The Pillow Lab

Jacob’s Pillow’s year-round premiere dance center for research and development

The Pillow Lab is a residency program that offers the opportunity to work in the Pillow’s retreat-like atmosphere and state-of-the-art studio spaces, including the brand-new Perles Family StudioProgramming for the Pillow Lab reflects feedback gathered from a diverse group of 36 choreographers living and working in the U.S. This field-wide scan examined existing and developing choreographic residency programs at peer institutions to inform how the Pillow Lab fits within the overall national dance ecology with a distinctive mission, vision, goal, and approach.

Go inside the Pillow Lab with Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award-winner John Heginbotham and acclaimed illustrator Maira Kalman:

Customized residencies offered through the Pillow Lab give artists the time and space to research and develop new work with varying levels of technical aspects and research components, including the opportunity to fund an essential “outside eye.” They include access to the Pillow’s Archives, free housing, a stipend, filmed archival video footage, and conclude with a private, In Process showing for members at the $500 level and above or partners of the College Partnership Program that provide reactions, feedback, and questions. The work created at the Pillow during the residency may be at varying stages of development and may or may not be performed at the Festival. Artists that take part in the Pillow Lab are chosen through a closed selection process.

The 2018-19 Pillow Lab season includes 12 residencies, bringing artists from around the United States and one international company to the Pillow’s site. New this year, several artists supplement time at the Pillow Lab by engaging with local community members to explore ideas for their work.

The development of new work is of the utmost importance to the Pillow and the dance field at large.

Built from the Jacob’s Pillow mission to support dance creation, presentation, education, and preservation; and to engage and deepen public appreciation and support for dance, the Pillow Lab strengthens the artistic core of the Pillow while expanding opportunities for year-round programming. Realizing the goals of Vision ’22, the Pillow Lab enhances artist development while nurturing the process of choreography.

Creative development residencies have been offered to artists in past years, supporting hundreds of artists including Mark Morris and Yo-Yo Ma, Big Dance Theater, Kate Weare, Kyle Abraham, Jessica Lang, Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener, Bryan Arias, Suzanne Farrell, The Cambodian Project, Kimberly Bartosik, Jodi Melnick, Monica Bill Barnes, Chet Walker, John Jasperse, Dorrance Dance, and many more. A more robust and varied program is now possible through recent upgrades to facilities, including the opening of the Perles Studio, the acquisition of stage lighting equipment for the Doris Duke Theatre, and the addition of winterized housing, allowing for technical and research residencies as well as artistic.

Future of the Pillow

The Pillow Lab plays a vital role in strengthening the Pillow’s artistic core, a main thread of Vision ’22.

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