Known as a master of musicality, Lar Lubovitch brings his internationally-renowned company to Jacob's Pillow July 20-24. For more than 40 years, the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company has performed around the world with luxurious choreography, lyricism, and advanced technical skill. The Pillow program includes North Star, a revival from 1978 set to music by Philip Glass, a duet from Meadow (1999), The Legend of Ten (2010), and Coltrane's Favorite Things (2010), danced to John Coltrane's version of the classic song "My Favorite Things" from the musical The Sound of Music. Lisa Traiger with The Washington Post writes, "Lubovitch makes dances that celebrate beauty, grace, elegance and lyricism."
The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, founded in 1968, is acclaimed for its rhapsodic style and sophisticated formal structures. The company has toured extensively throughout America (virtually all 50 states) and around the world (more than 30 countries). Michael Upchurch of The Seattle Times calls the company, "light and limber, with its focus entirely on how music and movement can interpenetrate to produce pure footloose delight."
Lar Lubovitch himself is known for his choreographic diversity. In addition to directing his own dance company he has choreographed for film, Broadway, and on ice. He has been noted by The New York Times as "one of the ten best choreographers in the world." Lubovitch's choreography on film includes Othello (broadcast throughout the U.S. on PBS's "Great Performances" and Emmy Award nominee), Fandango (International Emmy Award winner), and My Funny Valentine, which he choreographed for the Robert Altman film The Company (for which Lubovitch was nominated for an American Choreography Award). His work on Broadway includes Into the Woods (Tony Award nomination), The Red Shoes (Astaire Award), and the Tony Award-winning revival of The King and I. In 2007, he co-founded the Chicago Dancing Festival with former company dancer Jay Franke and was named "Chicagoan of the Year" by the Chicago Tribune.
Opening the program at Jacob's Pillow, North Star is regarded as the first modern dance choreographed to Philip Glass's music and is danced to his composition by the same name. First performed in 1978, ten dancers respond to the ethereal music with continuous, flowing, wave-like choreography. Following North Star, two dancers take the floor for a duet from the work Meadow, which was premiered by American Ballet Theatre in 1999. This pas de deux is performed to Gavin Bryars's, "Incipit Vita Nova" and will be danced by company members Katarzyna Skarpetowska and Brian McGinnis. In 2006, John Rockwell with The New York Times described it as "a fluid, lyrical ballet with exotic ritual overtones" set to a "clever score."
Danced to the first and fourth movements of Brahms's "Quintet in F Minor (Op. 34)," recorded by Glenn Gould and the Montreal String Quartet, The Legend of Ten is an emotional work for the company's ten dancers. Alastair Macaulay of The New York Times describes "As the fourth movement of a Brahms piano quintet begins, a man slides a woman along the floor. They're both seated, and he - propelling them with his knees, her wrapped across his back - is treading backward. This image of effort and dejection, a strange, dreamlike response to the music, at once lodges in the head."
Coltrane's Favorite Things is filled with Lubovitch's renowned musicality as dancers transition between solos, duets, and ensemble sections, performing an abundance of lifts, jumps, and turns with joyous aplomb. Set to "My Favorite Things" recorded by John Coltrane Quartet, the work seems to embody the weightlessness and delight. "Lar Lubovitch's choreography is the pink champagne of modern dance. One feels giddy with delight watching his intoxicatingly fluid phrases organically fill the space and time with movements so entrancingly designed and emotionally rich that you never want his dances to end," declares Lisa Jo Sagolla with Backstage.
Lar Lubovitch will take part in The Choreographer as a Visual Artist, a free PillowTalk taking place on Thursday, August 21 at 5pm. The discussion also includes Zoe Scofield and Juniper Shuey, Doris Duke Theatre artists that same week. They will discuss their varying approaches to dance-making. PillowTalks are free and open to the public, and offer rare interaction with artists and experts in the field with in-depth discussions, moderated interviews, film screenings, and book signings. See a full list of the week's free events below.
Performance and Ticket Information
Ted Shawn Theatre
Wednesday, July 20 through Saturday, July 23 at 8pm
Saturday, July 23 and Sunday, July 24 at 2pm
Free Pre-Show Talks with Jacob's Pillow Scholars-in-Residence are offered in Blake's Barn 30 minutes before every performance.