JACOB'S PILLOW DANCE FESTIVAL KICKS OFF WITH
THE HEAT AND PASSION OF FLAMENCO
MUJERES FEATURES ACCLAIMED BAILAORAS
BELÉN MAYA AND ROCÍO MOLINA
WITH MASTER MUSICIANS
June 11, 2009 (Becket, Mass.) - Jacob's Pillow, home of America's longest-running
international dance festival, kicks off its 77th season with Mujeres (Women), an
exclusive performance by prominent flamenco artists Belén Maya and Rocío Molina in
the Ted Shawn Theatre, June 24-28. Maya and Molina are lauded by international
critics for their creativity, artistry, and exceptional technique. At the Pillow
they will perform a variety of dynamic solos and duets, honoring and reinventing the
rhythm, passion, and soul of flamenco. Direct from Spain, this exclusive program
was directed by the late flamenco legend Mario Maya and features live music by
master vocalists, guitarists, and percussionists. As The Financial Times (U.K.)
describes it, "the interplay between the two women is mysterious and wholly
satisfying," and The Miami Herald proclaims, "you couldn't call Mujeres anything but
top of the line."
Ella Baff, Executive Director of Jacob's Pillow comments, "Mujeres opens the
Festival with some of the most passionate music and dance that people will
experience anywhere in the world. Belén Maya and Rocío Molina are among the most
exciting stars of flamenco today. Ms. Maya belongs to a royal lineage of flamenco
and Ms. Molina was singled out by critics and audiences for her astonishing
performances at the Pillow a few years ago with María Pagés. To have them together
on the same stage, with their fantastic musicians, is a very special event."
Offering an intimate view of the artists, Mujeres is a series of commanding solos,
expressive duets, and powerful musical interludes that merge tradition with
contemporary approaches to flamenco performance. The complexity of movement
customary to flamenco dance is masterfully executed as the dancers' footwork
contrasts with the supple mobility of their torsos and fluidity of their arms.
Solos highlight the distinctive mannerisms and styles of each performer; Maya
attacks the movement with an aggressive ferocity that then transitions seamlessly
into full-body undulations, while Molina displays an engaging spherical agility as
she traces patterns in the space.
This Pillow presentation of Mujeres was directed by Mario Maya, one of Spain's most
influential leaders of flamenco dance. Maya, who passed away in September 2008 at
the age of 71, studied flamenco in Spain and modern dance in New York. A gifted
dancer and choreographer, he paved the way for future innovations in flamenco by
fusing traditional steps with a contemporary style. Providing live onstage
accompaniment for the engagement are percussionist Sergio Martinez, guitarists José
Luis Rodriguez and Paco Cruz, and vocalists Rosario Guerrero and David "El Galli."
Belén Maya is the daughter of two revered flamenco artists, Carmen Mora and Mario
Maya. She began her studies at Amor de Dios in Madrid, danced at the School of the
Spanish National Ballet, and then settled in Seville to concentrate on flamenco. In
addition to flamenco, she is trained in ballet, classical Spanish dance, jazz, and
contemporary dance. Maya has performed as a principal dancer with Mario Maya's
Flamenco Dance Company as well as the Dance Company of Andalucía, and also appeared
in Carlos Saura's 1995 film, Flamenco. The film spurred new designs in musicality,
movement, and costuming in flamenco dance. The recipient of high praise from
critics and flamenco experts in Spain, London, and the United States, Maya continues
to participate in flamenco festivals worldwide, including most recently the XV
Bienal of Flamenco at Seville.
Born in Málaga, Spain in 1984, Rocío Molina began her dance training at age three.
Lauded as a flamenco prodigy, Molina received national attention for her technique
and artistry by age 11 and graduated with honors from the Real Conservatorio de
Danza de Madrid at 18. As a dancer and choreographer for numerous companies, she
performed at Jacob's Pillow in 2003 with Compañía María Pagés and also as a soloist
in Flamenco Festival U.S.A. London's The Independent writes that Molina "seems to
pull her movements up from the depths. Her dancing pours out, rich and weighted."
Throughout her career she has received numerous awards including Most Outstanding
Dancer at the XI Certamen de Coreografía y Danza de Madrid in 2002, the Critic's
Award to the Best Flamenco Dancer 2006 and 2007 by Flamenco de Hoy and the Press
Award to the Best Dancer at the Bienal de Flamenco de Sevilla in 2008.
