Festival 2022 will feature 20 shows running for one night only on the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage. All performances are at 6 pm Eastern. Tickets are on sale now.
Eastern Woodland Dances
Wednesday, June 22 at 6pm
Festival 2022 begins with a special celebration of Indigenous dancers, highlighting the breadth of Indigenous performance traditions within the Eastern Woodland region and its diaspora. The program will feature Warwick Gombey Troupe of Bermuda, who are of Wampanoag, Pequot, and Narragansett ancestry, and other artists to be announced. Nipmuc elder Larry Spotted Crow Mann returns as a curator of this year’s celebration.
Dance of the Ages
Thursday, June 23 at 6pm
Ted Shawn’s historic Dance of the Ages (1938) comes alive once again at Jacob’s Pillow in this special engagement with Adam Weinert and collaborators. Ted Shawn, founder of Jacob’s Pillow, considered Dance of the Ages to be his masterpiece. This iconic choreography was based on the radical queer text Towards Democracy (1883) by Edward Carpenter and comprised Shawn’s response to what he saw as the rise of fascism around the world. This new performance brings a fresh perspective to the piece, offering subtle updates to themes of gender performance and national identity.
Collage Dance Collective
Friday, June 24 at 6pm
Led by renowned dancer and educator Kevin Thomas, Collage Dance was established in 2006 in response to the ballet industry’s lack of racial diversity on stage. The ballet company relocated from New York City to Memphis in 2009, and since then has become instrumental in changing the landscape of dance. Collage Dance is one of the largest Black-led performing arts organizations in the South. The company returns to Jacob’s Pillow by popular demand following their performance in the Inside/Out series in 2017.
JazzAntiqua Dance & Music Ensemble
Wednesday, July 6 at 6pm
Making their Pillow debut, Los Angeles-based JazzAntiqua Dance Ensemble digs deep into the movement in the music, celebrating jazz as a vital thread in the cultural fabric of African American history and heritage. Founded in 1993 by choreographer Pat Taylor, the company performs works that are “evocative, graceful and bubbling with rich, jazzy textures” (Los Angeles Times).
Thursday, July 7 at 6pm
Weaving together lyrics, dance, and visual design, the innovative Prakriti Dance uses the movement vocabulary of the Indian classical dance form Bharata Natyam to transcend cultural boundaries. Founded by Co-Artistic Directors Kasi Aysola and Madhvi Venkatesh, the company draws inspirations from nature, philosophy, poetry, and other genres to bring modern-day themes into an ever-evolving Indian art form. Prakriti Dance seeks to broaden accessibility for Indian arts. Based in the Washington, DC metro area, the company has performed at the Kennedy Center and in festivals around the country. This performance is sponsored by YoungArts.
Friday, July 8 at 6pm
Bill Shannon is an interdisciplinary artist and maker who explores body-centric work through video installation, sculpture, linguistics, sociology, choreography, dance, and politics. Shannon has been awarded a United States Artists Fellowship in Dance, a Guggenheim Fellowship in Choreography, and a Foundation for Contemporary Art Fellowship in Performance Art. His immersion in the emergent youth cultures of hip-hop and skateboarding further contributed to his autodidactic form on crutches. Shannon frequently lectures on his performance practice, and the phenomenological and linguistic framing he has created around his street practice globally. His work was highlighted in a short online film this year, produced by Jacob’s Pillow in partnership with NOWNESS.
The New York Korean Performing Arts Center
Saturday, July 9 at 6pm
Founded by Sue Yeon Park in 1986, The New York Korean Performing Arts Center (NYKPAC) consists of Korean traditional music and dance professionals from the city’s Korean-American community, who are dedicated to promoting an understanding and appreciation of Korea’s artistic heritage and history. The organization has played an instrumental role in instilling pride in Korean culture to second-generation Korean American and Korean adoptees, and in fostering intercultural dialogue with American society at large.
Wednesday, July 13 at 6pm
Ballet Nepantla presents Valentina, a collection of stories that speak to the strength and resilience of women during Revolutionary Mexico. By fusing contemporary ballet with traditional Mexican folklorico, Valentina tells stories of hope and despair, struggle, loss, and triumph. Based in New York City, Ballet Nepantla is a contemporary dance company centered on stories from Mexican folklore. ‘Nepantla,’ an Aztec Nahuatl word meaning ‘in-between,’ speaks to the company’s creative commitment to harmonizing contemporary ballet with traditional Mexican folk dance, and to bringing important Mexican and immigrant stories to multicultural audiences. Since its inception in 2017, Ballet Nepantla has grown to feature more than 15 dancers trained in classical ballet and ballet folklórico, and has performed throughout the United States.
