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WEST COAST COMPANY BRINGS AMBITIOUS NEW WORK
INSPIRED BY THOMAS JEFFERSON AND STROM THURMOND
Becket, MA-From San Francisco, nationally-acclaimed Robert Moses' Kin
returns to the Doris Duke Studio Theatre July 13-16. A hit on the Pillow's
Inside/Out stage in 2003 and again at the Duke in 2004, these magnetic
contemporary dancers present a program of invigorating works, including the
East Coast premiere of The President's Daughter, a bold new piece that
illuminates-and has unique inspiration by several aspects of-American
history. The company also brings two powerful, socially-charged works,
Cause and Speaking Ill of the Dead, as well as Doscongio, an rousing solo
performed, in treat for Pillow audiences, by Moses himself. Commending the
choreographer's infectious passion, Rachel Howard of the San Francisco Times
writes, "His brand of modern dance is both eloquent and streetwise. . .
revved up to life-or-death speed. Miraculously, he's transferred that highly
individual style onto a collection of arresting dancers whose flickering
energy grows more electric every season." In a related free event, Robert
Moses and choreographer Helanius J. Wilkins of Edgeworks Dance Theater
discuss the relation of their work to the African American experience,
Wednesday, July 12 at 5pm on Sommerspace at Blake's Barn. For a glimpse of
the choreography of Robert Moses, watch the 2006 season overview video at
Performance and Ticket Information for Robert Moses' Kin: Evening
performances are Thursday, July 13 through Saturday, July 15 at 8:15pm, with
matinées on Saturday, July 15 at 2:15pm and Sunday, July 16 at 5pm. Tickets
are $24 each, with a 10% discount available for seniors, students, and youth
age 13 and under. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Box Office at
413.243.0745, faxing orders to 413.243.0749, or ordering online at
. Jacob's Pillow is located on George Carter Road in
Becket, MA, 10 minutes east on Route 20 from Mass Pike Exit 2.
The President's Daughter makes its East Coast debut at the Pillow, bringing
with it Moses' defining spirit of social and political awareness. Intrigued
by parallels in the personal lives of Thomas Jefferson and the late South
Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond, Moses created this work to address themes
surrounding race, gender, and the conflicting public and private worlds of
iconic Americans. The piece is based loosely on the 1853 novel of the same
by William Wells Brown-an escaped slave, pioneering African American writer,
and prominent abolitionist-whose tenacity resounds in the dance's urgent
tone. Set to a evocative soundscape with a bluesy piece by Darren Johnson
and segments of spoken word, the piece showcases Moses' eclectic musical
tastes and the elegant physical phrasing of his dancers. The President's
Daughter has won Moses praise in Dance Magazine as a "masterful" and
"inventive" artist, and since its 2005 world premiere in San Francisco, it
has been modified to augment its compelling message.
Additional works include a riveting commentary on war known as Speaking Ill
of the Dead. Set to a sound collage by David Worm and Robert Moses, the
work moved both viewers and critics at its recent world premiere in San
Francisco, when the San Francisco Chronicle pointed out that as "a powerful
protest dance," its strong political statement doesn't compromise the
dancers' signature lyricism.
With equal candor, the company presents their 2004 work Cause, originally
performed in collaboration with Youth Speaks, a local nonprofit spoken word
organization. With music by Jonathan Norton, the piece is inspired by the
personal stories of young writers and their insights into race, gender,
disability, and violence.
Responding to a joyous score by Chopin, Moses also performs his 1998 solo
Doscongio, a lighter work which highlights the choreographer's sweeping
sense of poignancy and clever rhythms. Noted for its "clear visual design
and controlled exuberance," Doscongio has been praised as "one of Moses'
most lovable solo works" by Rita Felciano in Dance Magazine.
Artistic Director Robert Moses danced with companies including Twyla Tharp
Dance and ODC/San Francisco. Based in San Francisco and founded just over
ten years ago, Robert Moses' Kin has toured nationally, performing at
Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in 2003 and 2004, as well as the Bates Dance
Festival and the Colorado Dance Festival. The company earned the 1998
Isadora Duncan Dance Award ("Izzie") for Best Ensemble Performance and the
2001 "Izzie" for its entire season. It has received a variety of other
grants and awards, including the San Francisco Weekly "Black Box" Award and
the 2005 Princess Grace Award
for Choreography. Robert Moses has created commissioned works for numerous
dance companies, including Oakland Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, and Savage
Jazz Dance Company, and has collaborated with artists including Alonzo King
and Margaret Jenkins.
Free Events at the Pillow This Week
PillowTalks in Blake's Barn: Choreographers Helanius J. Wilkins (of
Edgeworks) and Robert Moses (of Robert Moses' Kin) discuss their projects
investigating African-American heritage, Wednesday, July 12 at 5pm.
Saturday, July 1 at 4pm, Tania Pérez-Salas, a renowned presence on Mexico's
contemporary dance scene, discusses her two U.S. premieres and the course of
her career so far.
