PillowTalks are a free curated series of entertaining and informative discussions with choreographers, writers, filmmakers, and cultural experts.

Moderated by Pillow Scholars, PillowTalks provide an excellent opportunity to gain behind-the-scenes insight. The hour-long PillowTalks are held onsite at Blake’s Barn (next to the Box Office). All PillowTalks are free and open to the public during the Festival. Scroll to view the PillowTalks that took place during Festival 2022, and  click here to watch select Festival 2022 PillowTalks online.

Schedule of 2022 PillowTalks

Ted Shawn: His Life, Writings, and Dances
Sat., June 25, 4pm
Paul Scolieri has written the first comprehensive biography of the Pillow’s legendary founder, and he discusses his groundbreaking research, followed by a book signing.

Perseverance on Film
Sun., June 26, 4pm
Two short films highlight the triumphs and challenges faced by dancers today, as exemplified by company directors Earl Mosley (Diversity of Dance) and Kevin Thomas (Collage Dance Collective).

Christopher Duggan: Now & Then
Sat., July 2, 4pm
The current Blake’s Barn exhibit offers a perfect opportunity to sit down with Festival Photographer Christopher Duggan, who has been documenting Pillow artists since 2006.

When Langston Dances
Sun., July 3, 4pm
This new children’s book about a young Black boy who studies ballet was inspired by the Pillow’s advocacy for men in dance, and author Kaija Langley talks about how it came about.

Rooted Jazz Dance
Sat., July 9, 4pm
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. Editors Lindsay Guarino, Carlos R.A. Jones, and Wendy Oliver will be on hand along with contributor Melanie George.

W.E.B. Du Bois and the Black Berkshires
Sun., July 10, 4pm
In celebration of the Berkshires’ new W.E.B. Du Bois Center for Freedom and Democracy, a panel of scholars will discuss the Du Bois legacy in Berkshire County. The panel includes Kerri Greenidge and Kendra Field (Co-founders of the African American Trail Project at Tufts University), and Brandon Terry (Assistant Professor of African & African-American Studies, Harvard University).

A Visit With Kyle Abraham
Sat., July 16, 4pm
One of today’s most accomplished and in-demand choreographers talks about his journey so far and the new evening-length work for A.I.M, An Untitled Love.

Remembering Kariamu Welsh
Sun., July 17, 4pm
An icon in the African dance field, “Mama Kariamu” was part of the Pillow’s Cultural Traditions faculty and she inspired generations of followers who pay tribute to her legacy.

Limón Onscreen
Sat., July 23, 4pm
In honor of the Limón Company’s 75th anniversary, film excerpts from throughout the company’s rich history will be screened and discussed with Artistic Director Dante Puleio and others.

Dancing the Core Curriculum
Sun., July 24, 4pm
As co-founder of the Pillow’s venerable Curriculum in Motion® program, Celeste Miller reflects on how dance can be a meaningful part of every child’s education.

La Nijinska
Sat., July 30, 4pm
Lynn Garafola’s new biography of Nijinsky’s sister portrays her as a groundbreaking choreographer with noteworthy Pillow connections, as Garafola explores in this talk and book signing.

Black Grace: From Cannon’s Creek to Jacob’s Pillow
Sun., July 31, 4pm
Produced by Television New Zealand, this acclaimed documentary recounts the behind-the-scenes story of Black Grace’s U.S. debut at Jacob’s Pillow in 2004.

Ann Hutchinson Guest’s Century+
Sat., Aug. 6, 4pm
Celebrating the life of dance notation pioneer Ann Hutchinson Guest (1918-2022), friends and fans consider her legacy and her extraordinarily deep roots at Jacob’s Pillow.

“Studio/Theater” at MoMA
Sun., Aug. 7, 4pm
Yve Laris Cohen’s work intersects with both dance and the visual arts, and his upcoming show at The Museum of Modern Art will repurpose remains from the Doris Duke Theatre fire.

Liz Lerman’s Wicked Bodies
Sat., Aug. 13, 4pm
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award winner Liz Lerman discusses both her latest book and current performance work, exploring a world of old crones, shape-shifters, familiars, and imps.

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Sun., Aug. 14, 4pm
Winner of the 2022 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award, this Belgian-Moroccan dancer/choreographer/director talks about his work on stages and screens all over the world.

All Styles Roundtable
Sat., Aug. 20, 4pm
Practitioners of many different popular dance styles come together to define their unique characteristics and discuss their common ground.

Documenting the Hustle
Sun., Aug. 21, 4pm
Hustle experts Maria Torres, Abdiel Jacobsen, and the New York Public Library’s Cassie Mey demonstrate and discuss this under-appreciated dance style, explore its 1970s roots, and look to a more gender-neutral future.

Celebrating Lourdes Lopez
Sat., Aug. 27, 4pm
After 10 years at the helm of Miami City Ballet, this former New York City Ballet principal reflects on the accomplishments of her past decade and what’s ahead.

Technology and Dance
Sun., Aug. 28, 4pm
As the founder of Brown University’s Center for Research on Choreographic Interfaces, choreographer Sydney Skybetter talks with artists LROD and Toni Dove about how technology might impact dance’s future.

Event Dates

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at Blake’s Barn

At Blake's Barn: Jun 25 - Aug 28