Contemporary | Onsite & Online

Milton Myers & Helen Pickett, Program Directors
Artist Faculty Sarah Hillmer and André Zachery | Master Class Artists Gustavo Ramírez Sansano and Alexandra Damiani | Read about the Artist Faculty

Performance Ensemble | July 5-25
onsite studio work + Pillow live and streamed events
For 11 United States and international, early-career/company-ready professional and advanced pre-professional contemporary dancers; minimum age 18. Dancers will need to arrive in advance of July 11 to meet Jacob’s Pillow COVID-compliant quarantine and testing protocols prior to beginning onsite participation. July 4 is a placeholder date; please check back as these requirements may change.

Performance Ensemble Schedule

Virtual Program | July 12-23
online real time studio work + Pillow streamed events
For 20 United States and international, early-career/company-ready professional and advanced pre-professional contemporary dancers, minimum age 16.

Virtual Program Schedule


Renowned mentor, choreographer, Horton technique teacher, and an artistic voice for The School for 35 years, Milton Myers is being joined by internationally acclaimed American choreographer Helen Pickett to engage an onsite Performance Ensemble and Virtual Group of dancers in the skills and creativity required to be integral collaborators to choreographers as they create work for the stage and dance film. Dancers will immerse themselves in the multiple roles required to realize and share work, whether in a studio at Jacob’s Pillow with Helen Pickett or inside a Pillow zoom studio with André Zachery.

Weekly performance opportunities enable dancers to strengthen the artistry needed to meaningfully share choreographic intent. The first program week concludes with onsite and online dancers teaming up to present an informal work-in-progress showing School Sponsors. The second program week concludes with: online dancers presenting to the onsite Ensemble and School supporters on July 23, and the onsite Ensemble presenting work(s) on the iconic outdoor stage before a live, and live-streamed, Pillow audience on July 24.

The studio day features ballet and Horton-based technique classes led on alternate days by Sarah Hillmer and Milton Myers as well as Master Classes led by Gustavo Ramírez Sansano and Alexandra Damiani. Artist Faculty will provide in-depth coaching and mentoring to strengthen dancers’ artistic voices and help them develop as distinguished performer-collaborators in the field. 

The Jacob’s Pillow School Experience is a full immersion in the stamina, perseverance, entrepreneurial, collaborative, and creative voracity required to live and work as a dance professional. The international, conservatory style studio curriculum extends beyond the studio day into:

  • Discussions about works viewed and being created
  • Career-building seminars focusing on building the momentum needed to confidently and resiliently forge ahead in the field
  • Viewing curated selections from the Jacob’s Pillow Archive or filming a dance phrase from multiple camera angles as part of the choreographic process
  • Attending, or viewing, 2021 Pillow performances & talks led by artists and scholars 
  • Researching dance interests or assignments in the Jacob’s Pillow Archives
  • Engaging in dialogues with peers, staff, artist faculty, dance companies, supporters of dance, and audiences. 

These experiences instill artistic growth, an artistic point of view, and a vision of the possibilities that exist in dance, while providing dancers with an influential career network.

INTERESTED IN APPLYING?

Open the sections below for complete information on applying to the 2021 Contemporary program.

2021 Contemporary Application Deadlines & Notifications

Participation Requirements & Policies
Jan 25 at Noon EST | Early Deadline | $40 processing fee, includes 1 free Recruitment Master Class
Extended: March 1 at Noon EST | Deadline | $45 processing fee, includes 1 free Recruitment Master Class
March 1 at 12:01 EST and onwards | Happy to consider if opening available | $55 processing fee

Applications are being reviewed on a rolling basis by Program Directors and School staff. Admittance status emails are also sent on a rolling basis.

 

Consider taking a Contemporary Master Class. For details, see the Master Classes page.

  • Jan 23 | Registration closes January 21 at midnight
  • Jan 24 | Registration closes January 21 at midnight
  • Feb 6 | Registration closes Feb 4 at midnight
  • Feb 7 | Registration closes Feb 4 at midnight
  • Be prepared to upload materials into the application form when asked.
  • Clicking APPLY NOW takes you to the Acceptd website, our application portal. We highly recommend you review the Application Guidelines located there in order to submit a complete and competitive application.
  • Review your work carefully before submitting, as only complete applications are considered for acceptance.
  • If you need any assistance, contact School Programs Coordinator Fiona Scruggs: [email protected] or 413.243.9919 x. 168.

 

Required Program Application Materials to Upload

 

1. Audition Video

Footage must be of clear viewing quality and preferably shot within six months, or as recent as possible, prior to submission. Videos shot outside of a studio, perhaps in a home, garage, or other setting are fine. 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, 8 minute maximum
    • Center floor grand pliés, ronds de jambe, extensions, and balances
    • Across-the-floor progressions with turns, jumps, and leaps; petit allegro, if possible.
  • Performance sampler, 10 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
      • 2-3 variations, improvisations, and/or repertory excerpts
    • Excerpts should demonstrate a range of dynamics, levels, tempos, and styles

 

2. Written Statement 1000 words or less

  • 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. Headshot

 

5. If 17 or younger, a Letter of Recommendation and a Reference are required

  • Be ready 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 from Acceptd on behalf of Jacob’s Pillow, 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
  • Be ready to list the name, title, phone, and email of a second dance artist or teacher who can speak about your work with staff if needed.

 

APPLY NOW

Click to visit our main Program Fees and Scholarships page.

 

Required Scholarship Application Materials To Upload, only if applicable

If you are a dependent, all financial information provided must be for your parent/guardian(s). U.S. and international dancers are eligible for scholarships. Read Program Fees & Scholarships for amounts distributed and named scholarship opportunities. The Scholarship Application is easily found within the Program Application. If you need any assistance, contact School Programs Coordinator Fiona Scruggs: [email protected] or 413.243.9919 x. 168.

 

1. Statement of Need – up to 500 words suggested, yet we understand circumstances applicable to your situation this year may require more than 500 words. 

  • Describe your current financial situation and why financial aid is necessary
  • Provide clear and accurate information about your current income and/or employment
  • List previous scholarships, awards, and/or financial aid received

 

2. Proof of Income  

  • Federal Tax Form, 2019 or 2020, page one only, for yourself, or your parent/guardian.
  • If exempt from filing, or a non-U.S. resident, combine earning statements for July, October, and December 2019 into one PDF document.

 

3. Support Documentation  

  • Combine evidence that substantiates your Written Statement of Need into one PDF document. Examples are: child care invoices, debt counseling statements, financial aid records, food stamp registration, hospital invoices, rental agreements, scholarship award copies, tuition payment record, etc.

 

APPLY NOW