June 21, 2023 (BECKET, Mass.)—In the fourth week of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2023, crowd-favorite Dorrance Dance returns July 19-23. The week will also feature several performances on the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage, including Seán Curran Company & Darrah Carr Dance on July 19-20, a world premiere by Mythili Prakash on July 21, and The School at Jacob’s Pillow on July 22. Tickets for all performances are now on sale.

In addition to these performances, a PillowTalk Screening of the film Lift will be offered free of charge in Blake’s Barn on Saturday. Lift is an award-winning documentary that captures dancer/choreographer Steven Melendez from his childhood in a homeless shelter to New York Theatre Ballet, an organization empowering children like himself through ballet. Also on Saturday, a performance on the Leir Stage will culminate The School’s Contemporary Program, led by Program Director Milton Myers. 

On July 22 and 23, the Jacob’s Pillow Curriculum in Motion® Institute artists will present their  exploration of dance as a powerful tool for community-building and knowledge-making. Dorrance Dance will host a Workshop on July 23 open to those of all experience levels ages 12+.

“Dorrance Dance always takes the Pillow by storm,” said Pamela Tatge, Executive and Artistic Director of Jacob’s Pillow. “We’re excited they’re returning with a performance of a signature work that dates back to the earliest days of the company, and a new work I can’t wait to have Pillow audiences discover.  This week, Mythili Prakash also brings us the highly anticipated premiere of a groundbreaking work she developed in the Pillow Lab.”

At Jacob’s Pillow, Dorrance Dance will perform SOUNDspace—one of the early works that brought Michelle Dorrance to prominence—on the occasion of its 10th anniversary, including never-before-seen elements created specifically for the Ted Shawn Theatre. The program will also feature 45th & 8th, a new work featuring the original compositions of “breathtaking vocalist” Aaron Marcellus (The New York Times).

On the Leir Stage, Seán Curran and Darrah Carr evoke the spirit, life, and celebration of the Irish céilí in a work that merges contemporary choreography and modern Irish form into a vibrant transformation of social dance. In Céilí, the award-winning choreographers explore the idea of coming together for a social gathering that simultaneously embraces tradition and innovation. 

Mythili Prakash will perform She’s Auspicious, a work she developed at the Pillow Lab in 2022. She’s Auspicious blurs the lines between Goddess and Woman to examine the paradox of femininity. The piece, which features an all female cast including Mythili and three musicians, references mythological and cultural practices surrounding the Goddess as well as societal expectations of femininity. In this dance, Prakash re-examines her femininity and the way she performs it in her various identities as a woman, a mother, and a classical Indian dancer.


Based in New York City, the wildly popular Pillow favorite Dorrance Dance was founded in 2011 by Artistic Director Michelle Dorrance—recipient of the 2013 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award—with the goal of engaging with audiences on a musical and emotional level while sharing the complex history and powerful legacy of tap dance. 

Dorrance Dance received a Bessie Award in 2011 for the inaugural performances of Remembering Jimmy and Three to One, and in 2015 for The Blues Project, a collaboration between co-creators Dormeshia, Michelle Dorrance, Derick K. Grant, and musician Toshi Reagon alongside her band BIGLovely, which premiered at the Pillow in 2013. Michelle Dorrance was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship in 2015. The company has performed to critical acclaim in many venues across the U.S. including The Joyce Theater, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, and Vail Dance Festival—and internationally in Canada, Spain, Germany, and Hong Kong.


Seán Curran and Darrah Carr are Irish Americans who were raised learning traditional Irish step dance before they started contemporary dance. Their sophisticated and playful choreography combine to create an exciting, dynamic céilí.

Curran and Carr will be joined by a multigenerational cast of performers from both of their companies, as well as musicians Dana Lyn and Kyle Sanna on fiddle and guitar, whose score connects the dots between their experience as composers/improvisers in New York City and their deep admiration for Irish music. Céilí was originally commissioned and produced by the Irish Arts Center.


A second generation Indian and American artist, Mythili Prakash is one of the most celebrated and respected young Bharatanatyam dancer/choreographers today. Raised in Los Angeles and trained from a young age by her mother/dancer Viji Prakash, her artistry and story-telling reflect the complex cultural worlds and narratives that shape her. 

Prakash was most recently seen on stage at Jacob’s Pillow in her work AR | DHA, commissioned by the Pillow and presented as part of America(na) to Me, which premiered here in June 2022. The making of She’s Auspicious was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Jacob’s Pillow Connections 

Dorrance Dance first performed at the Pillow in 2013 when the company made its Pillow debut, and returned in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2021. In 2013, Artistic Director Michelle Dorrance received the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award. Dorrance has also been a faculty artist in The School at Jacob’s Pillow in 2014, 2017, 2019, and 2021, and she co-directs this summer’s Tap Program with Dormesia and Derick K. Grant. 

Seán Curran first performed at the Pillow with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company in 1989, returning with them for subsequent residencies and performance engagements. His company performed in the Doris Duke Theatre in 1999 and 2004, when they were also featured in the Season Opening Gala and presented the world premiere of Art/Song/Dance. In 2000, 2003 and 2015, Darrah Carr Dance performed in the Inside/Out series. Mythiil Prakash made her Jacob’s Pillow debut in 2022 in her new work AR|DHA, commissioned by the Pillow and presented as part of the engagement America(na) To Me. Prakash and her team of artists also completed a Pillow Lab residency for She’s Auspicious in 2022.