Inside/Out performances at 6:30pm: Wednesday, July 12, the San Francisco
group Robert Moses' Kin presents excerpts from their socially conscious
repertory in the Doris Duke Studio Theatre. From Washington D. C.,
Edgeworks Dance Theater describes the African-American experience with
thrilling power and precision, Thursday, July 13. Based in New York City,
the young dancers and directors of SYREN Modern Dance bring their
high-caliber repertory, Friday, July 14. Saturday, July 15, participants in
The School's Contemporary Traditions program perform a new work by
choreographer Robert Battle to conclude their first week of study.
Ongoing Free Events include: Ted Shawn First, the first overview exhibition
ever mounted at the Pillow on the Festival's influential founder, in Blake's
Barn; Philip Trager: A Pillow Retrospective, featuring insightful images
from this master of portraiture, in the Ted Shawn Theatre lobby; Basil
Childers, with work from a rising star of the international dance
photography scene, in the Doris Duke Studio Theatre lobby; Picturing Shawn,
a survey of two-dimensional depictions of the man by diverse artists, in the
Reading Room at Blake's Barn; and the latest Highlights of the Collection,
on view in the venerable Bakalar Studio whenever rehearsals and classes are
not in session.
Jacob's Pillow is located in the town of Becket in the Berkshire Hills of
Western Massachusetts. The Pillow was originally the Carter family farm in
the 1700s, and in the 1800s served as a station on the Underground Railroad.
Its pioneering spirit was furthered in 1933, when legendary dancer, teacher,
and choreographer Ted Shawn founded the Festival as a showcase for his
company of Men Dancers and as a home for dance in the U.S.
Jacob's Pillow now encompasses an acclaimed international Festival (the
first and longest-running dance festival in the U.S.), a professional
School, rare and extensive Archives open to the public free of charge, an
Intern Program, year-round Community Programs, and a Creative Development
Residency program. The historic site includes 161 acres, 31 buildings,
three unique stages (including the first theater in the U.S. built
specifically for dance), three dance studios, exhibition spaces,
restaurants, the Pillow Store, residential housing, administrative offices,
a health center, gardens, trails, and woodlands.
The Pillow presents dance from all over the world in all forms, styles, and
traditions, plus approximately 200 free events each season, including
performances, lectures, tours, film showings, exhibits, and talks with
artists from all over the world, which attract approximately 80,000 visitors
Pillow Founder Ted Shawn was instrumental in beginning the careers of Martha
Graham and Jack Cole, and the Pillow has continued this mentoring role by
providing early opportunities to artists such as Alvin Ailey, José Limón,
and Mark Morris. Companies such as Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Parsons
Dance Company have been seen at the Pillow for the first time anywhere, and
international groups such as The Royal Danish Ballet and Nederlands Dans
Theater have made their U.S. debuts here. World premieres have been
commissioned from masters such as Merce Cunningham and Paul Taylor, and
legendary artists such as Margot Fonteyn and Mikhail Baryshnikov have been
showcased in new works.
In 2003, Jacob's Pillow was declared a National Historic Landmark by the
federal government as "an exceptional cultural venue that holds value for
all Americans." It is the first and only dance entity in the U.S. to
achieve this honor. The Pillow looks forward to celebrating its 75th
anniversary in 2007, and has launched its first endowment campaign, The Fund
for Jacob's Pillow, to help ensure its eminence and longevity for others to
enjoy in years to come.
Major support for Jacob's Pillow, as of April 2006, has been provided by:
The Dana Foundation; The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation; Francis Alexander
Family Fund; The Harkness Foundation for Dance; The William and Flora
Hewlett Foundation; The Leir Charitable Trusts in memory of Henry J. Leir;
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Mertz Gilmore Foundation; Evelyn Stefansson
Nef Foundation; The William J. and Dorothy K. O'Neill Foundation; The
Prospect Hill Foundation; The Ira M. Resnick Foundation; The Ridgefield
Foundation; The Shubert Foundation, Inc.; The Starr Foundation;
Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency; National Endowment for the
Arts; U.S. Department of Education; ALEX®; Altria Group, Inc.; American
Express Philanthropic Program, Ameriprise Financial, Inc.; Berkshire Bank
Foundation; Canon, U.S.A., Inc.; TD Banknorth Charitable Foundation; The
Pillow Business Alliance; and Jacob's Pillow Members.
Jacob's Pillow is funded in part by the National Dance Project of the New
England Foundation for the Arts, with lead funding from Doris Duke
Charitable Foundation. Additional funding provided by The Ford Foundation
and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Major endowment support is provided by The Barrington Foundation, Inc.; The
William Randolph Hearst Foundation; Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state
agency; The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Onota Foundation; The Prospect Hill
Foundation; and the Talented Students in the Arts Initiative, a
collaboration of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Surdna
Foundation; and Jacob's Pillow Members.