Mina Nishimura / Kota Yamazaki
Thursday, July 14 at 6pm
Dance Magazine calls Tokyo-born dance artist Mina Nishimura “a darling of the experimental dance scene.” Nishimura will perform excerpts from her new work, Mapping a Forest while Searching for an Opposite Term of Exorcist, which re-imagines a way of organizing a body and a space where multiple energies, traits, memories, and identities are bubbling up and disappearing. The program will also present I, Ghost, the Other (self), or You, a work in progress created by Nishimura with the Bessie Award- winning Japanese dance theater artist Kota Yamazaki.
Passion Fruit Dance Company with Baye & Asa
Friday, July 15 at 6pm
Passion Fruit Dance Company is a New York-based street dance theater company with socially engaged art projects. Founded by Tatiana Desardouin, the group incorporates hip-hop, house dance, and other street dance styles. Passion Fruit will perform Trapped, which focuses on the stories of a mosaic of six women, ready to reveal their pain and their path to joy. With the intention of healing, the dancers use street and club dance styles to invite us to unfold, release, and clear mental blocks.
The New York City duo Baye & Asa will perform John 4:20, a 9-minute duet that interrogates the dancers’ shared history and explores their identities as New Yorkers, Jews, Black youth, and male dancers. The personal dynamics of their relationships (Baye and Asa met at age six) address the larger political landscape of their upbringing. John 4:20 captures their relationship as brothers working through these ideas as artists, struggling to show the reality of violence while communicating a necessity for empathy.
Les Ballet Afrik
Wednesday, August 3 at 6pm
Les Ballet Afrik’s mission is to represent dance styles from Africa and the United States, with an emphasis on West African, Afrobeat, House, and Vogue. Company founder Omari Wiles—the founding father of the House of Oricci and a legend within the ballroom community—has previously danced with Ephrat Asherie Dance Company, and participated in Pillow Lab residencies prior to founding Les Ballet Afrik. Les Ballet Afrik recently spent a year in a bubble residency supported by the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process initiative from 2020-2021, and performed in the museum’s famous rotunda.
Thursday, August 4 at 6pm
The Native American and Canadian collective Indigenous Enterprise first stunned crowds at the Sydney Opera House in 2018 with their explosively jubilant dance and colorful regalia honoring the legacies of their elders. Their new intertribal work “Indigenous Liberation” was developed in the Pillow Lab, premiered at New York’s Joyce Theatre, and features songs, stories, and dances from Turtle Island (a folkloric term for North America), led by champion powwow dancers. The work will highlight Men’s Fancy War Dance (Ponca), Jingle Dress (Ojibwa), Hoop (Taos Pueblo), Chicken Dance (Blackfoot), Flute (Cree), and Grass Dance (Omaha), in a celebration of what lies at the heart of these powerful traditions.
Soles of Duende Percussive Trio
opening performance by Freedom Dabka Group
Friday, August 5 at 6pm
The three members of Soles of Duende are bonded by a deep love of music, craft, and connection. Formed in East Harlem, the multicultural, all-female percussive trio is on a lifelong mission to elevate the joy and music of true collaboration across disciplines. The group celebrates connections across different styles of dance and music-making, based primarily in the sounds of Tap (Amanda Castro), Flamenco (Arielle Rosales), and Kathak (Brinda Guha). They will perform at Jacob’s Pillow for the first time this summer.
Also making their Pillow debut, Freedom Dabka Group is a professional brotherhood dedicated to preserving and spreading Palestinian culture. Established in 2012 among six family members, Freedom Dabka Group has become a cultural icon of the New York and New Jersey Middle Eastern community, bringing a modern interpretation to Dabka folk dances and to Zaffa music and songs by performing in celebratory and cultural events across the United States and Canada.
