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. Join Jacob’s Pillow for this week-long landmark celebration where the campus will be 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, has 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.
Full Schedule of The Land on Which We Dance
Red Sky Performance | Aug 7-11
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 make their Pillow debut with Trace in the Doris Duke Theatre, inspired by Anishinaabe sky and star stories. | DANCE & LIVE MUSIC
Re-Mapping Native Space in the Berkshires & Beyond
Aug 7, 4:30pm
The writings, voices, and homelands of Native people from the Berkshires and western Massachusetts are 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, 6:15pm
For this landmark gathering and to kick-off a week of celebrating contemporary Indigenous artists, the Pillow campus will be illuminated with an exchange of song, dance, and storytelling—bringing together local Indigenous peoples and inviting all to participate in this exchange.
Join 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) for this special performance at Inside/Out. Learn more. | FREE, DANCE & LIVE MUSIC
Stones and Stories with Christopher K. Morgan | Aug 8, 4-5pm
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 shares stories about the role of stones in traditional Hawaiian culture and his own life. Learn more. | FREE
Inside/Out: Christopher K. Morgan | Aug 8, 6:15pm
Choreographer and performer Christopher K. Morgan performs 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
(after evening performance, approx. 9:30pm)
Following the evening performances, the Pillow campus will be illuminated with an exchange of song, dance, and storytelling centered around a bonfire. This event is a moment to bring together local Indigenous peoples with contemporary Indigenous artists—anchored by the presentation of Toronto-based Red Sky Performance.
Join local Indigenous dancers as well as 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) for this storytelling bonfire. Participants are encouraged to bring instruments, stories, and dance. | FREE
In the event of rain the bonfire will be cancelled by 7:30pm and posted online.
PillowTalk: Indigenous Dance | Aug 10, 4pm
Sandra Laronde of Red Sky Performance compares 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
Led by Red Sky Performance Associate Artists, this master class will provide participants with an energizing and refreshing movement experience. Participants will be led through a series of exercises and prompts including a warm-up, improvisation, repertoire, and Indigenous cultural movement. Learn more about Master Classes. Open to all levels ages 16+. Please wear loose fitting clothing. Participants welcomed to dance in socks or barefoot.
Events are FREE unless otherwise specified.