JazzAntiqua Dance & Music Ensemble, Prakriti Dance, Bill Shannon, and The New York Korean Performing Arts Center Perform on the Henry J. Leir Stage

June 8, 2022 (BECKET, Mass.)— In the third week of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2022, audiences in the Ted Shawn Theatre will be treated to live music and the best of the swing dance world in SW!NG OUT. Also in Week 3, JazzAntiqua Dance & Music Ensemble, Prakriti Dance, Bill Shannon, and The New York Korean Performing Arts Center will take to the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage in one-night-only performances.

In addition to live performances, PillowTalks will be offered free of charge in Blake’s Barn. On Saturday, a PillowTalk about the provocative new book Rooted Jazz Dance brings together jazz dance scholars, practitioners, choreographers, and educators from across America to examine the art form’s roots and how it’s taught. On Sunday, writers, scholars, and artists reflect on Du Bois’ legacy in celebration of the Berkshires’ new W.E.B. Du Bois Center for Freedom and Democracy in the PillowTalk W.E.B. DuBois and the Black Berkshires.

“It’s wonderful to host the return of LaTasha Barnes after last summer’s stunning Jazz Continuum alongside Jacob’s Pillow alum and fan favorite Caleb Teicher and their extraordinary collaborators in their new production that is bringing people such joy,” said Pamela Tatge, Executive and Artistic Director of Jacob’s Pillow.  “I can’t wait to have audiences come onto the newly renovated Ted Shawn Theatre stage to dance to the sounds of the amazing Eyal Vilner Big Band  in the second act.  It’s going to be a great week of swing!”

Called “a sweeping ride through contemporary swing dance” by The New York Times during its premiere run at The Joyce Theater last fall, SW!NG OUT features a cast of 22 performers, including dancers and musicians from the Eyal Vilner Big Band, with exciting Lindy Hop choreography and improvisation, ending with an on-stage jam session for performers and audience members. The New York Times ‘Best of 2021’ mentioned SW!NG OUT as “…the contemporary swing-dance show that… gave me the most joy of any dance production in 2021.” 

On the Leir Stage, one-night-only performances will be held Wednesday through Saturday. On Wednesday, Los Angeles-based JazzAntiqua Dance Ensemble will be making their Pillow debut performing favorites from their repertory, including A Kind of Blue, set to the music of Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and more, and Suite Nina, an homage to the High Priestess of Soul – Nina Simone. On Thursday, the innovative Prakriti Dance will perform Through Fish Eyes, a unique performance that utilizes Indian dance to create awareness about the ocean and its dwindling marine ecosystems. In this piece, the ocean comes to life, telling tales of how man and nature once co-existed in harmony. The abundant and thriving ocean has been ravaged by humankind, leaving it in a critical state. This work explores questions including: is this blue planet becoming a plastic planet? Can the hand that has destroyed it now be the hand of change, or is it too late?

Friday’s one-night-only performance is from Bill Shannon, an interdisciplinary artist and maker who explores body-centric work through daring physicality,  architecture , sculpture, and politics. And on Saturday, The New York Korean Performing Arts Center (NYKPAC) performs, consisting of Korean traditional music and dance professionals from the city’s Korean-American community, who are dedicated to promoting an understanding and appreciation of Korea’s artistic heritage and history. 

ABOUT SW!NG OUT

Fans of acclaimed choreographer Caleb Teicher and last summer’s rollicking outdoor show LaTasha Barnes Presents The Jazz Continuum take note: this collaborative, improvisational, high-energy performance brings the best of the swing dance world to Jacob’s Pillow with SW!NG OUT, featuring live music by the Eyal Vilner Big Band. With a cast of 22 performers, including 12 dancers and 10 on the bandstand, a brain trust of collaborators will take to the stage, including Teicher, Barnes, Nathan Bugh, Macy Sullivan, and Eyal Vilner.

