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Jacob’s Pillow Announces 2020 Winter, Spring Schedule

The entrance sign at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts
Jim Levulis

Becket, Massachusetts dance center Jacob’s Pillow is preparing for its winter and spring programming.

Director Pamela Tatge says the Pillow will participate in a birthday celebration of Berkshire County native W.E.B. DuBois.

“We will be bringing an amazing production from San Francisco," she told WAMC. "It’s by Zaccho Dance Theatre and choreographer Joanna Haigood who actually in the late 90’s created a site-based work at the Pillow about our history as a site of the Underground Railroad and it is such a legendary work. And while she was researching that work, she discovered the writings of the amazing scholar W.E.B. DuBois and writer and thinker and philosopher.”

Haigood will also teach a workshop as a part of the 10x10 festival in Pittsfield tied to the February 22nd event at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington.

On April 25th, the center will host a rare presentation of new work from three New England choreographers and artists outside of its usual festival programming.

“Ian Berg, who’s this fabulous tap dancer, alum of our school – his company’s coming," said Tatge. "The Davis Sisters from Boston and then Nicole Stanton, who’s a choreographer based at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.”

Jacob’s Pillow will also continue its dance party series.

“On March 28th, we’re going back to the days of the hustle," Tatge said. "Abdiel Jacobsen is just a fantastic artist based in New  York who’s an expert on that dance and dances of that era, and for that we’re going to have a very hip DJ come up from New York with a bunch of dancers and Abdiel.”

It will be followed by one focused on salsa.

“Berkshire Salsa is collaborating with this fabulous choreographer from LA who is Ana María Alvarez and her company is CONTRA-TIEMPO," the director told WAMC. "So we have a little bit of a lesson and then we all dance. That’s April 4th.”

The coming season also features two collaborations with MASS MoCA in North Adams.

“The first is a stunning company from South Africa, Vuyani Dance Theatre," said Tatge. "They’re doing their take on Boléro, Ravel’s Boléro. And it’s an extraordinary production that’s going to New York and to a couple of other sites on the East Coast. They will be with us on February 1st.”

The latter is a staging of a new work in progress from choreographer Bill T. Jones titled “Deep Blue Sea.”

“It’s by the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company out of New York and MASS MoCA is providing vast space and resources – technical resources – to help create this work that’s going to end up at the Park Avenue Armory," Tatge told WAMC. What’s extraordinary is that there aren’t many places in America where you can tech a work this big and MASS MoCA happens to be one of those places.”

Jacob’s Pillow is also collaborating with the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington and the Tanglewood Learning Institute in Lenox in 2020.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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