Following the 80th Anniversary Season's record-breaking attendance encompassing more than 90,000 free and ticketed visitor experiences, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival makes two early announcements today regarding the 2013 season.
Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH), the groundbreaking and newly revitalized classical and contemporary ballet company, will open the 2013 season in the Ted Shawn Theatre June 19-23. Led by founding member and former principal dancer Virginia Johnson, the company will present a range of classic and new work including George Balanchine's Agon, The Lark Ascending by Alvin Ailey, and Far But Close by renowned contemporary choreographer John Alleyne. This engagement is particularly significant as DTH made its company debut at the Pillow in 1970.
August 14-18, the Pillow will present the much-anticipated world premiere of Wendy Whelan's Restless Creature. This new evening of dance is created and performed by Whelan, a legendary New York City Ballet principal dancer, and four forward-thinking male dancer/choreographers: Kyle Abraham, Joshua Beamish, Brian Brooks, and Alejandro Cerrudo. Whelan will dance with each of the choreographers in four distinct and diverse duets.
"I'm particularly delighted that these two engagements are the first we announce of the 2013 Festival. Both began with separate conversations I had a few years ago with Virginia Johnson and Wendy Whelan about how artists and institutions regenerate and experiment. These two women, and the remarkable institutions with which they've long been associated, have already given audiences years of unforgettable performances. They are unstoppable pioneers who have always been willing to take risks," comments Ella Baff, Jacob's Pillow Executive and Artistic Director.
"Dance Theatre of Harlem made its first appearance as a company at Jacob's Pillow in 1970.Opening the season with DTH is a major "welcome back" for us and for audiences, who will see where the "new" DTH is headed.
We are also thrilled to present and co-commission the world premiere of Wendy Whelan's Restless Creature. Wendy is among the most distinguished ballerinas in the world and continues to deliver remarkable performances with New York City Ballet. She now takes charge with an entire program of her own, collaborating with four very different and much talked about dancer/choreographers in their own right."
Baff continues, "Great artists, new ideas, and the dancing will be spectacular. Much more to follow."
Festival 2013 marks the Pillow's 81st annual season, which kicks off June 15 with the Pillow's Season Opening Gala. Wendy Whelan serves as Honorary Co-Chair for the 2013 Gala and will perform as part of the exclusive program. Dancers from Dance Theatre of Harlem will also perform on the Gala program, and dancers of the Ballet Program of The School at Jacob's Pillow will present a world premiere created by Helen Pickett, a former company member of William Forsythe's Frankfurt Ballet, recently appointed resident choreographer for the Atlanta Ballet. This signature fundraising event includes an exclusive performance, dinner, live music, and dancing. Additional performers will be announced in the coming months.