Jacob’s Pillow invites the world to dance


BECKET -- For those who have dreamed about dancing at Jacob’s Pillow, and then regaling others about it for years afterward, here’s opportunity knocking:

It’s the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival’s 2013 Season Finale and Dance Party, this Saturday night, beginning just after performances of the Martha Graham Dance Company and "Kyle Abraham in Motion" at the Pillow’s two theaters, and continuing into the wee hours -- 12:30 a.m. is pretty wee for a lot of folks.

"The event came about because the festival is very meaningful for many visitors, not only for the people who summer here, but the people who live hear year-round," explained Mariclare Hulbert, the Pillow’s director of marketing and communications. "For the artists, for the staff, our students and faculty, the final week of the festival is really a celebratory time for all of us.

"We’ve been hearing for a long time that our visitors and our patrons would love to come here and have a season-ending party, so we decided to host this event this year."

And for the price of a Festival Finale ticket, each dance lover will receive a ticket to a Saturday performance, either Martha Graham or Kyle Abraham.

"Dancrs and artistic staff [members] will be attending, so it’s a great chance for people attending to chat with them," Hulbert pointed out, adding that the Pillow’s professional photographers will be stationed in Blake’s Barn to capture the experiences of guests for later availability on the internet.

The evening also will afford opportunities to catch up on the festival’s summer photo exhibitions, including "Shooting Stars," which encompasses uncommon sights and vantage points, through photos taken by professional dancers, such as Wendy Whelan’s revelations about goings on in New York City Ballet dressing rooms, and Miguel Anaya’s backstage view from the 2012 production, "From the Horse’s Mouth: The Men Dancers."

"Christopher Duggan: Inside/ Out," in the Doris Duke Theatre lobby, explores memorable moments on the Pillow’s outdoor pavilion in extra-large prints, and "Jordan Matter: Dancers Among Us," in the Ted Shawn Theatre lobby, shows dancers, famous and rising, in everyday surroundings -- roadside leaps and high kicks on the subway, among the disclosures -- demonstrating the extraordinary nature of the human body.

"But the most fun," declared Hulbert, "is the dance party in the Bakalar Dance Studio, where Ted Shawn and his dancers performed and rehearsed before the Ted Shawn Theatre was built in 1942." She said festival companies rehearse in that hallowed space, whose walls, if they cannot speak, bear witness to Pillow history with posters, old newspaper cuttings and vintage programs.

DJ BFG, also known as Berkshire writer and poet Gabriel Squailia, will mix the music live in the Bakalar.

"He’ll play party tunes, Motown, salsa, meringue, top 40 hits and a lot of funk," Hulbert promised."He really knows how to read the room. He was the DJ during the final hour at the season opening gala, and the guests just adored him."

So, as Ella Baff, the Pillow’s executive and artistic director, urges regularly in her pre-curtain introductions, "Let’s Dance."

And now, everyone has a real chance to follow up on that invitation -- to dance at Jacob’s Pillow. Perhaps it will be something to tell the grandchildren some day.

If you go ...

What: Jacob’s Pillow Finale gala and dance party

The Pillow Café tent will offer a spread of drinks and desserts from such spots as The Dreamaway Lodge, Barrington Bites, Chocolate Springs, The Pillow Café itself and the Becket Bake House.

When: Saturday night after evening performances

Where: 358 George Carter Road, Becket

Admission: For the price of a Festival Finale ticket, each dance lover will receive a ticket to a Saturday performance, either Martha Graham ($75 to $150), or Kyle Abraham ($50, $75).

A limited number of $45, "Under 35" tickets may be available at the box office to those party funsters, ages 18 to 35, two per person.

Information: (413) 243-0745, www.jacobspillow.org


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