BODYTRAFFIC Performs on the Henry J. Leir Stage; Choreographer Loni Landon and Harpist Mary Lattimore Collaborate in Site-Specific Work

June 1, 2022 (BECKET, Mass.)—Ronald K. Brown / EVIDENCE returns to Jacob’s Pillow in Week 2 of the Dance Festival this year from June 29-July 3. The company will perform several works, including the world premiere of The Equality of Night and Day, with noted jazz composer Jason Moran playing live for each performance. Also in Week 2, BODYTRAFFIC will perform on the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage, and Loni Landon Dance Project featuring Mary Lattimore will perform Solace of Surrender in the Great Lawn Tent on Friday and Saturday.

In addition to live performances, PillowTalks will be offered free of charge in Blake’s Barn. Week 2 PillowTalks welcome Festival Photographer Christopher Duggan, who has been documenting Pillow artists since 2006 and whose work appears in the summer-long exhibition in Blake’s Barn; and author Kaija Langley, who will talk about a new children’s book, When Langston Dances, written about a young Black boy who studies ballet, which was partly inspired by the Pillow’s advocacy for men in dance.

“It is truly an honor to be hosting the world premiere of The Equality of Night and Day – we all fell in love with the power and poetry in this work when we saw an early iteration in the Pillow Lab,” said Pamela Tatge, Executive and Artistic Director of Jacob’s Pillow. “To see the work with Jason Moran playing live will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Ron is an artist whose work has brought joy and healing for decades. We need his transcendent brand of dance now more than ever.”

In addition to the world premiere of The Equality of Night and Day, EVIDENCE will perform the works Upside Down and Gatekeepers in the Ted Shawn Theatre program.

On the Leir Stage, BODYTRAFFIC will use the creative spirit of its Los Angeles home to fulfill its mission of delivering performances that inspire audiences simply to love dance. Since its inception in 2007, the company has held its place at the forefront of the concert dance world. BODYTRAFFIC will be performing Micaela Taylor’s SNAP;  a funk journey of James Brown which inspires us to snap out of conformity and proclaim our individuality; Matthew Neenan’s A Million Voices, set to the music of Peggy Lee, which encourages us to find the joy of living, even in the darkest of times; and a mesmerizing duet by Brian Brooks, Notes on Fall. This program is sure to showcase BODYTRAFFIC’s signature versatility and unwavering commitment to sharing the power of dance.

Choreographer Loni Landon and experimental harpist Mary Lattimore, both award-winning artists, will bring a work originally created for the expansive Green-Wood historic cemetery in Brooklyn to the Pillow’s outdoor setting. Intrigued by the notion that cemeteries can act both as spaces for mourning and social engagement, Lattimore and Landon’s collaboration explores themes of rebirth and renewal amid loss. The artists have created an experience that is restorative and recharging. Each performance will include the music of Lattimore’s harp and movement choreographed by Landon for seven dancers. To underscore the correlation between sound and healing, the performance will conclude by engaging audience members in a meditative sound bath.

ABOUT RONALD K. BROWN / EVIDENCE

Founded by Ronald K. Brown in 1985 and based in Brooklyn, New York, EVIDENCE focuses on the seamless integration of traditional African dance with contemporary choreography and spoken word. Through its work, EVIDENCE provides a unique view of human struggles, challenges, and triumphs. Brown uses movement as a way to reinforce the importance of community in African American culture and to acquaint audiences with the beauty of traditional African forms and rhythms. He is an advocate for the growth of the African American dance community and is instrumental in encouraging young dancers to choreograph and to develop careers in dance.

Brown’s choreography is in high demand. Brown was the recipient of the 2020 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award and has set works on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, Cleo Parker Robinson Ensemble, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Jennifer Muller/The Works, Jeune Ballet d’Afrique Noire, Ko-Thi Dance Company, PHILADANCO!, and others. Brown choreographed Regina Taylor’s award-winning play Crowns and won an AUDELCO Award for his work on that production.

EVIDENCE now tours to some 25 communities per year in the United States and abroad. The company has traveled to Cuba, Brazil, England, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Mexico, Senegal, Nigeria, South Africa, and Canada to perform, teach master classes, and conduct lectures and demonstrations for individuals of all ages. EVIDENCE brings arts education and cultural connections to local communities that have historically lacked these experiences. Annually, the company reaches an audience of more than 25,000. 

