Dancers in the new Perles Family Studio. Photo by Robert Benson, Courtesy Jacob's Pillow
Heads up, choreographers: Jacob's Pillow just announced the launch of a new choreography program, starting next summer.
Inspired by the famous Bessie Schönbergworkshops from the '80s and '90s, the Ann & Weston Hicks Choreography Fellows Program is designed to help eight early-career choreographers (approximately 20–30 years old) refine their voices and expand their networks. The program, August 21–31,will be directed by none other than pioneering choreographer Dianne McIntyre and renowned Limón teacher and choreographic advisor Risa Steinberg.
The focus will be more on process than product, offering fellows assignments and feedback sessions without expectations for an end product.
Of course, one of the biggest benefits of being located at the Pillow is the chance to meet the many professional artists that perform on the grounds each summer. The fellows will have opportunities to make connections and gain valuable insights from festival choreographers. They will also have access to the amazing videos in the Pillow's vast archives, which may be one of the greatest sources of dance history today.
The School at Jacob's Pillow's Choreolab. Photo by Christopher Duggan, Courtesy Jacob's Pillow
"Through guidance, feedback and exposure to the work of established choreographers, the young fellows will have the dedicated time and space to answer: Who am I as an artist? What do I want to say? And how do I want to say it?" McIntyre says in a press release.
Along with the Pillow's five other Professional Advancement Programs—which next summer will include ballet, contemporary, musical theater dance, dance photography and Gaga—the choreography fellowship will take advantage of the school's brand-new home in the state-of-the-art Perles Family Studio.
Stay tuned for application requirements, which will be announced at jacobspillow.org on December 1.
The cast of Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise in rehearsal. Photo by Stephanie Berger, Courtesy The Shed
Akram Khan loves to dive into genres he is unfamiliar with. While his own movement vocabulary is a hybrid of kathak and contemporary dance, he has choreographed a new Giselle for English National Ballet, collaborated with flamenco artist Israel Galván and made a dance theater duet with film star Juliette Binoche. Now, in between touring Xenos, his final full-length solo, and several other projects, he's found time to tackle kung fu. Khan is part of the collaborative team behind Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise, a blockbuster musical based on themes of migration and the fight for survival, running June 22–July 27. Directed by Chen Shi-Zheng and featuring a score that remixes songs by Sia, it's part of the inaugural season of The Shed, a new venue in New York City.