virtual commission by award-winning tap dancer Michelle Dorrance, a new work by acclaimed Spanish dancer Irene Rodríguez, a performance from American Ballet Theatre soloist and alumnus of The School at Jacob’s Pillow Calvin Royal III, and a duet between New York City Ballet principal Daniel Ulbrict and partner Danielle Diniz, among others.
The title of this event is derived from Pillow Founder Ted Shawn (1891-1972), who published a series of lectures under the same title in 1940. In this book’s opening chapter, Shawn declares that, “as long as there is life there is movement, and to move is hence to satisfy a basic and eternal need.” Shawn’s founding vision still informs the Pillow’s activities to this day, and the adoption of his words to describe this event underlines the institution’s core principles.
Dance We Must supports Jacob’s Pillow’s mission to support dance creation, presentation, education and preservation, and will be pivotal in supporting the organization’s future. Jacob’s Pillow cancelled its 2020 Festival on March 31, for the first time in the festival’s 88-year history, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and in accordance with state and federal mandates. Nearly 50 percent of its annual revenue comes from festival ticket sales and ancillary activities. The Season Opening Gala would have occurred on the same date as Dance We Must, June 20.
Dance We Must: A Virtual Event Supporting Jacob’s Pillow will be presented on June 20, at 7pm EDT. The event is free and open to all; online registration is required. RSVP at jacobspillow.org/events/dance-we-must to receive event details and to be kept up to date on the evening’s program.