Jacob’s Pillow 2015 Gala kicks off Festival

Jacob’s Pillow Dance FestivalBased in Becket, Massachusetts, the historic Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival will officially launch its 83rd season with its Opening Gala on Saturday, June 20.


A cocktail reception will kick off the event, along with an exclusive preview of two new exhibitions: Blake’s Barn’s Best, highlighting landmark works by Annie Leibovitz, Jules Feiffer, Lois Greenfield, Al Hirschfeld and others; and Kyle Froman: Bodies/Buildings, featuring work by New York City Ballet dancer turned professional photographer Kyle Froman that juxtaposes dance and architecture in surprising and original ways.


The Gala performance in the historic Ted Shawn Theatre will feature a variety of extraordinary artists and choreographers, as well as a world premiere by BalletX Founder Matthew Neenan performed by the Ballet Program dancers of The School at Jacob’s Pillow.


Members of the legendary Martha Graham Dance Company will perform a duet from Graham’s classic Errand into the Maze. Daniil Simkin, principal at American Ballet Theatre and creator of INTENSIO, will perform the explosive and charming solo Les Bourgeois by Ben Van Cauwenbergh with music by Jacques Brel. New York City Ballet Principal Sara Mearns and Soloist Russell Janzen will perform Justin Peck’s elegant pas de deux The Bright Motion with Mark Danzigers’s score played live by pianist Michael Mizrahi.


The prestigious 2015 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award will be presented by Executive and Artistic Director Ella Baff to Liz Gerring, artistic director of Liz Gerring Dance Company. Plus, members of LGDC will perform.


A live auction featuring an all-inclusive luxury trip for four to Cuba will be led by Christie’s Auctioneer Rachel Orkin-Ramey in the Ted Shawn Theatre as part of the festive program. The Gala performance will be followed by a three-course dinner by The Old Inn and Moore; a silent auction; and dancing with DJ BFG.


Silent auction items include an exclusive tour and reception of the Clark Institute, original artworks, as well as other one-of-a-kind experiences tailor-made for dance aficionados.


Gala festivities get started at 5:30 p.m. For more information, or to reserve tickets and/or tables, visit jacobspillow.org or call 413-243-9919 x 123.


To see what’s in store for the 2015 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, read this article on the official season announcement.


Photo: PeiJu Chien-Pott of Martha Graham Dance Company. Photo by Hibbard Nash Photography.