Jacob's Pillow has a long history of presenting flamenco dance, beginning with the
Ted Shawn Theatre's inaugural season in 1942, when La Argentinita headlined a
program that acknowledged her role in developing Spanish dance as a concert form.
La Meri and the Ximenez-Vargas Company were frequent guests in the 1950s and 1960s,
Teodoro Morca Flamenco performed in the 1970s, Maria Benitez Teatro Flamenco in the
1980s and 1990s, José Greco II Flamenco Dance Company in 1998, and Ballet Flamenco
Eva Yerbabuena in 2006. The School at Jacob's Pillow has also recognized the
vitality of the flamenco tradition with programs devoted to expanding the education
of flamenco artists. In 2008, The School offered a flamenco program under the
direction of Martín Santangelo and Soledad Barrio of Noche Flamenca.
For more information and video previews, visit www.jacobspillow.org
Performance and Ticket Information
Wednesday, June 24 through Saturday, June 27, 8pm.
Saturday, June 27 and Sunday, June 28, 2pm.
* Tickets are $58 each, with discounts available for subscribers, seniors,
students, and children age 16 and under. $10 Youth Matinée tickets are available
Saturday and Sunday.
* Free Pre-Show Talks with Jacob's Pillow Scholars-in-Residence are offered
at Blake's Barn 30 minutes before every performance.
* Thursday, June 25, members of the ensemble will participate in a moderated
Post-Show Talk on stage immediately following the performance.
* Box Office hours: Monday through Saturday, 10am - 6pm, and Sunday 11am - 6pm.
* To purchase by phone, call the Box Office at 413.243.0745. To order
* Pillow Members receive exclusive benefits. To become a Member call
Jacob's Pillow is located at 358 George Carter Road in Becket, MA, 01223 (10 minutes
east on Route 20 from Mass Pike Exit 2). The Jacob's Pillow campus and theaters are
Free Events at the Pillow June 24 - 28
Free PillowTalks in Blake's Barn: The Ballets Russes and Ballet West, Wednesday,
June 24 at 5pm. This year's centennial of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes has been
celebrated worldwide. Ballet West Artistic Director Adam Sklute, a faculty artist
for the Ballet Program at The School at Jacob's Pillow, reports on his company's
reconstructions of classic Ballet Russes works. On Saturday, June 27 at 4pm,
Stanley Rabinowitz will discuss his translation of provocative and influential
writings of Russian critic Akim Volynsky, in Ballet's Magic Kingdom. The New York
Times Book Review has called Rabinowitz's recent publication "a fantastic book."
Free Inside/Out performances at 6:30pm: Wednesday June 24. The young, energetic
dancers of New York City's Ballet Noir open the Inside/Out season with an animated
exploration of contemporary ballet. Thursday, June 25, Ko-Ryo Dance Theater
reflects both contemporary and traditional Korean dance while showcasing
choreography by Sunhwa Chung. Friday, June 26, Avi Scher & Dancers perform original
works by Avichai Scher, the 2005 recipient of The School at Jacob's Pillow's Lorna
Strassler Award and one of Dance Magazine's "Top 25 to Watch." The company, which
includes New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns, will also perform works
choreographed by Emery LeCrone, also an alumna of The School at Jacob's Pillow.
Saturday, June 27, The School at Jacob's Pillow's Ballet Program participants
present a new work by award-winning choreographer Viktor Plotnikov, former principal
dancer with the Boston Ballet. The presentation marks the end of a two-week
intensive professional study under the direction of ballet luminary Anna-Marie
Holmes and Ballet West Artistic Director Adam Sklute.
Ongoing Free Exhibits: In Blake's Barn, A Dance to Jules Feiffer, an exclusive
exhibition created for and debuting at Jacob's Pillow that focuses on the dance
imagery of renowned cartoonist and Pulitzer Prize-winner Jules Feiffer, and Alvin
Ailey: Anniversary Salute, which celebrates the 50th anniversary season of Alvin
Ailey American Dance Theater with rare photographs by John Lindquist and John Van
Lund. In the Ted Shawn Theatre lobby, The Art of Merce Cunningham, a tribute to
Cunningham's 90th birthday that documents his collaborations with distinctive visual
artists with costumes, sketches, posters, and other artifacts from the Merce
Cunningham Dance Foundation Archives. Outsiders, a selection of open-air images of
dance at the Pillow including classics by John Lindquist and John Van Lund, in
Bakalar Studio, and Tap!, a photography exhibit featuring acclaimed artists such as
Jimmy Slyde, Gregory Hines, Savion Glover, Dianne Walker, and others, in the Doris
Duke Theatre Lobby.
