July 9, 2021 – (BECKET, Mass.) – Jacob’s Pillow presents Brian Brooks / Moving Company on the Henry J. Leir Stage and in a site-specific performance, utilizing augmented reality technology, from July 21-25. The company will perform Closing Distance, which premiered before the pandemic and has not been performed since, on the newly renovated Henry J. Leir Stage, along with a world premiere entitled Flight Study. Brooks will also premiere a new self-choreographed solo work entitled Quiet Music, set to the Nico Muhly piano score of the same name. Additional on-site events this week include a PillowTalk discussion about the history of all of the Pillow’s performance venues, and online events include performances by CONTRA-TIEMPO, Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, and Dorrance Dance as well as newly-posted PillowTalks. The Contemporary Program Performance Ensemble at The School at Jacob’s Pillow, directed by renowned choreographers Helen Pickett and Milton Myers, will also perform on the Henry J. Leir Stage on Saturday, July 24. This performance will be live-streamed via Zoom simultaneously.

In addition to the Henry J. Leir Stage performances, Brian Brooks / Moving Company will premiere a site-specific performance entitled Viewpoint which pilots a tele-presence mobile dance studio to bring live performance from the Pillow to audiences around the world on Sat., July 24 at 12 p.m., created specifically for the Jacob’s Pillow campus.

“Brian Brooks Moving Company was the first company to have a bubble residency in the Pillow Lab last October…it is truly ironic that at a time of isolation, the company was working in the Lab to remount Closing Distance, a work about touch, that features Pulitzer Prize-winning music by Caroline Shaw,” says Jacob’s Pillow Executive & Artistic Director Pamela Tatge. “We’ll have the chance to see this work on the Leir stage, along with two world premieres. On July 24, the debut of their augmented reality platform that will enable audiences around the world to have Brian dance as a 3D hologram in their living rooms, on their tabletops and anywhere else they would like to place him!”

Jacob’s Pillow also presents PillowTalk: Build Me a Theater on-site on Sun., July 25 at 3:30 p.m. Ted Shawn’s instructions to architect Joseph Franz provide the title for an exhibition and this discussion of Pillow performance spaces past and present. Audiences will also be able to view the online premiere of a performance by CONTRA-TIEMPO, a bold, multilingual dance theater company rooted in Salsa, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop, and contemporary dance on Thurs., July 22 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. Available on-demand performances also include Nrityagram Dance Ensemble through July 22 and Dorrance Dance through July 29. PillowTalk: CONTRA-TIEMPO’s Ana Maria Alvarez will premiere online Fri., July 23 at 4 p.m.

“Brian Brooks’ choreography is a kind of external exploration of human limits. He imparts his work with the sensibilities of both a laboratory scientist and a visual artist…. [he] loves to shatter conventional notions of the human capacity for strength and endurance,” says Susan Yung of Dance Magazine.

Closing Distance was originally commissioned by the University of Washington’s Meany Center for the Performing Arts supported by a Mellon Creative Artist Fellowship, where it premiered in January 2020. The work, set to the entirely vocalized, Pulitzer Prize-winning suite “Partita for 8 Voices” by Caroline Shaw, was later workshopped in part at The Moving Company’s Pillow Lab residency in October 2020. During the company’s Pillow Lab residency, he describes Closing Distance as “a twenty-seven minute work about touch… it’s an empathetic work.” Although conceived and created in the year before the pandemic began, the work’s exploration of physical empathy, bodily exchange, and human contact holds a new relevance during a time when the possibilities for these connections have been few and far between. “It is so intricate. Every dancer— every arm of every dancer— is necessary and integral to making it work,” says company dancer Taylor LaBruzzo (Inside the Pillow Lab).

Brooks’s new work for eight dancers, Flight Study, was created during COVID-compliant quarantined residencies at both the Pillow Lab and LUMBERYARD Center for Film and Performing Arts in Catskill, N.Y., and further cultivated during a residency at Ohio University. The work is set to GRAMMY-Award winning classical composer Bryce Dessner’s string quartet entitled “Aheym.” For the first time in six years, Brooks will perform a new solo, Quiet Music, set to composer Nico Muhly’s spare piano score of the same name.

