June 29, 2021 (BECKET, Mass.)—Los Angeles-based CONTRA-TIEMPO will perform on the Henry J. Leir Stage during the second week of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, fusing Salsa, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop, and contemporary dance into a theatrical performance titled joyUS justUS, from July 7-11. On July 10, Adam Weinert, Brett Perry, Brother(hood) Dance! and several other performers will commemorate the opening of Jacob’s Garden on the Pillow campus in a site-specific performance. And, streaming exclusively through Jacob’s Pillow’s website, Nrityagram Dance Ensemble will perform a program exclusively for Pillow audiences from its dance village in India.
In addition to these onsite and online performances, there will also be both onsite and online PillowTalks offered free of charge. This week, talks include Okwui Okpokwasili & Saidiya Hartman on Fri., July 9, premiering online at 4 p.m., and CONTRA-TIEMPO’s Ana Maria Alvarez at the Pillow campus on Sun., July 11, 3:30 p.m. (online premiere July 23 at 4 p.m.).
“Although we had planned to present this work in 2020, I’m thrilled that we are able to present it in 2021 when we can call upon its healing power that we so need right now,” said Pamela Tatge, Executive and Artistic Director of Jacob’s Pillow. “To experience this work, and the exhilaration you feel when you are caught up in it, is to have your consciousness raised about the power of the collective energy that can come from choosing joy and standing for justice.”
CONTRA-TIEMPO: joyUS justUS
Founded by director Ana Maria Alvarez in 2005, CONTRA-TIEMPO is a bold, multilingual dance theater company that draws on their Los Angeles lineage with work rooted in Salsa, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop, and contemporary dance. In the company’s first Pillow visit since 2009, they perform the evening-length work joyUS justUS, an embodiment of radical joy and justice. “Potent, timely, and positive” (LA Dance Chronicle), the work centers joy as a critical part of building a more just and loving world. This “joyous celebration of community” (San Francisco Bay Guardian) features original music by East Los Angeles Chicano band Las Cafeteras and d. sabela grimes, and is an exuberant reminder of our capacity to connect, come together, and celebrate.
CONTRA-TIEMPO, led by Artistic Director Ana Maria Alvarez, is a bold, multilingual Los Angeles-based activist dance theater company creating physically intense and politically astute performance work that moves audiences to imagine what is possible. CONTRA-TIEMPO creates a new physical, visual, and sonic vocabulary that collages Salsa, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop, and contemporary dance with theater, compelling text, and original music to bring dynamic multi-modal experiences to the concert stage.
NATIONAL MEDAL OF ARTS | NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK
CONTRA-TIEMPO’s vision is to create, through the transformative power of dance, communities where all people are awakened to a sense of themselves as artists and social change agents who move through the world with compassion and confidence. Its mission is to create physically intense and politically astute urban Latin dance theatre work that moves audiences to reimagine what is possible, and to engage communities as active participants and witnesses of arts experiences tied to their humanity.
The Jacob’s Garden inaugural event at, at 12 p.m. on July 10, will feature an offering by Nipmuc elder Kristen Wyman; a movement-based activation performed by Orlando Zane Hunter Jr. and Ricarrdo Valentine of Bessie-Award winning company Brother(hood) Dance! and 2020 Bessie Honoree Adam Weinert. Weinert, along with Brett Perry, Cynthia Koppe, Brandon Washington and Ching Ching Wong, will present Tillers of the Soil, choreographed by Ted Shawn and Ruth St. Denis in 1916 and will lead the audience in a line dancing event accompanied by Brett Miller and the Neon Moons.
Throughout the summer, agricultural work will be supported through collaborations with community partners such as Greenagers, a Berkshire-based organization that engages teens and young adults in meaningful work in environmental conservation, sustainable farming, and natural resource management.
ABOUT JACOB’S GARDEN
Jacob’s Garden is at once a working farm, a living archive, and a participatory piece of choreography set on the campus of the Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival. Agriculture was at one point central to life at Jacob’s Pillow. At the core of Pillow founder Ted Shawn’s vision as outlined in The American Ballet (1926), is a relationship to the land. He wanted his dancers and students in training to be outdoors, live away from the city, and eat a carefully considered, simple and nutritious diet. To him, “the more sincerely a dancer is an artist, they would insist upon simple and natural food.” This seed-to-stage approach lay the foundation for what would become the most enduring dance festival this country has ever seen.