Vanessa Sanchez & La Mezcla
Wednesday, August 17 at 6pm
La Mezcla is a polyrhythmic, multidisciplinary San Francisco-based dance and music ensemble rooted in Chicana, Latina, and Indigenous traditions and social justice. Founded in 2014 by Dance/USA Artist Fellow Vanessa Sanchez, the grassroots group brings together Tap, Son Jarocho, and Afro-Caribbean rhythms to share the often unseen histories and experiences of communities of color on stages, streets, and fields. In their Jacob’s Pillow debut, the company will perform selections from Pachuquísmo, a multi-disciplinary, rhythmic performance with a live band that unveils a forgotten history of Mexican-American female youth, and explores the struggles that communities of color continue to face today, through a blend of tap dance, Mexican zapateado, Son Jarocho music, and jazz.
Hustle at the Pillow
opening performance by Estrellitas de Sorto
Thursday, August 18 at 6pm
Professional Hustle Dance Champions Abdiel Jacobsen and Kristine Bendul bring inclusivity and acceptance to this special celebration of the Hustle, a pre-Disco style that originated in New York City in the 1970s, when the “dance floor served as a progressive town square” (Dance Enthusiast). Jacobsen and Bendul are dedicated to preserving this fast, flashy, and powerful American social dance, and honoring its tradition of partner dancing that is not gender specific. Hustle at the Pillow ignites the raw electric connection between multiple bodies bursting across a fierce dance floor.
Estrellitas de Sorto is a nationally recognized Latin dance program that originated at Promise Academy within Washington DC’s beloved KIPP school system. Led by Edwin Sorto, this program connects children to Latinx culture, with an emphasis on its African roots. Through dance, Estrellitas broaden their experience of the world while building social and emotional skills. Estrellitas de Sorto have been featured dancers at the Chicago International Salsa Congress, the Capital Salsa Congress, BailaCura in North Carolina, and DCBX in Washington DC.
East Coast Styles
Friday, August 19 at 6pm
The Northeast United States is an incubator for some of the country’s most globally influential street and social dance styles. This high-energy program features leading culture bearers from the New York City, Baltimore, and Washington DC dance worlds, particularly from the Lite Feet, Flex, Baltimore Club, and Go-Go communities. This presentation features an exciting lineup of performers from across these regions making their Pillow debut, including Breakfast Club (New York City), D.R.E.A.M. Ring (New York City), Bmore Than Dance (Baltimore), and Beat Ya Feet (Washington DC). Dancers in this presentation will compete in an All Styles Battle on August 20.
Ladies of Hip-Hop Dance Collective
Wednesday, August 24 at 6pm
Performed by the all-female intergenerational Ladies of Hip-Hop Dance Collective (LOHHDC), the Black Dancing Bodies Project is an ongoing journey through layers of identity and existence for Black women in street dance and the world at large. Exploring the elegance and power of women in hip hop, LOHHDC builds on the shapeshifting paths laid out by generations of Black women artists and activists on and off the stage.
Boston Dance Theater
Thursday, August 25 at 6pm
Under the co-artistic direction of Jessie Jeanne Stinnett and award-winning, Dutch-Israeli choreographer Itzik Galili, Boston Dance Theater (BDT) is committed to presenting works of socio-political relevance that challenge the edges of current world issues. BDT matches the talents of Boston-based dancers with those of acclaimed global choreographers in a tour de force of performative dynamism, community connection, and trans-national ambassadorship.
Friday, August 26 at 6pm
Kayla Hamilton is a Black Disabled choreographer, producer, and educator originally from Texarkana, Texas, who now resides in the Bronx. For her Pillow debut, Hamilton brings her newest work, Nearly Sighted/unearthing the dark, which explores how we gather information from artistic experiences without relying on eyesight, and challenges the audience’s imagination by providing multiple ways in which to “see” the movement. Hamilton is a member of the 2017 Bessie Award-winning collective “the skeleton architecture, or the future of our worlds.” Her work has been presented at Gibney, Performance Space New York, and New York Live Arts.
Saturday, August 27 at 6pm
Founded by internationally recognized performer and choreographer Yin Yue, YYDC comes to Jacob’s Pillow with two recent works. The first is Ripple, an intimate and intricate group work representing the spectrum between order and chaos, which premiered in 2021 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. The Time Followed, which premiered in 2019 at the Schrittmacher Festival in Germany, is a moving duet created by Yin Yue, performed with longtime collaborator Grace Whitworth. The dancers often appear as one, yet move separately in sequences of complex movements—a reflection of artistic partnership, enduring friendship, and joy shared in the creative journey.