Caleb Teicher is a critically-acclaimed dancer, choreographer, director, and teacher based in New York City. They are a 2019 New York City Center Choreographic Fellow, a 2019 Bessie Award Nominee for Outstanding Breakout Choreographer, and they founded their company Caleb Teicher & Company (CT&Co) in 2015. LaTasha “Tasha” Barnes is an internationally recognized and awarded dancer, choreographer, educator, performer, cultural ambassador, and tradition-bearer of Black American social dance from Richmond, VA. Currently based between New York and Arizona, Barnes is celebrated globally for her musicality, athleticism, and joyful presence throughout the cultural traditions she bears: House, Hip-Hop, Waacking, Vernacular Jazz, and Lindy Hop. Nathan Bugh is known worldwide for his intimately rhythmic style of Lindy and vernacular jazz. He has showcased these styles in many iconic venues, such as Carnegie Hall, the Apollo Theater, and the Guggenheim Museum. Macy Sullivan is from Camas, WA. Outside of SW!NG OUT, Sullivan dances for Dance Heginbotham and has enjoyed projects with the Merce Cunningham Trust, The Chase Brock Experience, and The Bang Group. She has performed annually as Peter in Works & Process’ Peter & the Wolf (with Isaac Mizrahi since 2013) and prior, premiered the role of Marie in Chase Brock’s The Nutcracker. Eyal Vilner has become one of the leading new voices in the New York swing and big band scene. Born in Tel Aviv, saxophonist, clarinetist, flutist, composer and bandleader Eyal Vilner moved to New York in 2007 and started his big band the following year. 

ABOUT JAZZANTIQUA DANCE & MUSIC ENSEMBLE 

Founded in 1993 by choreographer Pat Taylor, the Los Angeles-based JazzAntiqua Dance & Music Ensemble performs works that are “evocative, graceful and bubbling with rich, jazzy textures” (Los Angeles Times), digging deep into the movement in the music, celebrating jazz as a vital thread in the cultural fabric of African American history and heritage. Dedicated to jazz arts education, preservation and creation, JazzAntiqua embraces “the movement in the music” – the physical embodiment of the jazz aesthetic and the lineage, language and continuum embedded therein; the socio-political nuances across time; and ultimately the joy, self-determination, community and freedom at the heart of this extraordinary, life-affirming expression.

JazzAntiqua’s mission and programs have been recognized with funding and support from the Doolittle Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Black Art Futures Fund, California Arts Council, California Humanities, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Toyota, USA, and many individual donors.

ABOUT PRAKRITI DANCE

Directed by Dancer/Choreographer Kasi Aysola, the company draws inspirations from nature, philosophy, poetry, and other genres to bring modern-day themes into an ever-evolving Indian art form, weaving together lyrics, dance, and visual design, and using the movement vocabulary of the Indian classical dance form Bharata Natyam to transcend cultural boundaries. Prakriti Dance seeks to broaden accessibility for Indian arts. Based in the Washington, DC metro area, the company has performed at the Kennedy Center and in festivals around the country. 

Prakriti Dance frequently teaches classes, workshops, and lecture demonstrations in the Washington DC metro area at schools and dance institutions. Furthermore, it aims to connect artists of this generation by collaborating and exploring the arts of the Indian diaspora in America, to find a unique voice.

This performance is sponsored by YoungArts.

ABOUT BILL SHANNON

Shannon has been awarded a United States Artists Fellowship in Dance, a Guggenheim Fellowship in Choreography, and a Foundation for Contemporary Art Fellowship in Performance Art. His immersion in youth cultures of hip-hop and skateboarding further contributed to his autodidactic form on crutches. Shannon frequently lectures on his performance practice, and the phenomenological and linguistic framing he has created around his street practice globally. His work was highlighted in a short online film this year, produced by Jacob’s Pillow in partnership with NOWNESS. 

Shannon’s interdisciplinary dance works focused on translating “street dance” into the proscenium context have been presented at PS122, Dance Theater Workshop, and The Kitchen, among others in NYC and globally. The New York Times hailed Shannon’s form of movement on crutches as “defying gravity” as his name grew in underground street dance battles including the Rocksteady Crew Anniversary Battle and Seattle’s Freestyle Sessions. Over the period of a decade Bill became a fixture at NYC’s famed Club Shelter, and a lifetime member of the internationally renowned StepFēnz Crew.

ABOUT THE NEW YORK KOREAN PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

Founded by Sue Yeon Park in 1986, NYKPAC has played an instrumental role in instilling pride in Korean culture to second-generation Korean American and Korean adoptees, and in fostering intercultural dialogue with American society at large. The group’s artistic emphasis is on the subtle grace and beauty found in Korean traditional dances in which the dancers with powerful, yet delicate, gestures and movements reveal a unique aesthetic beauty.  

