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Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival returns for its 92nd season

Dimensions Dance Theatre Of Miami. Photo by Christopher Duggan.
Dimensions Dance Theatre Of Miami. Photo by Christopher Duggan.

This summer, Jacob’s Pillow will produce the 92nd season of its premier international dance festival, in a nine-week celebration of some of today’s most groundbreaking artists and dance companies performing locally, nationally and around the world.

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2024 will run June 26 through August 25, and will feature indoor performances in the historic Ted Shawn Theatre and outdoor performances on the Henry J. Leir Stage. Visitors to Jacob’s Pillow this summer can also note progress being made on the construction of the reimagined Doris Duke Theatre, which is scheduled to open in 2025. 

Companies featured in this summer’s lineup are an eclectic mix of Jacob’s Pillow debuts and longtime audience favorites who have appeared across more than 50 years of the festival’s history. Onstage performances will span genres and styles from ballet and modern to hip hop, tap, flamenco, circus, Indigenous dance, and more. In addition to U.S.-based companies, the festival will also present companies based in Canada, England, Switzerland, Italy, Argentina, Spain, and beyond. Many events will feature live music, and all are family-friendly. The festival will also include special events, parties, classes and workshops, exhibitions and talks, digital premieres, livestreams, and pop-up performances in Berkshire County. Many of these offerings will be free of charge.

The nine companies to perform for one week each in the Ted Shawn Theatre are, in chronological order: Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, The Royal Ballet of the United Kingdom, Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, Social Tango Project, MOMIX, Camille A. Brown & Dancers, Parsons Dance, Soledad Barrio & Noche Flamenca, and Dance Theatre of Harlem. Companies with multi-night runs on the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage will include M.A.D.D. Rhythms, Pathways to Performance (a project of  Theresa Ruth Howard’s MoBBallet), Dancers of Damelahamid, David Dorfman Dance, and Gibney Company.

The outdoor Leir Stage will also feature numerous one-day-only events, including performance ensembles from The School at Jacob’s Pillow summer programs in contemporary ballet, contemporary and musical theatre. The complete program for Festival 2024 beyond onstage performances (including exhibits, livestreams, PillowTalks, classes and workshops, community events, and more) will be announced in April.

In an exciting first, the world-renowned Royal Ballet of the United Kingdom will make its Pillow debut by staging a “takeover” of Festival Week 2 (July 3-7), with daily performances on two stages. Audiences will be able to enjoy The Royal Ballet program on the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage, then continue the experience by moving into the historic indoor Ted Shawn Theatre to see a completely different program. The indoor and outdoor portions of the “takeover” will be ticketed separately. This will mark the first time in the Festival’s history that a single company will perform on both the indoor and outdoor stages with separate programs on the same day. This engagement will be The Royal Ballet’s exclusive appearance in the United States in 2024.

“When we describe Jacob’s Pillow as a crossroads for dance, this is the sort of wide-ranging, blockbuster summer program we are talking about,” said Jacob’s Pillow Executive and Artistic Director Pamela Tatge. “The artists and companies coming to our stages here in Becket are multi-generational masters of their form, whether they come from the realm of dance, theater, activism, visual design, live music — or from many realms at once. Some of these brilliant creators have storied histories that intersect with the Pillow’s; some are new to us and just emerging into new forms of dance and mission-making. Some of the artists tour widely and have global name recognition; some have focused mainly on celebrating and empowering local communities. Regardless, they all are intent on bringing their best work to Jacob’s Pillow, and their onstage encounters with Pillow audiences — all in the span of nine weeks — will mean something unforgettable for everyone.”

The 2024 Festival was curated by Tatge and Associate Curators Melanie George and Ali Rosa-Salas, supported by International Advisor Cathy Levy and Producing Director Holly Jones. 

Jacob’s Pillow will hold its largest fundraising event of the year — the Season Opening Gala — on Saturday, June 22, featuring a livestream of live performances and a presentation of the 2024 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award to this year’s recipient, choreographer Pam Tanowitz. Community Day will also return this year, providing free, all-ages daytime performances by regional dance artists, as well as activities around the Pillow’s campus on Friday, August 16.

Jacob’s Pillow continues to be a home for presentations of premiere works, and this year will feature world premieres by Camille A. Brown and Wayne McGregor and U.S. premieres by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Pam Tanowitz, among others, on both the Ted Shawn Theatre and Henry J. Leir stages. Artists and companies making their Jacob’s Pillow debuts this season include The Royal Ballet, Social Tango Project and Dancers of Dahmelahamid. The Festival also features the return of companies who have not graced our stages in decades: Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, MOMIX and Parsons Dance.

As Jacob’s Pillow continues to strengthen its role in serving artists year-round, the Festival will also feature work developed at the Pillow Lab, a residency program now in its seventh year. This work includes works to be performed by Camille A. Brown & Dancers and MoBBallet’s Pathways to Performance project. 

Festival 2024 will host the return of two beloved annual gatherings: Pillow Pride and the All Styles Dance Battle. Pillow Pride — a celebration of LGBTQIA+ individuals and communities — will be held on the weekend of July 13-14, including a performance by the MasterZ at Work Dance Family with Courtney Topanga Washington. The All Styles Dance Battle will be held on the evening of Friday, August 2. Tickets to parties will be available beginning in March, in time for Member Pre-Sale.

Ticketed performances and parties will be enriched by talks, exhibitions, workshops and the return of the free On the Road performance series to towns around Berkshire County, with details to be announced later this year. Digital offerings will include PillowTalks and livestreams of several performances.

Tickets for Festival 2024 will go on sale to the general public on Thursday, April 11. For more information, head to www.jacobspillow.org.

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