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Katherine Crockett Circe of Martha Graham Dance Company. The historic dance troupe closes out Jacob&rsquo;s Pillow&rsquo;s 81st <br>season in late August.
Friday December 21, 2012

BECKET -- More than 52 companies from four continents and seven countries will be at Jacob’s Pillow this summer in a season stretching from the traditional opening gala on June 15 through Aug. 25.

Following the gala, the Pillow’s 2013 season of more than 350 free and ticketed dance performances, talks, tours, exhibits, classes, and community events will be bookended in the Ted Shawn Theatre by Dance Theatre of Harlem (June 19-23) and Martha Graham Dance Company (Aug. 21-25).

In between, the dance festival’s 81st season will be highlighted by the world premiere of New York City Ballet dancer Wendy Whelan’s new project, "Restless Creature," as well as premieres by contemporary ballet choreographer Jessica Lang; tap artist Michelle Dorrance; Samuel Murez of 3e étage; and a new work by Nacho Duato, performed by the Martha Graham Dance Company.

"If audiences dive into the range and variety of Festival 2013, it will be an exciting and incomparable dance experience," Pillow executive director Ella Baff said via email. "The best part about a festival is the opportunity to explore and see new artists and dance styles as well as enjoy beloved classics and favorites.

"I hope our visitors will discover new companies such as Sharon Eyal’s intense and provocative L-E-V from Israel (among other new productions)."

Co-founded by Eyal and choreographic collaborator Gai Behar, L-E-V will make its U.S. debut with the evening-length work, "HOUSE."

Master musicians will perform live with at least four engagements, including Kuchipudi specialist Shantala Shivalingappa; Dorrance Dance’s Blues Project; Canada’s O Vertigo, performing "La Vie Qui Bat" to Steve Reich’s "Drumming;" and the flamenco artists of La Otra Orilla of Montréal.

"We will also reach back in important dance history with the revival of Martha Graham’s ‘Rite of Spring’ and Dance Theatre of Harlem performing iconic works by George Balanchine and Alvin Ailey," Baff said.

In addition to the newly revitalized Dance Theatre of Harlem, special engagements this summer at the Pillow include encore performances by Compagnie Käfig, Festival 2012’s sold-out hip-hop hit; 3e étage (étoiles, soloists, and dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet) in "Le Pillow Thirteen," created specifically for Jacob’s Pillow; and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award winner Kyle Abraham’s newest work, "Pavement."

At The School at Jacob’s Pillow, pre-professional dancers from around the world will audition to take part in programs in ballet, commercial dance, contemporary, and jazz/ musical theatre dance.

Artist faculty and program directors include ballet luminary Anna-Marie Holmes; Wendy Whelan; choreographer Helen Pickett; commercial dance choreographer and director Jeffrey Page; master teacher Milton Myers; Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, artistic director of Luna Negra Dance Theatre; Didy Veldman; and Broadway choreographer and director Chet Walker, among others.

"Each festival," Baff said, "we strive to bring the best of international dance and present companies and new works that will be seen only (here), in the beautiful Berkshires.

"I can’t wait to share this season with everyone."