Jacob’s Garden honors this tradition by renewing the practice of agriculture at Jacob’s Pillow and bringing a 1.5-acre parcel of land back into cultivation. The mixed fruit, vegetable, and flower production will provide nourishment to the pillow community and offer a unique way for Pillow residents, dancers and visitors to connect and learn about the multiple histories that exist on this land while pointing towards a more sustainable future. the garden project broke ground in October 2020 and begins in earnest this season with the development of a garden infrastructure that includes mixed fruit, vegetable and flower production, harvested rainwater irrigation systems, an outdoor stage and more to make the growing of a garden possible.
NRITYAGRAM DANCE ENSEMBLE: Upādāna: An offering
Nrityagram Dance Company will premiere an evening of duets and solos with live chat July 8 at 7:30 p.m. EDT, available to stream on demand through July 22. Hailed by The New York Times as having “among the world’s greatest dancers,” Upādāna: An offering will give audiences access to the company and their Nrityagram Dance Village like never before. The Odissi dance company performs works choreographed by Surupa Sen and set to a score by Pt. Raghunath Panigrahi. Ancient wisdom, sacred rituals, and divine transformation are unveiled and interpreted by electrifying dance. Sen will also lead audiences in a rare, behind-the-scenes look at Nrityagram Dance Village, home to Nrityagram that has inspired global audiences for over 30 years.
ABOUT NRITYAGRAM DANCE ENSEMBLE
India’s first modern Gurukul, Nrityagram Dance Ensemble is a one-of-a-kind community where dance is a way of life, founded by Protiima Bedi in 1990. Today, it is home to the internationally renowned Indian classical dance ensemble. Travel to a lush ten-acre village of dance on the outskirts of Bangalore to see a Pillow-exclusive virtual performance by the internationally renowned Indian classical dance company, Nrityagram Dance Ensemble.
Jacob’s Pillow Connections
CONTRA-TIEMPO first performed at Jacob’s Pillow in 2009, in two pieces titled Plastico and Against the TImes. This season will be the second time the company has performed at the Festival.
Nrityagram Dance Ensemble debuted at the Pillow in 2006 with “Kisalaya Shayana” from Sacred Space. Nrityagram and Jacob’s Pillow are linked through their core concepts, as the company is housed on ten acres of Indian farmland which was converted by its founder, the dancer Protima Gauri, into a center for the study, practice, and teaching of dance. The company was featured in an online presentation called Global Pillow just last month.
Adam Weinert has enjoyed a multi-faceted Pillow relationship since 2003 when he first participated in the Contemporary Traditions program of The School at Jacob’s Pillow. He was a student at Vassar College at the time, after having begun his training at The Royal Ballet School in London. He went on to train at the Juilliard School and perform with the Mark Morris Dance Group, Shen Wei Dance Arts, and Christopher Williams. He has also worked extensively with Jonah Bokaer, appearing with him here in 2011 and 2012. Weinert’s interest in Ted Shawn intensified during a Research Fellowship in the Jacob’s Pillow Archives, and later encompassed the presentation of Shawn solos at the Museum of Modern Art and both The Tate Britain Museum and The Tate Modern Museum, eventually developing into MONUMENT, which Weinert performed at the Pillow in 2016. In 2018, Weinert’s work Dance of the Ages was performed during the Festival.
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive:
Adam H. Weinert in Dance of the Ages in 2018: https://danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org/adam-h-weinert/adam-weinert-dance-ages/
Adam H. Weinert in MONUMENT in 2016: https://danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org/adam-h-weinert/monument/
Nrityagram Dance Ensemble in “Kisalaya Shayana” from Sacred Space in 2006:https://danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org/nrityagram-dance-ensemble/kisalaya-shayana-from-sacred-s pace/
PERFORMANCE & TICKET DETAILS
ONSITE & ONLINE: CONTRA-TIEMPO
July 7-11, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. from Wed.-Sat. and 2 p.m. on Sun. Henry J. Leir Stage
Tickets are on sale now; online at jacobspillow.org and via phone at 413.243.0745. Premiering free online July 22 at 7 p.m. with live chat. Available to stream July 22-Aug. 5.
ONSITE: Jacob’s Garden Inauguration: Site-Specific Performances
July 10, 12 p.m.
Tickets are on sale now; online at jacobspillow.org and via phone at 413.243.0745.
ALSO THIS WEEK
ONLINE: Crystal Pite’s Body and Soul, performed by Paris Opera Ballet at Palais Garnier Premiering July 1 at 7:30 p.m.; streaming until July 15
“One of the finest dance makers on the world stage” (The Guardian), Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award winner Crystal Pite joins forces with the Paris Opera Ballet in Body and Soul, choreographing an internationally acclaimed full length work praised for “dashes of inventiveness, brilliance and poetry” (The New York Times). Streaming exclusively by Jacob’s Pillow for the U.S. premiere, Body and Soul was originally filmed with 36 dancers at Paris’s Palais Garnier with jaw-dropping costumes, set design, and staging. Co-sponsored by the American Friends of the Paris Opera & Ballet. This event is available only to audiences in the United States & Canada.