The innovative new Viewpoint, created in collaboration with the Seattle-based technology company Omnivor Media following Brooks’ UW Fellowship, allows audiences to view a dancer performance through the lens of their smartphone in any location throughout the globe. By opening an online link that triggers the user’s camera, audiences can place a 3D dancer into their environment and their reality with real-time, streaming video. Brooks’ groundbreaking technology allows the viewer to control the point of view, free to move around the image from all angles and depths. Onsite Pillow audiences will have the additional opportunity to view the virtual dancer in duet with the live performer in a revolutionary fusion of live and virtual dance. This mobile dance studio pilots a new chapter of work for Brooks, who has been seeking to utilize the intersection between dance and tele-presence technology to radically expand access and intimacy within his art form.


Brian Brooks, a Guggenheim fellow, founded Brian Brooks / Moving Company in 2002. Based in New York City, the company has toured internationally and been presented at The Joyce Theatre, BAM’s Next Wave Festival, New York City Center’s Fall for Dance, The Guggenheim Museum, Lumberyard Performing Arts, the American Dance Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, the 92nd Street Y Harkness Festival, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Brooks has also completed a Mellon Foundation Creative Artist Fellowship at University of Washington, where he researched the intersection of performance and augmented reality technologies. He spent three years as Choreographer in Residence at Chicago’s Harris Theater for Music and Dance creating new work on Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Miami City Ballet among others. Brooks has also collaborated with New York City Ballet Associate Artistic Director and former principal Wendy Whelan since 2012 and has choreographed several off-Broadway productions with Theatre for a New Audience including A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2013), directed by Julie Taymor, and Pericles (2016), directed by Trevor Nunn.

Brooks has been commissioned to create dances for Ballet Tech, The Juilliard School, Princeton University, Boston Conservatory, Rutgers University, Chicago Academy for the Arts and Harvard University. For five of his 12 years as a Teaching Artist at the Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education, he served as the elected Chapter Leader of the TA Union, represented by the United Federation of Teachers. He was a founder and managing director of The Williamsburg Art neXus (WAX) from 1999-2004, an organization that provided services to over 750 emerging performing and visual artists through subsidized rental packages, hands-on production assistance, and performance programs encouraging creative experimentation at its flexible theater space and gallery in Brooklyn.


Brian Brooks / Moving Company’s Jacob’s Pillow debut was in 2003 as part of the Inside/Out series followed by several other engagements including a week of performances at the Doris Duke Theatre in 2013, a Pillow Lab residency, two collaborative performance engagements with Wendy Whelan, and an online PillowTalk entitled Dancerly Intelligences.

Brian Brooks was also a Guest Choreographer at the 2015 Contemporary Program at the School at Jacob’s Pillow.

Explore past Pillow performances on Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive:

Henry J. Leir Stage, July 21-25

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 6:00pm
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday at 2:00pm
Available to watch online August 5-19; Online premiere August 5 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now; online at jacobspillow.org, via phone 413.243.0745, and at the Jacob’s Pillow Box Office at 358 George Carter Road, Becket, MA 01223.

Viewpoint, on-site and online event July 24 at 12:00pm
On-site tickets are $25
Online tickets are FREE

This roving performance allows you to choose your own location. Audiences will convene in the Great Lawn Tent.
On the grounds of the Pillow or in your living room, Brian Brooks creates a real-time Augmented Reality performance, experienced as a 3D hologram through the lens of a smartphone. This new form of media, called Volumetric Video, allows the viewer to control the point of view of a live-action performance and superimpose the experience into whatever environment they are in. Attendees will need to bring a smartphone to the performance in order to participate in the work.

Created in partnership with the Seattle-based technology company Omnivor Media, this unique performance experience is something you need to see to believe. Audiences on the Pillow grounds will experience the debut of this new technology with far-reaching implications of where performance happens, and audiences around the world can access the performance through an app. Users will be encouraged to share their experience in a collaborative archive documenting experiences of Brooks’ work in a range of locations. Brooks has been at the forefront of experimental performance technology alongside his company The Moving Company.

The School at Jacob’s Pillow Performance Ensemble Contemporary Program
Saturday, July 24 at 2:00pm
Henry J. Leir Stage
Free performances by The School at Jacob’s Pillow Performance Ensemble provide an inside look at The School experience and feature repertoire created on the dancers by leading choreographers who serve as program faculty. Happening at the culmination of each 2 week

program, witness performances from the Program Directors of the Contemporary Program are Milton Myers and Helen Pickett.

