Jacob’s Pillow to become year-round dance hub

Announces Vision '22 plan
A performance at Jacob's Pillow in Becket, Massachusetts.
A performance at Jacob's Pillow in Becket, Massachusetts.

BECKET. Mass — Jacob’s Pillow Dance, the first and longest-running dance festival in the United States, has unveiled a new plan that will launch the summer festival into a year-round dance hub. 

Pamela Tatge, the Pillow’s new director, announced on Monday the plan to extend and expand on the Pillow’s programming to the rest of the year. It’s a strategic plan the Pillow is calling Vision ‘22. 

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Through Vision ’22, the Pillow is slated to create a year-round dance research and development program, bolster community involvement and expand and repair campus facilities.

“As a result, more outstanding artists will have time and support to make new work in this special place. In addition, more Berkshire community schoolchildren and residents will experience the power of dance, and our local, national, and international audiences will enjoy the benefits of a new studio and an upgraded Ted Shawn Theatre. New Vision ‘22 initiatives will also bring dance professionals, dance educators, and dance advocates to the Pillow to help them propel this essential art form’s future. This is a time of great promise for this historic institution that means so much to so many,” Tatge said. 

Ten residencies were piloted for this 85th anniversary season, bringing new work to the Pillow and new collaborations. With the launch of the Pillow Lab, 10-15 choreographers will be invited to the Pillow annually to create new works and incorporate other technical elements into their other works. The Pillow’s campus will provide resources for the research and development that the choreographers are in need of to create new works and further their current pieces.  

The campus itself will also undergo a few changes. The space for The School at Jacob’s Pillow will be doubled with the addition of the Perles Family Studio. The Studio, costing $5.5 million, is climate-controlled and offers space for up to 200 people to view rehearsals and classes. It will also be used as another performance space in case of inclement weather. One of the most famous buildings on campus, the Ted Shawn Theatre, will be undergoing a few structural renovations. The 75-year-old theater was the first in the U.S. built specifically for dance and according to the Pillow, the renovations will not impact its historic look.  

Beyond the campus, the Pillow will be getting more involved in the Berkshire community. There will be Pillow Pop-Up performances in the city of Pittsfield. In an effort to reach into low-income communities on the outskirts of Pittsfield, the city and the Pillow are offering free bus service from the city to the Pillow campus. 

From June 26-30, Camille A. Brown and Dancers will be heading into Pittsfield to hold a series of social dance workshops and events for all ages. 

“The residency will engage members of the Pittsfield African-American community, especially young women,” said a press release from the Pillow. 

Tatge is also hoping to bring dance into the classroom by expanding the Jacob’s Pillow Curriculum in Motion program to eight Pittsfield elementary schools. The JOCiM program integrates choreography, kinesthetic intelligence, and critical/imaginative thinking with academic learning. Vision ’22 will also provide an opportunity for dance students in Berkshire County to attend Pillow programs at a reduced cost through the Dancing Berkshires Fund. 

To find out more about Jacob’s Pillow performances and plans for future seasons visit jacobspillow.org.

Categories: Entertainment

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