Dorrance Dance

July 19-23, Wed., Thurs. and Sat. at 8pm; Fri.-Sun. at 2pm

Ted Shawn Theatre 

Tickets from $60

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

Seán Curran Company & Darrah Carr Dance

July 19-20, 6pm

Henry J. Leir Stage 

Tickets $45

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

Mythili Prakash

Fri., July 21, 6pm

Henry J. Leir Stage 

Choose What You Pay

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

The School at Jacob’s Pillow: Contemporary Performance Ensemble

Sat., July 22, 6pm

Henry J. Leir Stage

Reserve Your Seat

Reserve your seat online at jacobspillow.org and via phone at 413.243.0745 to support The School’s next generation of dance artists; minimum $5. 

Performances by The School at Jacob’s Pillow Performance Ensembles provide an inside look at The School experience and feature repertoire created on the dancers by leading choreographers who serve as program faculty. Guest choreographers for the 2023 Ensemble change weekly and have included choreographers Ronald K. Brown and Jennifer Archibald. This performance culminates the Contemporary Program, led by Program Director Milton Myers. 

Dancers of The School at Jacob’s Pillow are apprentices, trainees, pre-professionals, and early-career professionals from around the world. The School’s professional advancement programs are held onsite during the Festival to nurture the artistic voices and growth of the next generation of dance artists.


Curriculum in Motion® Institute Presentations

Sat., July 22, 11am-12pm; and Sun., July 23, 4-5pm


Join the 2023 Jacob’s Pillow Curriculum in Motion® Institute artists as they present lively interactive presentations about their work exploring the power of dance to uplift the human condition. Artists share about their experiences applying the Jacob’s Pillow Curriculum in Motion® method in sites from public schools to parks; from hospitals to retreat centers. A Q&A will follow the presentations. Please join us for one or both events! Online pre-registration encouraged.

PillowTalk Screening: Lift

Sat., July 22, 4pm

Blake’s Barn


This award-winning documentary captures dancer/choreographer Steven Melendez from his childhood in a homeless shelter to New York Theatre Ballet, empowering kids like himself through ballet. 87 minutes, followed by Q&A with Melendez, director David Petersen, and company founder Diana Byer.

Workshop with Festival Artists: Dorrance Dance

Sun., July 23, 10-11:30am

Open to all dance experiences levels, ages 12+

Learn new material and challenge your technique and artistry with Dorrance Dance company dancer Claudia Rahardjanoto. Participants will experience a brief warm-up, followed by a session where they will learn different snippets of choreography. Please wear comfortable clothes to move in. Participants are welcome to dance in tap shoes or hard sole shoes.

In Studio Observation in The School 

Perles Family Studio


Quiet observation of classes and rehearsals inside the Perles Family Studio will be open from 10:45am-12:15 pm and 2:30-4pm, Tuesday through Friday, June 20–Aug. 18, on a first come, first served basis. In the case of inclement weather, School observation hours will not be held.


Welcoming the World

Blake’s Barn

Tuesday-Sunday, noon through final curtain


From the first international artists who performed here in the 1940s to today, Jacob’s Pillow has long

worked to connect audiences with all kinds of dance. As people now emerge from extended isolation,

the need for cultural exchange is keener than ever. Using historic photos and moving images that span

the globe and transcend time, this exhibition demonstrates the wide-ranging definition of dance that has always epitomized the Pillow’s worldview. Co-curated by Tanisha Jones, Hari Krishnan, and Norton Owen.

Envisioning a New Theater

Ted Shawn Theatre Lobby

Open daily, noon through final curtain


An international team of architects and designers/consultants are now busily planning a new Doris Duke Theatre to re-imagine the beloved structure consumed by fire in 2020. On display here are color

renderings, a scale model, video simulations, and other resources to help audiences visualize this

exciting new building project and its design process. With a projected opening in summer 2025, the Doris Duke Theatre is envisioned as a versatile home for dance-making and performance in the 21

st century. Co-curated by Katy Dammers and Norton Owen. 

Fantasy Meets Reality: The Far East Tour

Blake’s Barn Special Collections Room

Tuesday-Sunday, noon through final curtain


Denishawn’s Asian tour in 1925-26 proved pivotal in the artistic evolution of Ted Shawn and Ruth St.

Denis, as their famous oriental dance fantasies encountered authentic Asian dances and audiences.

Shawn and St. Denis spent months studying with local artists, buying up hordes of set and costume

pieces. Their return set off a renaissance of Western interest in authentic Asian dance, opening doors for Asian and Asian American artists. Today, costumes from the Far East Tour challenge us to grapple with how to share culture with integrity. Co-curated by Phil Chan and Caroline Hamilton. 

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.

Jacob’s Pillow Archives/Norton Owen Reading Room

Blake’s Barn

Tuesday-Sunday, noon through final curtain


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


Jacob’s Pillow acknowledges that it rests on the unceded lands of the Muh-he-con-ne-ok, or Mohican people. Today, their community resides in Wisconsin and is known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community and we honor their elders past, present and future.  We also recognize the Agawam, Nipmuc, and Pocumtuc who also made their homes in what is now known as  Western Massachusetts. 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 its 91st season. 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, a prestigious professional dance training center, advances the careers of the upcoming generation of performers and choreographers; during the Festival, 100 international dancers evolve as artists in ballet, choreography, contemporary, musical theatre, tap, and other genres, and year round, artist faculty and accomplished alumni nurture younger dancers in a series of Jacob’s Pillow 360 workshops and intensives offered in partnership with leading dance institutions worldwide. 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. Through its 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

Jacob’s Pillow is grateful to its global community of supporters and Members for their ongoing support for our mission. Major institutional support for Jacob’s Pillow is provided by the Alphadyne Foundation, Arbella Insurance Foundation, Arison Arts Foundation, Arnhold Foundation, Barr Foundation, Doris Duke Foundation, Ford Foundation, William Randolph Hearst Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, Mellon Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Mill Town Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, and Jacob’s Pillow Business Partners (as of May 23, 2023). 

Leave a Reply