Dancers of The School at Jacob’s Pillow are apprentices, trainees, pre-professionals, and early-career professionals from around the world. Two-week long Professional Advancement Programs during Festival 2021 are on-site and online, and are designed to nurture the artistic growth of the next generation of dance artists.

Sunday Workshop: Brian Brooks / Moving Company Sunday, July 25 at 10:00am
The Great Lawn Tent

Open to all levels, ages 16+.
Take a movement class from Brian Brooks / Moving Company members. Additional event details to be announced.
Please wear comfortable clothes to move in. Participants are welcome to dance barefoot or in socks.

PillowTalk: Build Me a Theater Sunday, July 25 at 3:30pm Blake’s Barn

Ted Shawn’s instructions to architect Joseph Franz provide the title for an exhibition and this discussion of Pillow performance spaces, past and present.

PillowTalks are a curated series of entertaining and informative discussions with choreographers, writers, filmmakers, and cultural experts. Moderated by Pillow Scholars, PillowTalks provide an opportunity to gain behind-the-scenes insight into the field of dance. Hour-long PillowTalks take place on-site at Blake’s Barn Sundays at 3:30pm at Blake’s Barn (next to the Box Office), and are free and open to the public with advance registration. Recordings of online PillowTalks will be shared throughout the summer, premiering Fridays at 4pm.

Online premiere with live chat July 22 at 7:30pm Eastern
Digital Screening July 22-August 5
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 Pillow debut, 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. Featuring original music by East Los Angeles Chicano band Las Cafeteras and d. sabela grimes, this “joyous celebration of community” (San Francisco Bay Guardian) engages local communities as participants and collaborators as an exuberant reminder of our capacity to connect, come together, and celebrate.

PillowTalk with CONTRA-TIEMPO’s Ana Maria Alvarez
Digital Screening of live, on-site event debuts Friday, July 23 at 4:00pm Eastern
This impressive Cuban-American artist talks about her success in boldly traversing the worlds of social dance, political activism, community organizing, and art making.

The School at Jacob’s Pillow Performance Ensemble Contemporary Program LIVESTREAM
Saturday, July 24 at 2:00pm

Free performances by The School at Jacob’s Pillow Performance Ensemble provide an inside look at The School experience and feature repertoire created on the dancers by leading choreographers who serve as program faculty. Program Directors of the Contemporary Program are Milton Myers and Helen Pickett.

Dancers of The School at Jacob’s Pillow are apprentices, trainees, pre-professionals, and early-career professionals from around the world. Two-week long Professional Advancement Programs during Festival 2021 are on-site and online, and are designed to nurture the artistic growth of the next generation of dance artists.

Virtual Class: Families Dance Together Friday, July 23 at 3:00pm Eastern
All Fridays July 9-August 27- ONGOING FREE

All levels and ages welcome. We are happy to offer this class free of charge.

Experience the joy of creating simple dances from the comfort of your home in this intergenerational 45-minute movement class, designed for movers of all ages to enjoy together. From kids to adults, we invite you to get your whole household moving! Led by artists of Dance Exchange.

No special preparation needed; simply register, gather your movers, click the Zoom class link, and start dancing. We encourage you to find a safe, open space to move in and make sure to modify any movement as needed.

Taking place at Jacob’s Pillow since 2001, Families Dance Together is an annual, treasured movement program led by Artist Jeff Bliss, in collaboration with the Becket Arts Center.

Zoom link required to join class; link will be sent to RSVPs by 10:30am Eastern on the day of class or provided on the website after 10:30am the day of class.

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 impromptu 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.


Jacob’s Pillow rests on the traditional lands of the Agawam, the Nipmuc, the Pocumtuc, and the Mohican and we honor their elders past, present, and future.

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, currently in the midst of its transition to becoming a year-round center for dance through a five-year strategic plan titled Vision ‘22. The beautiful grounds of Jacob’s Pillow—the traditional lands of the Agawam, the Nipmuc, the Pocumtuc, and the Mohican—offer a magnificent natural stage for dance. Each Festival includes more than 50 national and international dance companies and over 500 free and ticketed performances, talks, tours, classes, exhibits, events, and community programs. The School at Jacob’s Pillow, one of the field’s most prestigious professional dance training centers, encompasses the diverse disciplines of Contemporary Ballet, Contemporary, Tap, Photography, Choreography, and an annual rotating program. 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. The Pillow’s Director since 2016 is Pamela Tatge. For more information, visit www.jacobspillow.org.

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