ABOUT BODYTRAFFIC

Since its inception in 2007, co-founder and Artistic Director Tina Finkelman Berkett has taken BODYTRAFFIC to new heights, performing at festivals in Holland, Diana Vishneva’s CONTEXT Festival in Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as touring as ambassadors with the U.S. State Department across Europe and the Middle East. They have quickly become known for their versatility, presenting works by a range of prominent contemporary dancemakers. This combination of superb dancers and accomplished choreographers led the Los Angeles Times to describe BODYTRAFFIC as “one of the most talked about companies—not just in LA, but nationwide.” 

The company’s trajectory from LA to nationwide recognition is notable in its 2016 Hollywood Bowl debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and in its current company-in-residence status at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. Beyond LA, the company has captured the attention of major presenters at prestigious venues throughout the U.S. in such places as New York, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas, and Arizona, to name a few. And much has happened on the international scene. During the 2017-2018 season, BODYTRAFFIC celebrated its 10th anniversary with an extensive tour to more than 20 cities, including Moscow and St. Petersburg for the CONTEXT Diana Vishneva Festival, and The Hague for The Holland Dance Festival.

One of the company’s greatest accomplishments occurred in 2015 when the Obama administration selected it to be United States cultural ambassadors to Israel and Jordan through DanceMotion USA, a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. State Department that sought to engage international audiences through educational opportunities, cultural exchange, and performance. BODYTRAFFIC also served as cultural ambassadors of the United States in South Korea (2016), Algeria (2017-2018), and Indonesia (2018).

ABOUT LONI LANDON DANCE PROJECT AND MARY LATTIMORE

Loni Landon Dance Project (LLDP) is a New York City-based contemporary dance company that creates and performs original works by artistic director Loni Landon. LLDP is known for creating lush, innovative movements full of subtle detail and sophistication, and maintaining a highly charged emotional current throughout. Upholding the integrity of the movement itself, LLDP’s works search for honest reaction and expression while shedding the performance persona.

Landon is a choreographer, producer, and movement consultant in New York City. In addition to creating dances for her own collective, LLDP, her work is commissioned by dance companies and film directors across the country. Landon is a Princess Grace  Fellowship Award winner in Choreography and a YoungArts Winner. Her work has been shown at The Joyce Theater, Green-Wood Cemetery, Southampton Arts Center, Pulse Art Fair, and Guggenheim Works and Process Series. Landon co-created The Playground NYC, an initiative designed to give emerging choreographers a place to experiment while allowing professional dancers to participate affordably and FOUR/FOUR presents, a platform that commissions and presents collaborations between dancers and musicians. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School. 

Mary Lattimore is a harpist  and composer living in Los Angeles. She experiments with her Lyon and Healy Concert Grand harp and effects. Her solo debut, The Withdrawing Room, was released in 2013 on Desire Path Recordings. Lattimore also writes harp parts for songs and recordings, performing and recording with such great artists as Meg Baird, Thurston Moore, Kurt Vile, Steve Gunn, Ed Askew, and Fursaxa.

Silver Ladders, her third LP on Ghostly, found Lattimore arriving at her most confident work to date, expanding her style of instrumental storytelling with the help of producer and guitarist Neil Halstead (Slowdive, Mojave 3). Recorded in Halstead’s studio near an old English surftown just before lockdown, the songs on Silver Ladders reflect Lattimore’s vivid memories against the gloom and glimmer of the ocean.

The New Yorker recently described Lattimore’s harp playing as “seismic emotion,” and The New York Times calls Landon’s choreography “sophisticated” and “full of surprises.” 

This performance is sponsored by YoungArts. 

Jacob’s Pillow Connections 

Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE first performed at Jacob’s Pillow in 1994 in the Doris Duke Theatre. Since then, EVIDENCE has performed at Jacob’s Pillow on numerous occasions, including a special performance at the 1997 Gala and week-long engagements in 1999, 2000, 2002, and 2005. In addition, dancers of The School at Jacob’s Pillow performed works by Ronald K. Brown during the 2010 Contemporary Program. 

In 2018, Ronald K. Brown worked with dancers of The School at Jacob’s Pillow on the development of a work which was performed by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. In addition to the world premiere of the live music piece New Conversations at the Festival in 2018, Ronald K. Brown / EVIDENCE performed Come Ye, a work inspired by the music and activism of blues singer Nina Simone, and Dancing Spirit, which fused “the deeply spiritual with the viscerally physical” (San Francisco Gate). Brown was the recipient of the 2020 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award.

Following BODYTRAFFIC’s 2013 Pillow debut featuring works by Barak Marshall, Stijn Celis, and Richard Siegal, they returned two years later with the Siegal work The New 45.

