The School at Jacob's Pillow announces 2016 Programs; Jawole Willa Jo Zollar leads new program
The School at Jacob's Pillow
THE SCHOOL AT JACOB’S PILLOW ANNOUNCES
2016 PROFESSIONAL ADVANCEMENT PROGRAMS
DIRECTED BY WORLD-RENOWNED CHOREOGRAPHERS AND DANCE ARTISTS
NEW PROGRAM FOR 2016
IMPROV TRADITIONS & INNOVATIONS: FROM RING SHOUT TO BLUES TO JAZZ
January 11, 2016 (Becket, Mass.) —In the summer of 2016, The School at Jacob’s Pillow, a world renowned center for professional dance training with diversely experienced and international artists will present Professional Advancement Programs in Ballet, Contemporary, Musical Theatre Dance, and a new program titled Improv Traditions & Innovations: From Ring Shout to Blues to Jazz. These programs will take place during the 84th annual Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, led by a highly-distinguished artist faculty, and offer an incomparable combination of studio, performance, and Festival experiences.
At The School at Jacob’s Pillow, pre-professional students and early-career professional dancers from around the globe are immersed in an intense professional training environment involving classes, rehearsals, and coaching sessions six days a week, and are given rare opportunities to perform weekly for Festival audiences. The 2016 Program Directors include ballet luminary Anna-Marie Holmes; Ailey School and Juilliard faculty member Milton Myers, who celebrates his 30th year of mentoring and coaching at The School at Jacob’s Pillow; Broadway veteran, choreographer, and director Chet Walker; and the esteemed founder of Urban Bush Women Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. The Program Directors will be joined by dance artists, choreographers, and artistic directors from across the globe.
The School at Jacob’s Pillow is located in the picturesque Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. Each year, up to 100 dancers from approximately 3,000 auditioned are invited to take part in the Professional Advancement Programs of The School: Ballet, Cultural Traditions (Improv Traditions & Innovations: From Ring Shout to Blues to Jazz in 2016), Contemporary, and Musical Theatre Dance. The Cultural Traditions Program rotates annually, reflecting relevant dance styles and trends of the current global community. Previous years have brought social dances, tap, commercial dance, flamenco, Pacific Island traditions, and many other forms of dance to The School at Jacob’s Pillow.
Dancers selected for each program are immersed in the unparalleled Festival environment with access to professional performances, artist and scholar talks, exhibits, and master classes by Festival artists; the opportunity to study in the Archives, one of the field’s most treasured dance resources; and interactions with peers and living legends of the world-wide dance community. The School experience involves an intensive class and rehearsal schedule, performing works-in-progress weekly for Festival audiences, coaching and seminar sessions; all demanding technical and performance skills, stamina, perseverance, risk-taking, and creative collaboration.
“The School is a platform for dancers to step forward, with confidence, as the artists they dream to be,” says Jacob’s Pillow Director of Education “J.R.” Glover. “It provides them with professional relationships that will open career paths for them for the remainder of their careers.”
Notable alumni of The School include Corps de Ballet American Ballet Theatre member and cast member of Daniil Simkin’s INTENSIO Calvin Royal III, Artistic Director of Royal Danish Ballet Nikolaj Hübbe, So You Think You Can Dance and Emmy Award-winning choreographer Mia Michaels, celebrated choreographer and MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient Meredith Monk, former Director of Choreography of Merce Cunningham Dance Company and a Trustee for the Merce Cunningham Trust Robert Swinston, MTV Video Music Award winner for Best Choreography Jeffrey Page, Chez Bushwick Founder and choreographer Jonah Bokaer, Festival 2016 artist Adam H. Weinert, and acclaimed choreographer Emery LeCrone. Others appear regularly in Dance Magazine’s “25 To Watch,” on Broadway, and in major companies worldwide. In 2015, 29 alumni returned to the Festival as artistic directors, choreographers, and performers. For additional notable alumni, visit http://www.jacobspillow.org/education/school/programs/alumni-of-the-school-at-jacobs-pillow.php.