ONLINE: Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, Upādāna: An offering
Premiering online with live chat July 8 at 7:30 p.m. EDT; on demand through July 22
Nrityagram Dance Ensemble will premiere an evening of duets and solos with live chat July 8 at 7:30 p.m. EDT, available to stream on demand through July 22. Register online at jacobspillow.org.
ONLINE: PillowTalk: Okwui Okpokwasili & Saidiya Hartman
Friday, July 9, premiering online at 4 p.m.
Two MacArthur Award recipients, multidisciplinary artist Okwui Okpokwasili and scholar Saidiya Hartman, come together for a meaningful discussion about the power of Black women, the afterlife of slavery in modern American society and other timely topics.
ONSITE: Sunday Workshop with Festival Artists: CONTRA-TIEMPO
July 11, 10 a.m.
Register online at jacobspillow.org. Open to all age levels and abilities. Fees: $15 for 2 adults, $5 for each additional adult; children are free of charge.
Live virtual workshop: Families Dance Together July 9, 3 p.m.
Register at jacobspillow.org or call 413.243.0745. All participants will be asked to electronically sign a liability waiver upon registration; participants younger than 18 require parent/guardian agreement. Live Captioning will be available. All levels and ages welcome.
PillowTalk: Contra-Tiempo’s Ana Maria Alvarez; PillowTalk
Sun., July 11, 3:30 p.m., in person; online premiere July 23, 4 p.m.
FREE (ticket required)
This impressive Cuban-American artist talks about her success in boldly traversing the worlds of social dance, political activism, community organizing, and art making.
FESTIVAL 2021 EXHIBITS & ARCHIVES—ONGOING
Jacob’s Pillow Archives/Norton Owen Reading Room
Blake‘s Barn, June 30-August 29
Build Me a Theater; exhibition, open Tuesday through Sunday. Wed.-Sat. from 12-8 p.m., Tuesday and Sunday from 12-5 p.m.
This spacious, informal library and reading room allows visitors to view videos, browse through books, access the Pillow’s computer catalog, or peruse permanent collections of Pillow programs and photographs from the Pillow‘s Archives. The newly expanded Norton Owen Reading Room also features recent donations and more archival treasures from the Stephan Driscoll Collection. Jacob‘s Pillow Dance Interactive, available on a popular touch-screen kiosk in the Reading Room, provides instant access to rare film clips ranging from the present day back to the 1930s.
ABOUT JACOB’S PILLOW: Jacob’s Pillow is a National Historic Landmark, recipient of the National Medal of Arts, and home to America’s longest-running international dance festival, celebrating its 89th Festival in 2021. The Pillow announced its transition to becoming a year-round center for dance in June 2017 through a five-year strategic plan titled Vision ‘22. Each Festival includes more than 50 national and international dance companies and over 350 free and ticketed performances, talks, tours, classes, exhibits, events, and community programs. The School at Jacob’s Pillow, one of the most prestigious professional dance training centers in the U.S., encompasses the diverse disciplines of Ballet, Contemporary, Musical Theatre Dance, Choreography, and an annual rotating program (Gaga in 2018). The Pillow also provides professional advancement opportunities across disciplines of arts administration, design, video, and production through seasonal internships and a year-round Administrative Fellows program. With growing community engagement programs, the Pillow serves as a partner and active citizen in its local community. The Pillow’s extensive Archives, open year-round to the public and online at danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org, chronicle more than a century of dance in photographs, programs, books, costumes, audiotapes, and videos. Notable artists who have created or premiered dances at the Pillow include choreographers Antony Tudor, Agnes de Mille, Alvin Ailey, Donald McKayle, Kevin McKenzie, Twyla Tharp, Ralph Lemon, Susan Marshall, Trisha Brown, Ronald K. Brown, Wally Cardona, Andrea Miller, and Trey McIntyre; performed by artists such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Carmen de Lavallade, Mark Morris, Dame Margot Fonteyn, Edward Villella, Rasta Thomas, and hundreds of others. On March 2, 2011, President Barack Obama honored Jacob’s Pillow with a National Medal of Arts, the highest arts award given by the United States Government, making the Pillow the first dance presenting organization to receive this prestigious award. For more information, visit www.jacobspillow.org.