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BECKET — Jacob's Pillow may not be live on-site this summer, but the renowned dance festival in the Becket hills will be a presence nonetheless.

The Jacob's Pillow Virtual Festival began Tuesday, July 7, and features eight weeks of free programming.

While programs will be streamed online through Aug. 29, the festival is planning a concluding celebratory Virtual Dance Party, 8:30 p.m., Aug. 27

Weekly highlights feature streams of festival performances from the past 10 years; a series of new PillowTalks with leaders in the dance field; an online version of the intergenerational movement class, Families Dance Together; and a new master class series from The School at Jacob's Pillow.

Performances, PillowTalks, and master classes will premiere weekly on YouTube. Families Dance Together and special events will take place on Zoom.

Performances will be made available for 48 hours after the premiere; PillowTalks will be available through Aug. 31; master classes and Families Dance Together will not be accessible after the duration of the event.

All events are free; an RSVP is required for all events to gain access to direct links to join.

Attendees are encouraged to make a contribution in lieu of purchasing a ticket. Fifty percent of donations for performances will be shared with the artists featured; all donations for Families Dance Together will be contributed to the NAACP Berkshire County Branch; 50 percent of proceeds raised from Dog Dance, Aug. 1, will be shared with the Berkshire Humane Society; and all donations for "The Land on Which We Dance," Aug. 5, will be shared with the artists in support of their important work. Community Engagement events will share proceeds with local community organizations.

"After we canceled our on-site Festival due to the global pandemic, we soon realized the need to fulfill our mission by engaging artists and audiences in a quintessential summer experience from Jacob's Pillow virtually," Jacob's Pillow executive and artistic director Pamela Tatge said in a prepared statement.

"The model we envision is one that is free for all, made more accessible by being entirely online, pays artists and scholars for their time, and provides artists with additional support during a time when many have lost their income. I'm excited to think about all the people who will now have the chance to `visit' our campus and experience the crossroads of dance that is Jacob's Pillow."


Performances premiere 7 p.m every Thursday on YouTube. They will be made available to watch until that Saturday at midnight.

The series features past performances. Supplemental elements are created and recorded as new content to contextualize the work for contemporary times. These include a pre-show talk by a Jacob's Pillow scholar-in-residence; a curtain speech by Tatge; and a post-show talk with the artists.

Individuals attending the premiere at 7 p.m. will have the opportunity to live-chat with the artists and audience members from around the world.

For additional information and to RSVP, visit

The schedule:

- July 16: Circa

- July 23: Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE

- July 30: Royal Danish Ballet

- Aug. 6: Dance Theatre of Harlem

- Aug. 13: Bereishit Dance Company

- Aug. 20: Tero Saarinen Company and The Boston Camerata (presented in association with Hancock Shaker Village)

- Aug. 27: "And Still You Must Swing" with tap artists Dormeshia, Derick K. Grant, and Jason Samuels Smith


For additional information visit and to RSVP visit:

- Aug. 1: Dog Dance, 11:30 a.m. Participatory event for canines and their dance-loving companion, led by Elizabeth Johnson Levine, associate artistic director of Dance Exchange, and DZ Maciel. Event is held on Zoom.

- Aug. 5: "The Land on Which We Dance," 5 p.m. Excerpts from a week-long landmark celebration in 2019 when the campus was illuminated with an exchange of song, dance, and storytelling — bringing together local Indigenous peoples with contemporary artists based in the U.S. and Canada. Sandra Laronde, of the Teme-Augama Anishinaabe (People of the Deep Water) and artistic director of Red Sky Performance, worked with Jacob's Pillow to curate this week-long celebration, in association with Christopher K. Morgan and with support from Larry Spotted Crow Mann. Event is streamed on YouTube.

- Aug. 27: Festival Finale:Virtual Dance Party, 8:30 p.m. A celebratory farewell set to a live DJ in celebration of the first-ever Virtual Festival at Jacob's Pillow. Hosted by Christal Brown, founding artistic director of INSPIRIT, and New York-based DJ DP One. Event is held on Zoom.


According to Jacob's Pillow, the Master Classes Series from The School at Jacob's Pillow features instruction from world-class artists who work with dancers in each professional development program at The School, which moved its offerings online for the first-time this summer. Streamed 4 p.m. every Tuesday on YouTube, Master Classes are open to intermediate/advanced dancers, and are available only for the duration of the class.

For more biographical information on the artists leading each class and to RSVP, visit:

The schedule:

- July 14: Street & Club Dances Master Class with Ephrat Asherie & Archie Burnett

- July 21: Contemporary Master Class with Desmond Richardson

- July 28: Vogue Femme Master Class with Omari Wiles

- Aug. 4: Ballet Master Class with Virginia Johnson

- Aug. 11: Class to be announced

- Aug. 18: Contemporary Master Class with Aszure Barton

- Aug. 25: Contemporary Master Class with Ami Shulman


Jacob's Pillow describes PillowTalks as "live conversations with leaders in the dance field across styles and disciplines. As part of the 25th season of this series at the Pillow, they are newly imagined in an online format and some are filmed onsite." PillowTalks premiere 5 p.m. every Friday on YouTube. They will be available until Aug. 31.

Individuals attending the 5 p.m. premiere will have the opportunity to live-chat with scholars, artists, and audience members from around the world.

For additional information and to RSVP, visit:

The schedule:

- July 17: PillowTalk: Duets from Quebec

- July 24: PillowTalk: 50 Years of Ballet Hisp nico

- July 31: PillowTalk: Cleo Parker Robinson's 50th

- Aug. 7: PillowTalk: Liz Lerman's "Wicked Bodies"

- Aug. 14: PillowTalk: Dancerly Intelligences

- Aug. 21: PillowTalk: La Meri and Her Life in Dance

- Aug. 28: PillowTalk: Black Artists in Dance Today


Community Programs "connect participants to the physical, emotional, intellectual, and inspirational world of dance," Jacob's Pillow said in a recently released announcement about its Virtual Festival.

For additional information visit and to RSVP visit:

The programs:

- Families Dance Together, 3-4 p.m., Fridays, July 10-Aug. 28

This class has been held at Jacob's Pillow since 2001 in collaboration with Becket Arts Center. In this newly-adapted virtual intergenerational movement class is designed for movers of all ages to enjoy together. The class is led by Jacob's Pillow artist Elizabeth Johnson Levine (associate artistic director and director of partnerships at Dance Exchange) and guest artists.

- DELving into Dance History, 2:30-5 p.m., July 11 and 18; Aug. 1 and 8

Created in partnership with Dance Education Laboratory (DEL), this newly-designed online workshop series "re-envisions embodied dance history using the extensive video and multimedia resources of Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive and is designed for K-12 dance educators and college dance history enthusiasts to enhance remote and in-person teaching."

Events are held on Zoom. To register, visit:


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