Loni Landon is an alumna of The School at Jacob’s Pillow, having been a participant in the 2002 Contemporary Traditions Program. In 2011, her company performed My Eyes Aren’t Ready Yet as part of the Inside/Out series. 

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive: 

Ronald K. Brown / EVIDENCE in New Conversations in 2018: https://danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org/ronald-k-brownevidence/new-conversations/

Ronald K. Brown / EVIDENCE on Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive: https://danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org/themes-essays/african-diaspora/ronald-k-brown-evidence/

BODYTRAFFIC in The New 45 in 2015: 

https://danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org/bodytraffic/new-45/

BODYTRAFFIC in And at midnight the green bride floated through the village square… in 2013: https://danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org/bodytraffic/and-at-midnight-the-green-bride-floated-through-the-village-square/

PERFORMANCE & TICKET DETAILS

Ronald K. Brown / EVIDENCE

With jazz composer Jason Moran performing live for The Equality of Night and Day

June 29-July 3, Wed.-Sat. at 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. 

Ted Shawn Theatre 

Tickets starting at $55

Tickets are on sale now; online at jacobspillow.org and via phone at 413.243.0745

BODYTRAFFIC

June 29-July 3, Wed.-Sat. at 6 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m.

Henry J. Leir Stage 

Tickets starting at $25

Tickets are on sale now; online at jacobspillow.org and via phone at 413.243.0745

Loni Landon Dance Project 

Featuring Mary Lattimore / Solace of Surrender 

Fri., July 1 at 4:30 p.m.; Sat., July 2 at 12:30 p.m.

The Great Lawn 

Tickets starting at $25

Tickets are on sale now; online at jacobspillow.org and via phone at 413.243.0745

ALSO THIS WEEK

PillowTalk: Christopher Duggan: Now & Then 

Sat., July 2, 4 p.m. 

Blake’s Barn 

FREE 

The current Blake’s Barn exhibit offers a perfect opportunity to sit down with Festival Photographer Christopher Duggan, who has been documenting Pillow artists since 2006. 

Workshop with Festival Artists: SW!NG OUT 

Sun., July 3, 10-11:30am

Open to all experience levels, ages 16+ 

Join Caleb Teicher and a cast member of SW!NG OUT to learn the basics of Lindy Hop. Born in Harlem’s African-American communities in the 1930s, the Lindy Hop is a timeless and popular form of partnered jazz dance danced all over the world. Explore the basic steps, aesthetic values, and technical elements in preparation for the social dance floor. No partner necessary. Wear comfortable, supportive shoes. 

PillowTalk: When Langston Dances

Sun., July 3, 4pm

Blake’s Barn

FREE

This new children’s book about a young Black boy who studies ballet was inspired by the Pillow’s advocacy for men in dance, and author Kaija Langley talks about how it came about. 

FESTIVAL 2022 EXHIBITS & ARCHIVES—ONGOING

Now & Then: Evocative Dance Portraits by Christopher Duggan 

Blake’s Barn

Tuesday-Sunday, noon through final curtain

FREE

Photography has been an integral part of Jacob’s Pillow throughout its 90 seasons, and Festival Photographer Christopher Duggan has often mined this tradition for inspiration, culminating in these pairings of vintage and contemporary images. 

The Ted Shawn Theatre: An Evolving Landmark 

Ted Shawn Theatre Lobby

Open daily, noon through final curtain

FREE

While the unveiling of an entirely new backstage takes the focus in 2022, this landmark structure has been a “work in progress” ever since its opening in 1942. Through vintage imagery and artifacts on display, the rich history of America’s first dance theater comes into view. 

Jacob’s Pillow Archives/Norton Owen Reading Room 

Blake’s Barn

Tuesday-Sunday, noon through final curtain

FREE

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 Archives. The Norton Owen Reading Room and new Special Collections Room also feature recent donations and more archival treasures from the Stephan Driscoll Collection. 

Online Exhibit: Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive 

This evolving online resource features breathtaking video highlights of Pillow performances from the

early 1930s through today, with an expanded section of multimedia essays featuring talks, photos, and

other exclusive content organized into various themes. danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org.

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, currently celebrating its 90th Anniversary Season. Jacob’s Pillow acknowledges that it rests on the unceded lands of the Muh-he-con-ne-ok, and recognizes the Agawam, Nipmuc, and Pocumtuc who also made their homes in Western Massachusetts. We honor their Elders past, present, and future. Each Festival includes national and international dance companies and 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 Executive and Artistic Director since 2016 is Pamela Tatge. For more information, visit www.jacobspillow.org

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