THE SCHOOL AT JACOB’S PILLOW ANNOUNCES 2005 PROGRAMS, AUDITIONS, AND INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED FACULTY
Becket, MA – In the summer of 2005, The School at Jacob’s Pillow welcomes internationally-known talent to direct professional programs in Ballet, Cultural Traditions, Contemporary, Jazz, and Choreography. These accomplished artists and seasoned educators are widely respected for their contributions to the worldwide dance community and work closely with young professional dancers to sharpen their artistic and technical achievement.
The Program Directors assembled for 2005 include Anna-Marie Holmes, Russian ballet authority; Rennie Harris, hip-hop master; Milton Myers, expert in contemporary traditions; Chet Walker, Broadway jazz veteran; and the team of choreographer Susan Marshall and critic and scholar Suzanne Carbonneau. These stellar directors and their faculty help prepare students for professional careers in the dance field.
In cultivating each student’s development, faculty members lead daily technique classes and teach repertory that is performed in major dance companies the world over. Masters of dance in their own right, the 2005 faculty includes genre-defying choreographer Margo Sappington; Bessie Award-winning hip-hop pioneer PopMaster Fable; Limón Dance Company great Nina Watt; and the luminous Elizabeth Roxas, who will set on dancers of the Contemporary Program a signature work by Judith Jamison, Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.
JACOB’S PILLOW 2005 FACULTY AND PROGRAMS
The School at Jacob’s Pillow has been a vital component of the Festival since the 1930s. Each year, united by passion and talent, more than one hundred pre-professional and newly professional dancers have the opportunity to fine-tune their technique, learn and perform repertory, interact with both peers and legends of the dance world, and attend performances of new and established international dance companies at the Festival. This atmosphere of continual and inspirational challenges has led to The School’s eminence as a wellspring for many of the world’s best dancers, now performing with companies all over the world.
The Ballet Program takes place June 13-26, with a culminating public presentation of repertory on Saturday, June 25, from 6:30-7:20p on the Inside/Out stage. As part of the Pillow Opening Gala on Saturday, June 18, noted choreographer and faculty member Margo Sappington, formerly of the Joffrey Ballet, premieres a new work she will set on the students. Program Director Anna-Marie Holmes returns from her 2004 success in choreographing a new Raymonda for American Ballet Theatre. Faculty members include Deborah Hess, currently a teacher at Canada’s famed National Ballet School, and Espen Giljane, Artistic Director of the Norwegian National Ballet. Also for 2005, Ramona Pansegrau returns as Music Director.
Rennie Harris directs Cultural Traditions: In the Presence of Hip-Hop, from June 27-July 10. Harris, whose company Rennie Harris Puremovement is well-known to Pillow audiences, brings with him a veritable roll-call of hip-hop greats to educate students on the social and artistic development of this influential dance form. The faculty includes Buddha Stretch, who invented the genre of hip-hop known as Freestyle; young virtuoso Traci Bartlow; and Lady Jules, a veteran of music videos who, in recognition of her astounding dance talents, was proclaimed “Best B-Girl” at the 2004 B-Boy Summit. These educators promise to thrill students and studio visitors with their physical prowess and first-hand knowledge of the origins of hip-hop. Program participants will show their latest skills in public presentations on two Saturdays, July 2 and 9, from 6:30-7:20p on the Inside/Out stage.
JACOB’S PILLOW 2005 FACULTY AND PROGRAMS
Director of the Contemporary Traditions Program, Milton Myers, returns to guide students through a range of modern masters. From July 11-31, Contemporary Program participants will learn repertory and technique from some of the most important names in contemporary dance. Jacqulyn Buglisi, a former leading dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company and co-director of New York’s Buglisi/Foreman Dance, returns to the Pillow to set her work on the students. Elizabeth Roxas, former star with the Alvin Ailey company, who Pillow audiences will remember from performances in 2000 with RhythMEK, will stage a demanding piece by American modern dance giant Judith Jamison, Artistic Director of the Ailey company. European choreography is highlighted too, with work by Belgian Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker being set by one of her best-known dancers, Mark Lorimer. Additional faculty members include Lynn Glauber and Graciela Kozak, two ballet teachers noted for their ability to unite the modern and the classical. Performances are held on Saturdays, July 16, 23, and 30, from 6:30-7:20p on the Inside/Out stage.
Entering his sixth season as Jazz Program Director, Chet Walker is an internationally active force in Broadway jazz and musical theater. From August 1-21, Jazz Program participants receive the unique opportunity to work with Walker in a way that closely resembles being in a Broadway dance company. Today’s modern and jazz legends lead rehearsals of pieces that are created specifically for the dancers. Through video showings and talks—sometimes with the very figures who contributed to the history being discussed—students learn about the evolution of this truly American dance style from film, television and musicals to today’s industrial productions. Jazz faculty members include Patricia Wilcox, the award-winning choreographer of musical theater productions across the United States and Europe. Jazz Program participants also enjoy the guidance of Milton Myers, who will share the jazz influences in Alvin Ailey’s work. The performances take place Saturdays, August 6, 13, and 20, from 6:30 to 7:20p on the Inside/Out stage.