2016 Professional Advancement Programs
Ballet, June 13-26
Ballet luminary Anna-Marie Holmes and a distinguished international faculty prepare dancers for the artistic range and technical rigor required by today’s world-class ballet companies. Choreographer Yury Yanowsky, recently retired as principal dancer of Boston Ballet, will create and rehearse a new work on the dancers in just four days. Participants will perform its world premiere at the Festival’s Opening Gala on June 18, on a program with Festival 2016 artist Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and other artists. Dancers also receive in-depth coaching in renowned classical solo, pas de deux, and ensemble works by renowned choreographers, dancers, and teachers in the field. Select works learned during the program are performed June 25 as a part of the free Inside/Out outdoor performance series.
Separate men’s and women’s classes are part of the curriculum, as are seminars in career development, musicality, style characteristics, and ballet history.
Attending Festival performances, public talks, exhibits, master classes, and studying in the Archives are integral to this immersion experience in dance. This year, the Ballet Program will coincide with the Festival appearances of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and Juan Sidi Flamenco Santa Fe, allowing optimal educational experiences for Ballet Program participants. Alumni of The School at Jacob’s Pillow are members of American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Het Nationale Ballet, Houston Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Royal Danish Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and more.
In her 16th season as Ballet Program Director, Anna-Marie Holmes remains an internationally acclaimed master teacher, choreographer, and dance luminary, as well as a recipient of the prestigious Dance Magazine Award and Emmy Award for her staging of Le Corsaire for American Ballet Theatre’s PBS Great Performance. Along with choreographer, and former Boston Ballet principal dancer Yury Yanowsky, faculty include American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Xiomara Reyes and NBA Ballet Artistic Director Koichi Kubo. Kansas City Ballet Music Director and Conductor Ramona Pansegrau serves as Ballet Program Music Director. Other Ballet Program Artist Faculty to be announced.
For 11 male and 11 female advanced pre-professional or professional level ballet dancers, age 16 and up. Priority consideration given to video audition applicants received by February 12. Visit jacobspillow.org for faculty bios and program updates.
Improv Traditions & Innovations: From Ring Shout to Blues to Jazz, June 27–July 10
In this brand new program, Program Director Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, in collaboration with an esteemed roster of choreographers, dancers, musicians, and scholars, will enable dancers to experience the rhythms, styles, and states of physical and mental being essential to embodying African American improvisational traditions and innovations. From Ring Shout to Blues to jazz. Dancers will share these practices with the public July 2 and July 9, as part of the free outdoor Inside/Out performance series.
Daily technique classes include somatic, strength training, vernacular, and modern dance followed by guest choreographer, musician, and scholar seminars. The day concludes with a work-in-progress rehearsal led by Zollar to experience the adaptations, interpretations, and innovations occurring over time that speak to the metaphorical, historical, and cultural practices of a people. Readings, film screenings, and discussions are also part of the day.
Program Director Jawole Willa Jo Zollar founded Urban Bush Women (UBW) as a performance ensemble dedicated to exploring the use of cultural expression as a catalyst for social change. She currently holds the position of the Nancy Smith Fichter Professor of Dance and Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor at Florida State University. Zollar is recipient of a 2008 United States Artists Wynn fellowship, a 2009 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial fellowship, the 2013 Arthur L. Johnson Memorial award by Sphinx Music, the 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, and the 2014 Meadows Prize from Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts. Urban Bush Women has performed at the Festival six times, and Zollar is a former guest artist for The School’s Contemporary Program. Zollar will be joined by Harvard University PhD candidate in African & African American Studies Lizzy Cooper Davis; two-time Fullbright Fellow Award recipient Nia Love; company member and rehearsal director for Urban Bush Women Chanon Judson; Artistic Director of Junebug Productions Stephanie McKee; and choreographer, performer, and Urban Bush Women company member Samatha Speis. Grammy Award-winning pianist George Caldwell serves as Music Director.
