Contemporary Ballet Performance Ensemble

Program Director Annabelle Lopez Ochoa
June 16 – June 30 | At the Pillow

Choreographers Silas Farley and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa | Artist Faculty Anitra Keegan and Noah Gelber | + Festival Artists | Read about the Artist Faculty

For 22 dancers who are at an early-career, company-ready, professional or advanced level; all dancers must be at least age 16 on arrival day; no exceptions possible. 


The Contemporary Ballet Performance Ensemble lives and works alongside the Festival’s international artist community where they discover artistic growth, multiple lenses into the creative language of dance, and a vision into the possibilities that exist within a dance career. The Ensemble will perform as part of the 92nd Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival before in-person and livestream audiences in work and work in progress created on them by choreographers Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Silas Farley.

Performance Ensemble Sample Schedule

Daily ballet technique classes start each morning and will be led on a rotating basis by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Silas Farley, or Anitra Keegan, with live accompaniment. Afternoons and some evenings are dedicated to new work development rehearsals and are where dancers receive in-depth coaching in the multiple roles choreographers expect of them from the studio to the stage. Rigorous artistic practices, from daily class to artist expectations and preferences, build the skills and connections necessary to become an exceptional performer-collaborator with a distinct artistic voice in the field.

Weekly workshops by Festival Artists enable dancers to embody and investigate the movement languages and choreographic approaches of diverse dance makers, including sessions in Forsythe Improvisational Technologies. Seminars and discussions with Festival Artists, Artist Faculty, and School Alumni offer deeper insights into the expectations, professional standards, and industry practices sought after by today’s choreographers and artistic directors.

The Ensemble performs weekly for Pillow audiences to strengthen performance skills and the artistry needed to meaningfully express choreographic intent. Dancers will premiere a new ballet by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa at the 92nd Festival Season Opening Gala on Saturday, June 22nd, and on the following Saturday, appear on the iconic outdoor stage in a work in progress created on them by Silas Farley. The in-person and livestream Pillow audience includes School-invited artistic directors of companies who the Ensemble dancers aspire to work with in the future.

All Performance Ensemble dancers:

  • Attend Festival performances, scholar-led talks, and other events after the studio day. These take place at the Pillow’s two stage venues and across the Jacob’s Pillow grounds.
  • Participate in career-building seminars and discussions led by Festival Artists, Artist Faculty, and Pillow Alumni. Career topics focus on wellness practices, contract negotiations and decisions, dance citizenship, and strategies to achieve the momentum needed to confidently and resiliently forge one’s own path in the field.
  • View Pillow-available-only digital dance works connected to Artist Faculty, Festival Artists, or Ensemble curriculum.
  • Complete program assignments which may include improvisational studies, collaborative movement invention, journal writing, and research in the Jacob’s Pillow Archives, where dancers also draw from a wealth of material that aligns with their personal dance interests.
  • Build a Career Network from the seamless daily interactions at the Festival with peers, staff, Artist Faculty, artistic directors, company members, dance supporters, audiences, community members, and visitors. Dancers depart the program as members of the global and influential Jacob’s Pillow Alumni Network, with friendships that can last a lifetime.

The Jacob’s Pillow School Experience is a day-to-evening conservatory style curriculum, designed to instill the stamina, perseverance, entrepreneurial, and collaborative voracity required to live and work as a creative dance artist. 


2024 Contemporary Ballet Application Deadlines & Notifications

Jan 29 at 11:59pm EST | Priority Deadline | $45 processing fee
Feb 26 at 11:59pm EST | Regular Deadline | $50 processing fee
After Feb 26 | Rolling Basis* | $55 processing fee

Acceptd offers financial assistance to applicants who meet Application Fee Waiver requirements. Application Fee Waivers are subject to approval by the Acceptd Support team and are granted based on proper documentation, when provided in advance of an application submission. Contact Acceptd Support when you set up your portal.

*Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by Program Directors and School staff; with admittance status sent by email on a rolling basis if spaces are available.

Want free streaming access to a full-length performance from the 2023 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival?
Submit your application by the priority deadline, and you’ll receive free access to stream the Martha Graham Dance Company‘s 2023 performance on Jacob’s Pillow On Demand from January 8 through February 4, 2024.

  • Clicking BEGIN YOUR APPLICATION takes you to Acceptd, our application portal where you will upload materials described below.
  • Review the Application Guidelines located there in order to submit a complete and competitive application.
  • Before submitting, review your work carefully, as only complete applications are considered for acceptance. Scholarship applications, if applicable, must be submitted with your program application. For more information, see below.
  • If you need any assistance, contact

Required Program Application Materials to Upload

1. Audition Video

Footage must be of clear viewing quality and preferably shot within three months, or as recent as possible, prior to submission. Media-enhanced, highly edited, or promotional type videos are not reviewed. Adjudicators prefer one concise video with a table of contents; multiple videos will be viewed if contents are properly identified. Use one of the following file types to successfully upload your video(s): MP4, M4V, AVI, FLV, MOV, WMV, MPG, MPEG, M2V, MKV, and WEBM.

  • Verbal self-introduction, 1 minute maximum
    • Your name and current affiliation
    • Why this program is important for you this year
    • What you are showing on your reel
    • Anything you wish to share about your footage: title/choreographer(s) of performance footage, why footage date not as preferred, etc. Remember, we are looking at who you are as a dancer, not where you are dancing.
  • Technique sampler, 5 minute maximum. If you wear pointe shoes, wear them in combinations and dance sections.
    • Center floor: Tendus, adagio, pirouettes, 1 petit allegro with batterie, 1 grand allegro, tour en l’air for men
    • Across-the-floor: include a waltz, pirouettes, jumps, and leaps
    • Required: Adagio and a petit and grand allegro; Men include tour en l’air
  • Performance sampler, 6 minute maximum
    • In-studio footage is preferred over performance footage
    • If performance or group footage, identify who is to be viewed
    • Identify names of works and choreographers for
      • 1 classical variation or repertory excerpt
      • 1 contemporary ballet improvisation or variation
    • Excerpts should demonstrate a range of dynamics, levels, tempos, and styles
2. Written Statement, in 500 words or less, please share:
  • Influences on your current dance work and artistic goals 
  • Career aspirations and experiences desired to reach them
  • How you envision this program impacting your vision of yourself as an artist
3. Résumé/C.V.
4. Photos
  • Classical position of your choice in leotard, women should be on pointe
  • Headshot
5. If 17 or younger, a Letter of Recommendation is required
  • You will be asked to list the name, title, phone, and email of a dance teacher or artist who has agreed to write a Letter of Recommendation. On receipt of an email, he/she/they should be prepared to address the following:
    • Technical and performance artistry
    • Stamina to participate in rigorous, professional level classes, rehearsals, performances before the public, and evening responsibilities
    • Ability to interact, and live, responsibly as a professional in a diverse artist community

Clicking APPLY NOW takes you to the Acceptd website, our application portal.

  • Read Program Fees & Scholarships for program costs and all scholarship opportunities.
    • The Scholarship Application is found within the Program Application.
    • If you are a dependent, all financial information provided must be for your parent/guardian(s).
    • U.S. and international dancers are eligible for scholarship awards.
    • If you need any assistance, contact
  • Read Participation Requirements & Policies for important eligibility details.

Clicking APPLY NOW takes you to the Acceptd website, our application portal.