Other Free Activities
The Archives at Jacob's Pillow allows impromptu visitors to view videos, browse
through books, access the Pillow's computer catalog, or peruse permanent collections
of Pillow programs and photographs. Pillow Interactive, a popular touch-screen
kiosk, provides instant interlinked access to rare film clips ranging from the
present day back to the 1930s.
Patrons are always welcome to explore the historic grounds to discover all the
reasons why the Pillow was named a National Historic Landmark, with Guided Tours
leaving from the Welcome Center every Friday and Saturday at 5:30pm. Self-guided
tour maps are always available as well.
Visitors can also relax in the historic Tea Garden, where Ted Shawn's Men Dancers
welcomed the first Pillow audiences in the 1930s, as they peek into the Bakalar
Studio to watch rehearsals; or stroll through several ecological zones on the
Wetlands Trail, created as part of the Pillow's responsible stewardship of its 163
acres of rural environment.
Morning Jumpstart Classes offered in Pilates, Ballet, Modern, and more, Mondays
through Thursdays at 8am. All experience levels, 16 and older, $8 per class, Ruth
St. Denis Studio. Call the Education Hotline at 413.243.9919 x17.
Weekly Master Classes are led by Festival artists Sundays at 10:30am to noon for
intermediate and advanced dancers, $15 per class. Pre-registration is required;
quiet observation is welcome at no charge. Call the Education Hotline at
The School at Jacob's Pillow is open to public observation Tuesdays through
Saturdays, 9am-5pm, featuring world renowned faculty, at no charge. Interested
groups of four or more should confirm space availability by calling 413.243.9919
The Pillow Café offers fine dining with wine service under the tent on The Great
Lawn. Wednesdays through Saturdays, dinner is served 5-7pm. Reservations are
required, call 413.243.2455.
The Pillow Pub offers casual family fare, takeout for picnics, and full bar service.
Wednesdays through Fridays 5pm-midnight, Saturdays noon-midnight, and Sundays
The Coffee Bar and Ice Cream Bar are open pre-performance and during intermissions.
Sample menus for each dining venue are available at www.jacobspillow.org
<http://www.jacobspillow.org/> . Pillow Patrons are also invited to bring picnics
and relax at one of many choice picnic spots on the Pillow grounds.
Support for Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival comes, in part, from the Massachusetts
Cultural Council, a state agency.
As of May 2009, major support for Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival has been provided
by: Anonymous; The Barrington Foundation, Inc.; Council for Cultural Affairs in
Taiwan; Cultural Services of the French Embassy; The Gladys Krieble Delmas
Foundation; Frances Alexander Family Fund; The Howard Gilman Foundation; The
Florence Gould Foundation; The Harkness Foundation for Dance; The William and Flora
Hewlett Foundation; The Leir Charitable Foundations, In Memory of Henry J. Leir; The
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Mertz Gilmore Foundation; National Foundation for
Advancement in the Arts; Evelyn Stefansson Nef Foundation; New England Foundation
for the Arts; The New York Community Trust-Wallace Special Projects Fund; "Leading
for the Future Initiative," a program of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, funded by the
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; William J. and Dorothy K. O'Neill Foundation;
Bessie Pappas Charitable Foundation; The Prospect Hill Foundation; Neal Rantoul
Foundation; Arch W. Shaw Foundation; The Shubert Foundation, Inc.; Taipei Cultural
Center of TECO in New York; Trust for Mutual Understanding; Massachusetts Cultural
Council, a state agency; MassDevelopment; Massachusetts Office of Travel and
Tourism; National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Arts as part of
American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius; U.S. Department of
Education; ALEX®; ; Big Y World Class Market; Capezio/Ballet Makers Dance
Foundation; The Legacy Banks Foundation; Pilgrim Inn; Quality Inn; Rodeway Inn;
Super 8 Motel Lee; WGBY-Public Television for Western New England; The Pillow
Business Alliance; and Jacob's Pillow Members.
Major endowment support is provided by The Barrington Foundation, Inc.; The William
Randolph Hearst Foundation; The Leir Charitable Foundations, In Memory of Henry J.
Leir; 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 Surdna Foundation.