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Jacob’s Pillow Announces Its 2010 Festival

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Jason Hartley of Trey McIntyre Project; photo Jonas Lundqvist

In Genesis, Jacob lays his head on a pillow of stone and dreams of a ladder to heaven.  And so it came to pass that the Carter family of Becket, MA, named their c. 1790 farm Jacob’s Pillow, because of a pillow-like boulder in the garden and the fact that the property was at the top of a steep road then called Jacob’s Ladder, now George Carter Road.

Rural Intelligence ArtsNearly a century and a half later, in the early 1930s, the dancer Ted Shawn (left) bought Jacob’s Pillow as a retreat, ultimately holding demonstrations there by an all-male dance troupe he had assembled in an effort to dispel the taboo against men pursuing careers in dance.  When the U.S. entered World War II, his troupe members all did the manly thing and joined up, so Shawn leased the farm to one dance impresario, then another, both of whom expanded the programming.  The audience response was so enthusiastic, civic leaders saw an opportunity to do for Becket what Tanglewood had done for Great Barrington.  They formed a committee and raised $50,000 to buy the property and build a proper theater (using the same architect who had designed the Tanglewood shed) to augment the barn studio.  The Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Committee asked Shawn to be the director.  Due to wartime gasoline and tire rationing, many audience members had to climb the hill on foot or horseback for the privilege of witnessing the art of movement by a heavenly, international array of ballet, modern dance, mime, ballroom and folk dancers.
Rural Intelligence ArtsGöteborg Ballet; photo Ingmar Jernberg
This summer, Jacob’s Pillow’s 78th season, 50 companies and hundreds of emerging and master dance artists from as near as New York City and as far as Australia will travel to the former Carter farm in Becket to demonstrate their art. Highlights of the 2010 Festival include the U.S. debut of The Göteborg Ballet of Sweden; three world premieres, co-commissioned by Jacob’s Pillow, of works by diverse young choreographers Kyle Abraham, Monica Bill Barnes, and Camille A. Brown; U.S. premieres from Spain, India, Thailand, and Israel; and celebrated favorites, including contemporary ballet company Trey McIntyre Project (top photo), the men-on-pointe offerings of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, and the ever-popular Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.
The 2010 Festival features more than 110 ticketed events and 200 free events, including performances on three stages, moderated interviews with artists, talks by experts, film screenings, exhibits, the opportunity to observe training at The School at Jacob’s Pillow, receptions, tours, and over 75 dance classes for the community including weekly master classes with Festival artists.
Ella Baff, Jacob’s Pillow Executive Director, encourages all who attend to plan to “spend at least a day, because the Festival is a center of learning, socializing, and participating in art,  that goes beyond just being an audience member.”
June 19 - August 29
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival
358 George Carter Road
Becket, MA 01223
Phone: 413.243.0745
Fax: 413.243.0749
For a complete roster of the 2010 ticketed events, visit the Jacob’s Pillow website.
Full-season and Flex-5 Subscribers may order tickets now online, by mail or via fax. 
Jacob’s Pillow Members may order single tickets by phone from March 1.
The general public may order single tickets from April 7.
Once the Festival begins, students who have signed up, will receive weekly .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), alerting them to the availability of special $20 tickets, which they can reserve online.  (Each student must show a valid ID when picking up his or her ticket just prior to the performance.)
Jacob’s Pillow memberships start at $60.

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Posted by Marilyn Bethany on 01/24/10 at 08:58 AM • Permalink