JACOB’S PILLOW 2005 FACULTY AND PROGRAMS
The 2005 Choreographers’ Lab, from August 22-29, is led by Suzanne Carbonneau, noted dance critic, writer, and Pillow Scholar in Residence, along with award-winning choreographer and Pillow alumna Susan Marshall. This year the Choreographers’ Lab
participants (who have at least two years’ experience of choreographing performed works) will focus on the source material, intention, and craft of choreography.
Attendance at Festival events, talks with master teachers, and innovative approaches in
choreographic exploration and articulation all help Program participants discover new methods of creating and structuring movement material.
The Fund for Jacob’s Pillow and annual contributions to The School make possible the attendance of many talented dancers in each program, regardless of their ability to pay tuition. Now in its second year, The Lorna Strassler Award for Student Excellence at Jacob’s Pillow annually honors one highly talented young dancer with a full scholarship to study at the Pillow as well as a $2,500 cash stipend. Selection of the awardee occurs during a rigorous live audition and a videotape review process. Candidates must demonstrate an advanced technical capacity, stellar performance skills, an ability to articulate their artistic goals, and a deep commitment to dance. This gift is named for former music educator and current Jacob’s Pillow Board Member Lorna Strassler, who, along with her husband David, hopes that “this award will make a difference in the lives of those who receive it.”
Dancers interested in applying for The School at Jacob’s Pillow should visit www.jacobspillow.org
or call 413.243.9919 for more details. Auditions will be held in four cities across the U.S. as well as four international locations, including Athens, Oslo, Paris, and Buenos Aires.
Tuition includes on-campus housing, meals, and participation in all Festival events, tickets to all Festival performances. Scholarships and academic credit are available.
JACOB’S PILLOW 2005 FACULTY AND PROGRAMS
ABOUT OUR FUNDERS: As of January 2005, major funding for The School at Jacob's Pillow 2004-05 is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Onota Foundation; Surdna Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; Francis Alexander Foundation; The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency; Altria, Inc.; Mertz Gilmore Foundation; The Leir Charitable Trusts in memory of Henry J. Leir; The Harkness Foundation for Dance; Alex Toys; Evelyn Stefansson Nef Foundation; The Prospect Hill Foundation; Capezio® Ballet Makers Dance Foundation; and the Arch W. Shaw Foundation. Additional major scholarship support for 2004-05 is provided by Sandra and David Bakalar, Sydelle and Lee Blatt, Carole and Dan Burack, Betty and Jack Fontaine, Perry and Martin Granoff, Joan and Charles Gross, Lola and Edwin Jaffe, Mr. and Mrs. Terence Meehan, Arline R. Mooney, Paul L. Newman, Helice and Steven Picheny, Gil and Anne Rose Family Fund, The Royal Danish Ballet, Lorna and David Strassler, Aso O. Tavitian, Loet and Edith Velmans, Chet Walker, and anonymous.
Major endowment support for The School is provided by the Talented Students in the Arts Initiative, a collaboration of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Surdna Foundation; Onota Foundation Sara L. Hiner Scholarship for Contemporary Dance; William Randolph Hearst Foundation; Sandra and David Bakalar; Sydelle and Lee Blatt; Neil and Kathleen Chrisman; Ranny Cooper and David Smith; Betty and Jack Fontaine; Daniel and Shirlee Cohen Freed; Paul and Rochelle Gendler Family Foundation; Joan and Charles Gross; Ann and Peter Herbst; Joan and Jim Hunter; Daniel R. Idzik and Kathleen M. Osborne; Leonard and Marcia Simon Kaplan; Mark and Taryn Leavitt; Wendy and Thomas McCain; Gil and Anne Rose Family Fund; Lorna and David Strassler; Bob and Elisabeth Wilmers; the Estate of Jerome R. Zipkin; and anonymous.
Jacob's Pillow is located in the town of Becket in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts. The Pillow, as it is affectionately known, 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 in the U.S.), a professional School, rare and extensive Archives open to the public free of charge, an Intern Program, and year-round Community Programs. The historic site includes 161 acres, 31 buildings, three unique stages (including the first theatre 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 international dance in all forms, styles, and traditions, and approximately 200 free events each season, including performances, lectures, tours, film showings, exhibits, and talks with artists from all over the world, which yield approximately 80,000 visitor experiences annually.
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 opportunities to young 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.