The Land on Which We Dance

The Land on Which We Dance | August 7-11

Jacob’s Pillow has engaged with Indigenous peoples and culture since its founding in 1933 and is excited to revitalize its commitment this year. Jacob’s Pillow hosted a week-long landmark celebration where the campus was illuminated with an exchange of song, dance, and storytelling—bringing together local Indigenous peoples with contemporary artists based in the U.S. and Canada. Related events identified below.

Sandra Laronde, of the Teme-Augama Anishinaabe (People of the Deep Water) and Artistic Director of Red Sky Performance, worked with Jacob’s Pillow to curate this week-long celebration, in association with Christopher K. Morgan and with support from Larry Spotted Crow Mann. Read about the history of Native American connections at Jacob’s Pillow here.

PARTICIPANTS & ARTISTS

Cameron Fraser Monroe | Christopher K. Morgan | Eddie Elliott | Elsie Kaleihulukea Ryder | Emily Johnson | Hector LeBeau | Kenneth Shirley | Larry Spotted Crow Mann | Lisa Brooks | Martha Redbone | Sandra Laronde | Shae LeBeau | Soni Moreno | Tyrenn Lodgepole | Wampanoag Nation Dancers & Singers

Full Schedule of The Land on Which We Dance

Re-Mapping Native Space in the Berkshires & Beyond
Aug 7, 4:30pm

Blake’s Barn

The writings, voices, and homelands of Native people from the Berkshires and western Massachusetts was highlighted in this conversation with Amherst College professor Lisa Brooks, author of two books about the Indigenous traditions of this region: The Common Pot and Our Beloved Kin: Re-Mapping King Philip’s War. | FREE

Inside/Out: The Land on Which We Dance | Aug 7, 5:30pm

Begins on Great Lawn and moves to Inside/Out performance space

For this landmark gathering and to kick-off a week of celebrating contemporary Indigenous artists, the Pillow campus was illuminated with an exchange of song, dance, and storytelling—bringing together local Indigenous peoples and inviting all to participate in this exchange. 

Including Multi-award-winning blues and soul singer of Cherokee, Choctaw, European, and African-American descent Martha Redbone and internationally celebrated singer Soni Moreno (Mayan/Apache/Yaqui) in this special performance at Inside/Out. Learn more. | FREE, DANCE & LIVE MUSIC

Red Sky Performance | Aug 7-11

Doris Duke Theatre

At the forefront of contemporary Indigenous performance in Canada and worldwide, Red Sky Performance is praised as “magnificent in the scope of its imagination,” (Globe and Mail). They made their Pillow debut with Trace in the Doris Duke Theatre, inspired by Anishinaabe sky and star stories. | DANCE & LIVE MUSIC

Stones and Stories with Christopher K. Morgan | Aug 8, 4-5pm

Henry J. Leir Stage

Native Hawaiian choreographer Christopher K. Morgan’s dance theater piece Pōhaku (the Hawaiian word for stone) incorporates stones in the performance. For this workshop, Morgan shared stories about the role of stones in traditional Hawaiian culture and his own life. | FREE

Inside/Out: Christopher K. Morgan | Aug 8, 6:15pm

Henry J. Leir Stage

Choreographer and performer Christopher K. Morgan performed Pōhaku, a unique dance and hula performance with live music by electric cellist Wytold and Hawaiian chanter/percussionist Elsie Kaleihulukea Ryder. The show tells the story of Hawaii’s colonial past through the choreographer’s personal story of his ache for the land he is from, but never lived in. Learn more. | FREE

Storytelling Bonfire | Aug 9, 9:30pm
Great Lawn*

Following the evening performances, the Pillow campus was illuminated with an exchange of song, dance, and storytelling centered around a bonfire. This event was a moment to bring together local Indigenous peoples with contemporary Indigenous artists—anchored by the presentation of Toronto-based Red Sky Performance. Participants were encouraged to bring instruments, stories, and dance. | FREE

PillowTalk: Indigenous Dance | Aug 10, 4pm

Blake’s Barn

Sandra Laronde of Red Sky Performance compared notes with Hawaiian Christopher K. Morgan, exploring the challenges of maintaining Indigenous dance traditions in today’s increasingly diverse world. Learn more. | FREE

Master Class with Red Sky Performance | Aug 11, 10-11:30am

Doris Duke Theatre

Led by Red Sky Performance Associate Artists, this master class provided participants with an energizing and refreshing movement experience. Participants were led through a series of exercises and prompts including a warm-up, improvisation, repertoire, and Indigenous cultural movement. Learn more about Master ClassesOpen to all levels ages 16+.