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Contemporary Ballet

2021 Professional Advancement Programs are Being Re-envisioned

New ways of working, mentoring, sharing work, and contributing to the community will be required to support your journey ahead as a dance artist. While we finalize plans, tell us what would best support your artistic growth in the year ahead. Write to: [email protected].

Announcement of 2021 Programs will be made December 2020.

Contemporary Ballet | June 15–26

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa & Luis R. Torres, Program Directors

Read about the Artist Faculty

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

The School at Jacob’s Pillow is where dancers evolve the distinct artistic voice that will distinguish their work in the field. Though unable to gather within the Jacob’s Pillow studios, the Contemporary Ballet Program is convening a small group of dancers to work online within the “on-screen” studios. 

The program features being creatively engaged in multiple choreographic processes while mining the physicality possible within available spatial environments. Group dialogues and small group mentoring sessions will help evolve dancers visions of being dance artists in the altered cultural landscape ahead. Independent curricular assignments, conducted during dancers’ own time, will include viewing materials and performances from the Jacob’s Pillow Archive, researching topics on Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive, and recording choreographic assignments. Additionally there will be a Master Class Series from The School at Jacob’s Pillow led by internationally acclaimed artists and open to dancers worldwide.  

Online live sessions will require up to 3.5 hours daily with an additional two hours maximum of independent work a few days per week. Live sessions will occur during timeframes that accommodate the broad range of time zones where artist faculty and dancers are based. Jacob’s Pillow School Sponsors will meet with dancers online and when possible, experience work created online.


Program Directors

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa

June 15-26
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.

Learn More

Luis R. Torres

June 15-26
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.

Learn More



2020 Application Deadlines & Notifications
January 17 at Noon EST Early Application Deadline, Round I | $15 processing fee
February 14 at Noon EST Early Application Deadline, Round II | $30 processing fee
April 22 at 11:59pm EDT Extended Regular Deadline | $45 processing fee

Admittance status notifications are being sent as of May 1 by email. Acceptances are being sent first for all programs and will be followed by sending other notifications. Thank you for your patience. We are sending all notifications on a rolling basis.

Program Tuition Fee | $1,500

The two-week tuition fee includes tuition, onsite room and board, free admission to Festival performances and events, and ground transportation from Lee, MA to Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, MA. Each year up to 80% of accepted dancers receive Jacob’s Pillow Scholarships to make their attendance possible.

Jacob’s Pillow School Sponsors and Supporters make it possible to charge $750/week; far below the actual program cost of more than $5,000. If accepted, we will ask you to join us in letting these friends of The School at Jacob’s Pillow know how grateful we are for their support.

Be prepared to upload the following materials into the Program Application

1. Audition Video

    • Video material should be in the ballet genre.
    • Footage: Must be of clear viewing quality and shot no more than six months prior to submission. Media-enhanced, highly edited, or promotional-type videos will not be reviewed.
    • Adjudicators prefer one concise video with a table of contents; multiple videos will be viewed if contents are properly identified.
    • Passwords: To expedite the review process, no passwords preferred. If you need to use passwords, please have the same password for all video uploads.
    • URL Uploads: 1) Please upload only one video link per field. 2) After uploading a URL link and password, test it. If the link fails to open, your application cannot be reviewed. 3) Keeping your link(s) accessible until the program start date will ensure you can be re-considered for acceptance if waitlisted.

    A. Verbal self-introduction, 1 minute maximum
    B. Technique sampler, 8 minute maximum. Females must be in pointe shoes

    • Center floor: include grand pliés, ronds de jambe, extensions, and balances
    • Across-the-floor progressions: include a waltz, turns, jumps, and leaps
    • Adagio, pirouettes, petit and grand allegro required
    • Males must include tour en l’air

    C. Performance sampler, 10 minute maximum

    • In-studio footage is preferred over performance footage
    • If performance or group footage, identify who adjudicators are to view
    • Identify names of works and choreographers for
      • 2-3 classical variations or repertory excerpts
      • 1 contemporary ballet improvisation or variation
    • Excerpts should demonstrate a range of dynamics, levels, tempos, and styles

    2. Written Statement
    In 1000 words or less, please share your:

    • 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

    • First arabesque, women should be on pointe
    • Headshot

    5. If 17 or younger, a Letter of Recommendation and a Reference are required
    Upload into Program Application when requested or postmark by your Application Deadline to School Director, The School at Jacob’s Pillow, 358 George Carter Rd, Becket, MA 01223

    A. Please request a letter from one current teacher, describing

    • Technical and performance artistry
    • Stamina to participate in rigorous, professional level schedule of classes, rehearsals, performances, and evening responsibilities
    • Ability to live and interact responsibly as a professional in a diverse artist community

    B. List name, title, phone, and email from a second dance artist or teacher who can speak about your work into the Program Application when requested.
    6. Scholarship Instructions


Go to Contemporary Ballet Program and Scholarship Application Now