Caution! Dancers Prowling

Hyerin Lee in Grass and Jackals by Saar Harari and Lee Scher. Photo: Jamie Kraus

LeeSaar The Company brings its latest work to Jacob's Pillow, August 20 through 24 I have to believe that titles matter to Lee Scher and Saar Harari, the artistic directors of LeeSaar The Company. Their latest extraordinary piece of choreography is called Grass and Jackals. So I open my mind to tall grass that bends in the wind, lies flat under a hard rain, and can be a good hiding place. … [Read more...]

Comedy and Tragedy Dance a Duet

Doug Elkins's Hapless Bizarre. (L to R): Deborah Lohse, Aaron Mattocks, Cori Marquis, Mark Gindick, Donnell Oakley, Kyle Marshall. Photo: Jamie Kraus

doug elkins choreography, etc. performs a new work and an old one at Jacob's Pillow. So what if you’re a nerd, and the woman you crave is a lot taller than you? Watch her and her bunch of friends; maybe you can pick up a few things that will make them accept you. Perhaps playing the clown will work? Mark Gindick really is a clown (as well as an actor and a dancer), and the clique that he … [Read more...]

A Playwright and a Composer Meet in a Forest

Drew Paramore as Puck in Dell'Arte Opera Ensemble's The Fairy Queen. Photo: Brian E. Long

Christopher Caines directs and choreographs Purcell's Fairy Queen for the Dell'Arte Opera Ensemble. If I had looked carefully at the program for The Fairy Queen before the Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble’s ambitious conflation of Henry Purcell’s opera and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream had begun, I might have been tempted to make a run for it. Here, for example, are the roles that actor … [Read more...]

A Fountain of Music and Love

The Mark Morris Dance Group in Acis and Galatea. Photo: Ken Friedman

Mark Morris directs and choreographs Handel's Acis and Galatea for Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival. It is beguiling to imagine George Frideric Handel’s pastoral opera Acis and Galatea receiving its first performance at the Duke of Chandos’s mansion on the terrace overlooking the gardens and their newly installed fountain. If the part about the terrace were true, guests at this 1718 … [Read more...]

Enter, Pursued by History

John Heginbotham's Chalk and Soot. 
Foreground: Weaver Rhodes (L) and Lindsey Jones. Visible at back (L to R): Shara Worden, Nicholas Cords, Gabriel Kahane. Photo: Jamie Kraus

John Heginbotham premieres his full-evening Chalk and Soot at Jacob's Pillow. No artist can entirely escape history. Unacknowledged, it trails behind him/her. Occasionally it blows around the artist’s ankles, occasioning thoughts. What was that? Where did I get it? Is it something barely remembered or something better chopped off? John Heginbotham doesn’t deny the influences of his years … [Read more...]

Foot Music

Michelle Dorrance in ETM: The Initial Approach. Behind her: Demi Remick and Caleb Teicher. Photo: Christopher Duggan

Dorrance Dance taps out a world premiere at Jacob's Pillow July 16 through 27. These days, we’re all wired. Or wirelessly connected. Sometimes walking down the street, I play a private game called “What would Mozart think?” Would he, for instance, worry that people walking along the street with things in their ears, talking loudly into the air, were lunatics? On the other hand, would he get … [Read more...]

Footloose and Fancy Free

L to R: Daniel Ulbricht, Tyler Angle, Robert Fairchild in Jerome Robbins's Fancy Free. Photo: Christopher Duggan

New York City Ballet's Daniel Ulbricht brings a cadre of his peers to Jacob's Pillow Touring with a small pick-up company of colleagues drawn from a major ballet company must be akin to masterminding a working vacation with your pals. What will you need in the way of costumes and sets and, since you won’t be able to carry live musicians along, well-made CDs? What will you need to do to … [Read more...]

Voyaging to a New Land

Anna Schön glimpsed behind the men's legs in Moses(es). Photo: Christopher Duggan

Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heels Performance Group presents Moses(es) at Jacob's Pillow. The first event you see in Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group's Moses(es) at Jacob’s Pillow is Reggie Wilson getting up the nerve to say something. He stands in the Doris Duke Studio Theater and looks the audience over—checking out the spectators, smiling nervously, waiting for. . .what? He pulls … [Read more...]

Flying On

Set and Reset 1 performance

The Trisha Brown Dance Company moves through  its final three years. It has only been a few months since I wrote about the Trisha Brown Dance Company, and here I am writing again. Ever since it was announced last year that health issues had caused Brown to retire as company head and sole choreographer and that the dancers were embarking on a three-year farewell tour, I tend to think, “It … [Read more...]

Aging, as in Fine Wine

Carmen de Lavallade in front of a picture of herself and Lester Horton. Photo: Christopher Duggan

Jacob's Pillow opens its summer season with a solo performance by Carmen de Lavallade. The Gala that opened the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival’s summer season was full of goodies—and by that I don’t mean just the dinner and the whooping it up on the dance floor. The program opened in the Ted Shawn Theater with the 22 students in the Pillow School’s Ballet Program performing an astounding … [Read more...]