BalletX and ZviDance in distinctive programs this week at Jacob's Pillow


BECKET >> Philadelphia's BalletX makes its Ted Shawn Theatre debut Wednesday at Jacob's Pillow and ZviDance returns to the Pillow Wednesday in the festival's smaller Doris Duke Theater.

Both companies are presenting evening-length works.

BalletX will perform choreographer Matthew Neenan and New Zealand musician and composer Rosie Langabeer's "Sunset, o639 Hours," through Sunday, with performances at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and at 2 Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

Performed to the accompaniment of a live Philadelphia cabaret-style band, The Sunset Club, "Sunset, o639 Hours" is based on the true story of pilot Edwin Musick's 1938 inaugural air mail flight from Auckland to Hawaii via Samoa.

Founded in 2005 by Neenan and executive and artistic director Christine Cox, BalletX comprises 10 classically-trained dancers performing contemporary works rooted in classical ballet technique. The company is based at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia. where it presents three series annually.

BalletX has expanded its repertoire with over 58 world premieres since 2005 by internationally renowned artists.

BalletX was previously seen in the Pillow's Inside/Out Performance Series in 2006. Neenan also was the choreographer for the Pillow's 2015 season-opening gala.


In its newest collaborative work, "Escher/Bacon/Rothko," ZviDance's artistic director Zvi Gotheiner and company members draw inspiration from distinguished visual artists of the 20th century to question notions of modernity.

The evening-length triptych uses movement as a representation of visual art. New layers of perspective are added to M.C. Escher's black and white mathematical lithographs, Francis Bacon's boldly grotesque figurative painting, and Mark Rothko's colorful form of abstract painting.

The score is by Scott Killian, long-time collaborator, popular modern dance composer, and resident composer of the nearby Berkshire Theatre Group.

Performances are scheduled for 8:15 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday with 2:15 matinees Saturday and Sunday.

Gotheiner was born and raised on a kibbuts in northern Israel and came to New York in 1981 on a scholarship from the America-Israeli Cultural Foundation to study dance. He has been in New York full-time since then. He has danced with Joyce Trisler Dance Company, Feld Ballets/NYC, and Garden State Ballet and has become a widely respected ballet teacher.

Gotheiner established ZviDance 25 years ago. The company has performed at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), the Joyce Theater, New York Live Arts, and Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, as well as in countries including Germany, Poland, Russia, Israel, Brazil, and Japan.

ZviDance made its Pillow debut in 2004 at the Doris Duke Theatre. In April of this year, ZviDance was co-presented by Jacob's Pillow Dance at Mass MoCA in North Adams, where they performed a multimedia work-in-development titled "On the Road," inspired by Jack Kerouac's novel of the same name.

Complete ticket and program information is available by phone at (413) 243-0745 or online at


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