Contemporary Ballet

Contemporary Ballet | June 15–28

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa & Luis R. Torres, Program Directors

Guest Choreographer Amy Seiwert | Artist Faculty Virginia Hendricksen with others to be announced | Musician John SauerRead about the Artist Faculty

For 22 United States and international, early-career professionals and advanced pre-professional ballet dancers; minimum age 16.

Under the direction of Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Luis R. Torres dancers will be immersed in a range of approaches for the creation and performance of contemporary ballets. Lopez Ochoa and Seiwert will each create a work on the Contemporary Ballet Ensemble invited to participate. Dancers will perform the world premiere by Lopez Ochoa for the Festival Opening Gala on June 20 and perform Seiwert’s work on the iconic outdoor stage on June 27, as part of the Festival’s opening week of performances.

Dancers will embody alternative approaches to using classical movement through daily technique classes, body conditioning modalities, partnering classes, and seminars led by Lopez Ochoa, Torres, and guest artists. Hendricksen will lead Forsythe improvisation technologies and set excerpts of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Faun. Professional advancement seminars in the practices necessary to succeed in today’s leading classical companies include auditioning, creating video trailers, contract negotiations, career strategies, and more. 

The School Experience at Jacob’s Pillow is fully dance-immersive. Stamina, perseverance, a collaborative and open spirit, and a voracity to live and work as a professional are expected of everyone. The curriculum includes seeing companies on the Pillow’s three stages, having meaningful career-building discussions with Festival artists, taking Master Classes, attending artist and scholar-led talks, researching dance interests and assignments in the Jacob’s Pillow Archives, discussing dance with staff and audience members, networking at Cast Parties, and much more. Through these experiences, dancers gain artistic growth, a unique artistic point of view, a vision of the possibilities that exist in dance, and an influential career network.

Festival companies during the program include Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève and A.I.M by Kyle Abraham. Learn about Festival 2020 and explore exciting program-related content, such as this essay about Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, on Dance Interactive.


Program Directors

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa

June 15-28
The Colombian-Belgian Annabelle Lopez Ochoa completed her dance education at the Royal Ballet School of Flanders in Belgium. She started choreographing at the early age of 11, and decided in 2003 to end her dance career to focus her energies solely on choreography.

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Luis R. Torres

June 15-28
Born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Luis R. Torres is currently the Ballet Master at Hong Kong Ballet. Torres graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Dance and Psychology and completed a Master of Fine Arts from George Mason University.

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