The troupe has maintained an active schedule over the past 30 years, performing prestigious national museums and festival stages, including Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and National Folk Festival, introducing Korean music and dance to a wide array of audiences of diverse cultural backgrounds. 

Jacob’s Pillow Connections 

Caleb Teicher is an alumnus of the Tap and Musical Theatre Programs (2010) at The School at Jacob’s Pillow. They also performed with Dorrance Dance at the Pillow in 2014 and 2016. Their company, CT&Co performed on the Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out stage in 2016 and 2017, shortly after the company was founded. Their work, More Forever, had its early stages of creative development in a 2018 Pillow Lab residency and was performed as part of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2019, including company members Macy Sullivan (also a Pillow alum) and Nathan Bugh, who will also perform in SW!NG OUT. CT&Co and beatboxer Chris Celiz performed their iconic work, Bzzz, at Jacob’s Pillow 2019 Season Opening Gala.

LaTasha Barnes performed LaTasha Barnes Presents: The Jazz Continuum in Festival 2021 on the Henry J. Leir Stage. She co-hosted Pillow Party: Swing Dance in March 2019, a special event including a swing dance lesson with herself and Caleb Teicher followed by a social dance party. She served as Master Class Faculty for the Tap Program at The School at Jacob’s Pillow in August 2021. Barnes is also Chair of the Board of Trustees for Ladies of Hip-Hop Dance Collective, who performed in the Jacob’s Pillow On the Road series in July and August of 2021. 

Prakriti Dance co-founder and co-artistic director Kasi Aysola performed in the music ensemble with Ragamala Dance Company at Jacob’s Pillow in Festival 2018. 

Bill Shannon’s work was highlighted in an online short film series this year, titled Body Language, produced by Jacob’s Pillow in partnership with NOWNESS. 

Sounds of Korea, part of the New York Korean Performing Arts Center, performed three pieces of live music in the Inside/Out series as part of Festival 2017 at Jacob’s Pillow.

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive & Related Content: 

Caleb Teicher & Company with Conrad Tao  in More Forever in 2019: https://danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org/caleb-teicher-company-conrad-tao/more-forever/

LaTasha Barnes Presents: The Jazz Continuum in 2021:

https://danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org/latasha-barnes/20714/

Bill Shannon in the Body Language film series in partnership with NOWNESS in 2022: 

PERFORMANCE & TICKET DETAILS

SW!NG OUT 

July 6-10, Wed.-Sat. at 8pm; Saturday and Sunday at 2pm 

Ted Shawn Theatre 

Tickets starting at $55

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

JazzAntiqua Dance & Music Ensemble 

Wed., July 6, 6pm 

Henry J. Leir Stage 

Tickets starting at $25

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

Prakriti Dance 

Thu., July 7, 6pm 

Henry J. Leir Stage

Tickets starting at $25

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

Bill Shannon 

Fri., July 8, 6pm 

Henry J. Leir Stage

Tickets starting at $25

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

The New York Korean Performing Arts Center 

Sat., July 9, 6pm 

Henry J. Leir Stage

Tickets starting at $25

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

ALSO THIS WEEK

PillowTalk: Rooted Jazz Dance 

Sat., July 9, 4pm 

Blake’s Barn 

FREE 

This provocative new book brings together jazz dance scholars, practitioners, choreographers, and educators from across America to examine the art form’s roots and how it’s taught. 

Workshop with Festival Artists: New England Soul Line Dance Network 

Sun., July 10, 10-11:30am 

Open to all ages. Family-friendly. No experience needed. The New England Soul Line Dance Network believes Soul Line Dancing is empowering, evolving, and inspiring, and performed with social distance. With a mission to uplift the community by sharing the love of line dancing across the Greater Boston and New England area, the network hosts regular workshops, classes, and socials. This is the Pillow’s second Soul Line Dance Party, led this year by LaTondra Finley-Jones and Lenore Winstonand, and is designed for every body and every dance ability and is a fun way to connect and groove to R&B and hip-hop music. Please wear comfortable clothing to move in as well as shoes, sneakers, or dance shoes, and be sure to bring your water bottle! 

PillowTalk: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Black Berkshires 

Sun., July 10, 4pm 

Blake’s Barn 

FREE 

Writers, scholars, and artists reflect on Du Bois’ legacy in celebration of the Berkshires’ new W.E.B. Du Bois Center for Freedom and Democracy. 

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 stage house 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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