The Improv Traditions & Innovations: From Ring Shout to Blues to Jazz Program will coincide with the engagements of Festival artists Che Malambo, Bereishit Dance Company, Gauthier Dance, and And Still You Must Swing, offering a unique opportunity to experience a wide range of choreographic and performance approaches during the program. Attending Festival performances, public talks, exhibits, master classes, and studying in the Archives are integral to this immersion experience in dance.
For 24 curious, choreographic minded dance artists with strong performance skills, age 18 and up, ready to be open, challenged, and transformed physically and intellectually. Visit jacobspillow.org for faculty bios and program updates.
Contemporary, July 11-July 31
Under the direction of contemporary dance mentor and master teacher Milton Myers, studio work and performance experiences prepare dancers to meet the expectations and requirements of today’s most in-demand artistic directors. Supported by a stylistically diverse and highly-acclaimed faculty, Myers will have new or repertory works set on the program participants by top choreographers in the field each week, which will be presented to the public as a part of the free outdoor Inside/Out performance series on July 16, July 23, and July 30. Guest choreographers for 2016 will include Ballet BC Resident Choreographer Cayetano Soto, Colombo-Belgian choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and Belgian designer and choreographer Stijn Celis.
Dancers are coached in multiple movement vocabularies, styles, techniques, and performance skills to deepen their ability to communicate choreographic intent and advance their development as articulate, versatile artists. Career discussions and daily classes in ballet, body conditioning, and contemporary dance are led by a distinguished master faculty. The Contemporary Program will coincide with the appearances of Festival artists Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Hubbard Street 2, BalletX, ZviDance, Wendy Whelan and Brian Brooks, and ARIAS COMPANY. Participants of the program utilize Festival performances, the extensive dance Archives, and talks with artists and scholars as supplementary material to their training each day.
In his 30th year as the Contemporary Program Director, Milton Myers is recognized worldwide as a master teacher, acting as resident choreographer and instructor of Philadanco as well as a faulty member of The Ailey School, the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. Program, and The Juilliard School. Myers will lead a diversely talented faculty including Atlanta Ballet Resident Choreographer Helen Pickett; former choreographer for Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo Pamela Pribisco; former Juilliard School faculty member Alphonse Poulin; and the Artistic Director of the Dance Division at The Juilliard School Lawrence Rhodes, among others. Philadelphia-based composer, pianist, and synthesist John Levis serves as Music Director.
For 12 male and 12 female contemporary dancers at an advanced pre-professional or professional level with strong performance skills, age 16 and up. Visit jacobspillow.org for faculty bios and program updates.
Musical Theatre Dance, August 1-22
Chet Walker invites award-winning Broadway choreographers, directors, composers/arrangers, and musicians to work collaboratively and create original numbers on dancers, with the same fast-pace and rigor required to audition and mount Broadway productions. Training reflects the necessity for well-versed and multi-faceted Broadway performers, focusing on dance styles ranging from ballet to hip-hop to Fosse and contemporary jazz, with one-on-one vocal training and career discussions with top artists in the field. In three weeks, dancers present excerpts of works for the public as part of the free outdoor performance series on August 6, 13, and 20. Working as an ensemble, the program will close with a cumulative performance of the works created on participants with a live band and guest alumni. A Jazz Happening will be presented on August 21 in the historic Ted Shawn Theatre with proceeds benefitting The School at Jacob’s Pillow.
Daily technique classes focus on styles seen on the Broadway stage today including ballet, jazz, musical theatre dance, hip-hop, and tap. Participants of the program will rehearse afternoons and evenings with choreographers and musicians and receive one-on-one vocal training, audition coaching, and career-building discussions as a part of the curriculum. The Musical Theatre Dance Program will coincide with the engagements of Festival artists Compagnie Hervé KOUBI, New York Theatre Ballet, Dorrance Dance, Adam H. Weinert’s MONUMENT, FLEXN, Pam Tanowitz Dance, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Souleymane Badolo. Attending Festival performances, public talks, exhibits, master classes, and studying in the Archives are integral to this immersion experience in dance.
