Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival announces 2020 season

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On Wednesday, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket announced the full lineup for its 2020 summer season, running June 24 through Aug. 30. The longest-running dance festival in the United States, Jacob’s Pillow enters its 88th consecutive summer in 2020, showcasing companies from around the world in genres ranging from tap and contemporary dance to ballet and Indian classical dance. Under the direction of Pamela Tatge, programming for the internationally renowned festival features world premieres, new commissions, anniversary celebrations, Pillow-exclusive engagements, US debuts, and work developed at the Pillow Lab.

Season 2020 highlights include a special “tap takeover” of the Pillow by Dorrance Dance July 1-5, with a variety of performances taking place all over the grounds during the course of the company’s stay, July 1-5. World premieres at the festival will include Brian Brooks Moving Company, and Dance Heginbotham (with composer Ethan Iverson). Liz Lerman’s evening-length “Wicked Bodies,” exploring the portrayal of witches throughout history, also will receive its world premiere.

LAVA Compañía de Danza, resident dance company of Auditorio de Tenerife, will make its first US appearance at the festival. Pillow debuts include the Los Angeles-based urban Latin dance theater company CONTRA-TIEMPO as well as two pairs of collaborative teams — Sylvain Lafortune with Esther Rousseau-Morin and Anne Plamondon with James Gregg — in “Duets from Quebec,” a Pillow exclusive investigating the art of the duet.

Five companies commemorate milestones at the Festival. Limón Dance Company celebrates its 75th anniversary, while Ballet Hispánico and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance each celebrate 50th anniversaries. MOMIX notes 40 years under the innovative vision of Moses Pendleton, and The Sarasota Ballet will be kicking-off its 30th season.

Of the international companies on the roster, Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, returning for the first time in more than a decade, will perform the US premiere of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s “Fall,” and Germany’s Gauthier Dance // Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart offers the U.S. premiere of “Swan Lakes,” with adaptations by Marie Chouinard, Marco Goecke, Cayetano Soto, and Hofesh Shechter. Other artists from around the world include Malavika Sarukkai, one of the greatest living masters of the classical South Indian dance style of Bharatanatyam, New Zealand’s popular Black Grace, returning to the Pillow for the first time in over a decade, and Canada’s Aszure Barton & Artists performing the US premiere of “Where There’s Form,” set to music by Academy Award-nominated pianist and composer Hauschka. The work was created as part of the festival’s new residency program Pillow Lab. Additional fruits of Pillow Lab include Kyle Abraham’s latest evening-length creation (“An Untitled Love,” set to music by R&B legend D’Angelo), Anne Plamondon’s duet “Only You,” Brian Brooks’s latest work, and Liz Lerman’s “Wicked Bodies.”

“What we’re known for is focusing on new and emerging works of international dance, but we’re also excited to celebrate the anniversaries of companies whose histories are aligned with ours,” Tatge says of the season’s slate. She adds, “In these times of turbulence and division in the country, I can’t help [but] gravitate to works with themes of social justice that can help us understand the issues of today, while at the same time presenting works that by virtue of manifesting our human capacity as movers and creators give us hope.”

In addition to ticketed performances, the festival offers more than 300 free performances, talks, and special events. Tickets go on sale to members starting Feb. 10, and to the public beginning April 6 by phone (413-243-0745) and at www.jacobspillow.org


Karen Campbell can be reached at karencampbell4@rcn.com.

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