Contemporary | Program Director

Helen Pickett, a native of San Diego, CA, and new co-director of The School at Jacob’s Pillow Contemporary Dance Program, has created over 40 ballets, in 15 years, in the U.S. and Europe. The Crucible, her newest full length for Scottish Ballet, premiered at Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) 2019, winning two awards; UK Theatre Critics Award and the Herald Angel Award. While resident choreographer for Atlanta Ballet from 2012 – 2017, she was named Best Choreographer in 2014, for The Exiled. Her first full length Ballet, Camino Real, was performed in 2015 also at Atlanta Ballet. Dutch National Ballet has commissioned a new full-length production, slated 2023, from Pickett. In June 2020, she started rehearsal for a new dance film choreography called Home Studies Triptych, created entirely on Zoom. Three of her dance films from, The Shakespeare Cycle, a ten-part dance film series, created between September and December, will be featured on a PBS special. Pickett’s duet, Trace, re-worked for film, for Scottish Ballet, premiered in 2020 at EIF and the Scottish Ballet, My Light Shines On, series. In early 2021, Helen will create a new dance film solo for Cincinnati Ballet. In addition to Helen’s contemporary ballet choreography, she has collaborated, as a choreographer and actress with installation video artists and filmmakers, including Eve Sussman, Toni Dove and Laurie Simmons. Pickett danced with Ballet Frankfurt, director, William Forsythe, from 1987-1998, and performed with the New York theater company, The Wooster Group, with director Elizabeth LeCompte, for five years. In addition to guest teaching at universities in the United States and Norway,  She created the workshop, Choreographic Essentials. She earned her Master of Fine Arts in 2011 from Hollins University. In 2016, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts  for her contribution to the arts, and named the first Visiting Distinguished Artist for North Carolina School of the Arts. In May 2020, Helen’s YouTube talk show, Creative Vitality Jam Sessions, had its first interview. Helen is represented by Kristopher McDowell, KMP Management.