Jacob’s Pillow Announces 2018 Season

Jacobs Pillow in Becket has announced its upcoming summer season of dance performances balancing equal parts cutting-edge and crowd-pleasing, including multiple Pillow debuts and world premieres, live music collaborations and companies that are returning to the Pillow for the first time in years, including PHILADANCO!, Limón Dance Company, Houston Ballet and ODC/Dance.

Highlights include the season opening Royal Danish Ballet, one of the world’s most highly respected ballet companies; the U.S. debut of Compañía Sharon Fridman; the season closing artist-curated program by New York City Ballet’s Daniel Ulbricht and much, much more.

Tickets go on sale to members on a staggered schedule beginning on February 20. Single ticket sales to the general public begin on April 2.

Here’s the 2018 schedule of ticketed performances at the Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival:


June 20-24
Praised as “a masterclass in style” (The Guardian), principals and soloists of the Royal Danish Ballet return to the Ted Shawn Theatre for the first time in over a decade, with a program that exemplifies an impeccable mastery of the Bournonville tradition, imbued with the company’s rich Pillow history.

June 27-July 1
This “mind-blowing troupe of wildly creative and physically daring dancers” (NY Newsday) is known for acrobatic dexterity, inventive wit and startling imagery. They bring a program that includes “Branches,” a 2017 Inside/Out Series commission, which celebrates the natural setting of Jacob’s Pillow.

July 4-8
Embraced as part of one of the most prominent contemporary dance companies in the world, these “superhumanly spry” (The New York Times) movers perform the infectious “Naharin’s Virus.”

EASTMAN (with live music)
July 11-15
A collaboration of diverse nationalities and artistic identities, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s “Fractus V” is “a thrillingly expansive watch, large with possibilities and potent with ideas” (The Guardian). The work fuses varied movement influences – from hip-hop and circus to flamenco -with unique Korean, Indian, Congolese and Japanese music compositions.

DORRANCE DANCE (with live music)
July 18-22
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award Winner Michelle Dorrance returns to mark Dorrance Dance’s fifth Festival engagement, bringing a program that includes their newest, groundbreaking work “Myelination” and a world premiere commissioned by the Pillow.

July 25-29
The soulful and uplifting new work “New Conversations” is marked by Brown’s iconic blend of African, Caribbean, and contemporary choreography set to Arturo O’Farrill’s Grammy Award-winning Latin jazz.

August 1-5
On the occasion of their 40th anniversary, this world-renowned force in contemporary dance returns with a diverse program of today’s leading choreographers.

August 8-12
“Performing with luscious spontaneity” (The New York Times), this vanguard of American modern dance brings to life the immediacy of classics by José Limón alongside vibrant, new choreography by Kate Weare and others. Acclaimed for dramatic expression, technical mastery and expansive, yet nuanced movement, the Limón Dance Company perpetuates the timelessness of Limón’s work and vision.

August 15-18
Houston Ballet returns to Jacob’s Pillow for the first time in almost 40 years, celebrating a wide range of classic and contemporary ballet. They bring a program featuring Stanton Welch’s “Clear,” a work by former choreographic associate Trey McIntyre, and Welch’s world premiere commissioned by Jacob’s Pillow that features an original music score by David Lang, the Bang on a Can co-founder who is one of America’s most performed composers.

STARS OF AMERICAN BALLET (with live music)
August 22-26
Daniel Ulbricht’s Stars of American Ballet celebrate choreographic legend Jerome Robbins with a program dedicated to his masterpieces, bringing some of today’s most remarkable ballet talents to the intimate Ted Shawn Theatre.


RAGAMALA DANCE COMPANY (with live music)
June 20-24
Artistic Directors and Doris Duke Performing Artist Awardees Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy lead this Minneapolis-based Bharatanatyam company, known its for “soulful, imaginative, and rhythmically contagious” (The New York Times) work. They share the multidisciplinary work “Written in Water,” featuring stunning projections and an original music composition by jazz trumpeter/maquam singer Amir ElSaffar with Iraqi, jazz and Carnatic instruments.

EPHRAT ASHERIE DANCE (with live music)
June 27-July 1
The Boston Globe’s “bona fide b-girl” presents “Odeon,” a high-energy world premiere that layers breaking, hip-hop, house and vogue with the buoyant music of Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth.

July 4-8
Melbourne-based Nicola Gunn combines dance and theater in a way that is “tantalizing, entertaining, ridiculous, and often bewildering in the best possible way” (Herald Sun). Her solo work “Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster” slips across tempos, ideas and performance modes to tell a story about a man, a woman, a duck and the complex realms of human behavior.

July 11-15
“Virtuosic, spiritually uplifting, and socially conscious,” (The Philadelphia Inquirer), this celebrated staple in the dance hub of Philadelphia returns to Jacob’s Pillow for the first time in over 20 years with classical, athletic contemporary ballet by predominantly African American choreographers.

July 18-22
“A thrilling fusion of hip-hop and contemporary dance” (The New York Times), this genre-blurring tour de force of movement and motion are led by prominent figures in the French hip-hop scene Soria Rem and Mehdi Ouachek. They make their Pillow debut with physically-thrilling, emotionally-driven work that showcases intricate technical refinement.

July 25-29
This Madrid-based company makes its U.S. debut in a program that highlights athletic, adventurous work rooted in contact improvisation, including the captivating duet “Hasta Dónde..?” and Max Award-winning “Free fall.”

August 1-5
Faye Driscoll returns for the second consecutive summer with the newest installment of the trilogy “Thank You for Coming.” “Play” is a “captivating and complex” (Portland Mercury) collage of gesture, image, voice and persona where performers ventriloquize, shape-shift, and speak through and for each other.

August 8-12
Highly acclaimed for her “fierce choreographic imagination” (The New York Times), Yerushalmy presents the world premiere of “Paramodernities,” which deconstructs iconic modernist choreographies and performs them alongside the scholarly contributions that help contextualize them. Intelligently crafted, the work highlights choreographers like Alvin Ailey, George Balanchine and Bob Fosse, through two different programs.

SONYA TAYEH (with live music)
August 15-19
Obie and Lucille Lortel Award-winner Sonya Tayeh presents “you’ll still call me by name,” an emotionally charged dance symphony for ten dancers and six musicians, in collaboration with vocalist Jo Lampert and indie-folk duo The Bengsons.

August 22-26
San Francisco-based ODC/Dance flaunts rigorous technique and full-throttle partnering in a program which includes KT Nelson’s “Dead Reckoning,” performed in a sea of mesmerizing green confetti set to original music by celebrated Kronos Quartet cellist Joan Jeanrenaud. “Full-bodied and expansive without being showy or brawny” (The New Yorker), ODC/Dance returns to the Pillow for the first time in over two decades.

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