It may be Jacob’s Pillow’s 85th season, but it’s director Pamela Tatge’s first time presenting her
curatorial vision at its summer dance festival. “The stakes are high,” admits Tatge. “I needed to
honor the past, consider the artists who have had a long association with the Pillow, and introduce my favorites, as well.” Keeping with Pillow tradition, audiences can expect a wide range of
genres, from ballet (Miami City Ballet, The Washington Ballet, Ballet Hispanico) to flamenco
Afro-Cuban fusion (Compañía Irene Rodríguez).
Both the personal and the profound entered into her choice to bring Paul Taylor Dance
Company back after a long absence. “I saw Esplanade when I was 13,” recalls Tatge. “That
joy was so powerful onstage. I saw what dance can be.” And on a more bittersweet note, just
months after Trisha Brown’s death, the Trisha Brown Dance Company returns, performing a
specially curated program highlighting the company’s history, along with other works.
Presenting companies from across the nation remains high on Tatge’s priorities. The Los
Angeles–based Ate9 dANCEcOMPANY graduates from the Inside/Out stage (last summer) to
the Doris Duke this summer. Several other artists are making their Pillow debuts, including the
Israeli company Roy Assaf Dance (which is also making its U.S. debut), Faye Driscoll, Aakash
Odedra, NW Dance Project and Canadian choreographer Marie Chouinard, whose Pillow visit
is long overdue, according to Tatge. “She’s such a risk taker and a provocateur,” says Tatge.
Younger artists who have made a home at the Pillow are also represented, including Jessica
Lang Dance and Jonah Bokaer, as well as several Pillow Award winners: Michelle Dorrance in
the role of curator for the first time at the festival, Kyle Abraham/ Abraham.In.Motion, Camille
A. Brown and John Heginbotham, who collaborates with illustrator Maira Kalman for the world
premiere The Principles of Uncertainty.
Building on everything the storied festival has stood for over the decades, Tatge demonstrates
that it is indeed possible to look ahead and be mindful of the past in one sweeping season.
BEYOND THE FESTIVAL
Pamela Tatge, who served as director
of the Center for the Arts at Wesleyan
University for 16 years, is infusing the
Pillow with programs
aimed at students and
faculty. The launch of
the College Partnership
academic research and
along with more access
to the Pillow’s treasured
archives. The year-round
residencies have been expanded
to a total of 10, and also welcome
college students and dance faculty for
residency showings. Expect a more
robust outreach program, too, with
Pillow Pop-Up performances in nearby
Pittsfield, Massachusetts. —NW
Pamela Tatge curates her first Jacob’s Pillow season.
Clockwise from top left: Calpulli
Mexican Dance Company; Eiko
Otake; Camille A. Brown; Pilobolus