Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival launches 84th season Wednesday

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BECKET >> Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival opens its 84th annual season Wednesday with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet in the Ted Shawn Theatre and Juan Siddi Flamenco Santa Fe in the smaller, intimate Doris Duke Theatre.

Both companies will be at the Pillow through June 26.

Dually based in New Mexico and Colorado, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet is under the artistic direction of Tom Mossbrucker.

"I am so thrilled to welcome Aspen Santa Fe Ballet back to the Pillow, where they are so beloved by our audiences," Jacob's Pillow executive director Pamela Tatge says in a news release.

Their program at the Pillow includes Spanish choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo's "Silent Ghost," set to a range of music by popular composers, including Icelander Ólafur Arnalds; "Re:play" by Brazil-born Fernando Melo, commissioned by Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and set to a score by, among pthers, cellist Zoë Keating, Brussels-based contemporary music ensemble Ictus, and Belgian Blindman Kwartet; and "Huma Rojo" from Catalonian choreographer Cayetano Soto, set to mambo music by Catalonian composer Xavier Cugat.

Jacob's Pillow scholar-in-residence Maura Keefe will give a free pre-show talk in Blake's Barn 30 minutes before each performance. Members of the dance company will give a free post-show talk Friday evening at the Ted Shawn Theatre.

Established in 1996 as a small professional ballet company in Aspen, Colo. through the efforts of founder Bebe Schweppe, artistic director Mossbrucker and executive director Jean-Philippe Malaty, the company subsequently made an agreement with a presenting organization in Santa Fe, N.M. and changed its name. Its repertoire includes works by David Parsons, George Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Trey McIntyre, Lar Lubovitch and Twyla Tharp, among others. The company made its Jacob's Pillow debut in 2003 and has made four appearances at the Pillow since, most recently in 2014.

Mossbrucker was one of the leading dancers of the Joffrey Ballet with 20 years as a company member and appearing in over 70 ballets under the direct coaching of Joffrey and Gerald Arpino.

The 15 flamenco dancers in Juan Siddi Flamenco Santa Fe will appear in a program of six flamenco works of varying styles choreographed by artistic director Juan Siddi and set to live musical accomppaniment featuring the company's music director, Jose "Chuscales" Valle Fajardo, and an ensemble of musicians and vocalists.

Jacob's Pillow scholar-in-residence Brian Schafer will give a free pre-show talk on the Doris Duke Theatre porch 30 minutes before each performance.

Founded in 2008 and under the management of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet since 2013, the company's work is described as a blend of authentic flamenco with contemporary influences from America's Southwest. Siddi traces his own artistic roots to Barcelona and Granada.

Born and raised in Frankfurt, Germany, Siddi immersed himself in flamenco culture and began performing at age nine. After an extensive professional career with Maria Benitez and Santa Fe Teatro Flamenco, Siddi began his own company of dancers, musicians and vocalists, which performs chiefly in Santa Fe — its home base — and tours internationally.

AT JACOB'S PILLOW

What: Aspen Santa Fe Ballet

Where: Ted Shawn Theatre, 358 George Carter Road, Becket

When: Wednesday through June 26. Evenings — Wednesday through Saturday at 8. Matinees — Saturday and Sunday at 2

Tickets: start at $45

How: (413) 243-0745; jacobspillow.org; at Jacob's Pillow box office

What: Juan Siddi Flamenco Santa Fe

Where: Doris Duke Theatre, 358 George Carter Road, Becket

When: Wednesday through June 26. Evenings — Wednesday through Saturday at 8:15. Matinees — Saturday and Sunday at 2:15

Tickets: start at $25

How: (413) 243-0745; jacobspillow.org; at jacob's Pillow box office


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