A prominently featured performer in the musicals of Bob Fosse, Chet Walker enters his 18th season as the Musical Theatre Dance Program Director. Conceiver of the Tony Award-winning musical Fosse, Walker is an internationally lauded director/choreographer, and Artistic Director of WALKERDANCE. As a choreographer, his work in the Tony Awarded Best Musical Revival Pippin earned a 2013 Tony Nomination for Best Choreography and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography. Guest choreographers and Artist Faculty for the program will be announced at jacobspillow.org. Music Director for the Broadway's Rising Stars and Broadway Originals concerts at Town Hall in New York City since 2009, John Fischer serves as the Program’s Music Director.
For 12 male and 12 female musical theatre dancers at an advanced pre-professional or professional level with singing and acting experience, age 16 and up. Visit jacobspillow.org for faculty bios and program updates.
Auditions and Application:
Auditions, in person or by video, and a written application are required. Video auditions (by online video hosting website) are required for Ballet, and highly encouraged for Contemporary, Improv Traditions & Innovations: From Ring Shout to Blues to Jazz, and Musical Theatre Dance Programs.
The 2016 Audition Tour, launches in early January and will stop in Miami, New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago for Musical Theatre, Improv Traditions & Innovations: From Ring Shout to Blues to Jazz, and Contemporary Program auditions. Led by internationally-acclaimed dance artists in a master class format, no cuts are made during these auditions providing an excellent opportunity for students to take a professional class, gain audition experience, and learn more about The School at Jacob’s Pillow. Auditions are open to advanced dancers; ages 15 and up for Contemporary and Musical Theatre Dance; age 18 and up for Improv Traditions and Innovations.
If applicants are unable to attend in person auditions, video auditions by YouTube or Vimeo are given the same consideration as in person auditions.
Visit http://www.jacobspillow.org/education/school/audition-apply/audition-apply.php for application and audition details. Application deadline is February 12 for priority consideration.
Audition dates and locations for Contemporary, Improv Traditions & Innovations: From Ring Shout to Blues to Jazz, and Musical Theatre Dance Programs are listed below. A $15 cash fee is required for all audition participants.
January 9-10 – Miami, FL, New World School of the Arts
January 29 – New York, NY, New York City Center Studios
February 13 – New York, NY, Mark Morris Dance Center
February 20-21 – Chicago, IL, Lou Conte Dance Studio at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
March 13 – New York, NY, Mark Morris Dance Center
March 20 – Los Angeles, CA, Loyola Marymount University and Lula Washington Dance Theatre
*Musical Theatre Dance auditions cover multiple dance styles, including tap. Prepare two songs from published musical theatre works. Bring sheet music; accompanist provided.
Visit http://www.jacobspillow.org/education/school/audition-apply/audition.php for additional audition tour details.
Scholarships & Academic Credit
Scholarships and academic credit are available. Prospective students should visit
http://www.jacobspillow.org/education/school/ or call 413.243.9919 for more information regarding academic credit.
All applicants auditioning by video for the Ballet, Contemporary, Improv Traditions & Innovations: From Ring Shout to Blues to Jazz, or Musical Theatre Dance Programs are eligible for consideration of the Lorna Strassler Award for Student Excellence, which provides a full scholarship and $2,500 cash award.
Partial and full Jacob’s Pillow Scholarships are available for any dancer in need of financial assistance, made possible by The Fund for Jacob’s Pillow and annual donor support of The School. For scholarship details, visit http://www.jacobspillow.org/education/school/audition-apply/scholarships.php
Visit http://www.jacobspillow.org/education/school/ for additional program, audition, application, and scholarship details.