Jacob's Pillow 2021

Onsite Events Run June 30-August 29

By: - Apr 20, 2021


April 20, 2021 (Becket, MA)—Jacob’s Pillow announces the full artist line-up for its 2021 summer Festival—the first to feature both onsite and online programming. Onsite events run June 30-August 29, with online streaming through September 23. Newly imagined—with the safety of artists, staff, and audiences at the forefront of all planning—the Festival will feature commissioned works and world premieres, present new site-specific performances created especially for the Pillow’s 220-acre campus, and engage hundreds of artists who have had incredibly limited performance opportunities for the last year. The 2021 Festival is also the first organized by an expanded curatorial team comprised of Artistic & Executive Director Pamela Tatge and Associate Curators Melanie George and Ali Rosa-Salas.  

For additional details and regular updates, visit Member Pre-Sale for onsite performances begins May 6, 2021. Tickets for onsite events and all online events go on sale to the public June 1, 2021. To purchase tickets visit or contact 413.243.0745.  

“It is essential that we find safe and inventive ways to return to dance, to bring people back together, and put artists back to work,” says Jacob’s Pillow Executive & Artistic Director Pamela Tatge. “The 2021 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival will share the restorative and uplifting power of dance: in-person at our campus, in our surrounding communities, and through live and on-demand events online to reach audiences across the world. The works featured in Festival 2021 will delve into the multiple histories that exist in the land of Jacob’s Pillow; center the work of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists, providing platforms for their stories to be told and archived; examine our relationship to the environment and bring us into dialogue with our magnificent site; and highlight artists who are experimenting with innovative ways to integrate augmented and virtual reality into their performances.”


Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival will run in-person June 30-August 29 (with a special online gala on June 12). Online presentations of works captured during the company’s onsite performances will premiere soon after and will be available to stream on demand for audiences around the world. Short performances, less than one hour in duration, will be presented on the Henry J. Leir Stage, the Pillow’s treasured outdoor amphitheater space. Highlights include an all-campus takeover with world premieres by Dorrance Dance (June 30-July 4); a new production, Life Encounters, with legendary figure in the social dance scene Archie Burnett and collaborators that chronicles the evolution of New York City underground dance history (July 28-August 1); and Ballet Coast to Coast, a Pillow-exclusive production that features artists from Boston Ballet, Houston Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet (August 25-29). 


Performances are also scheduled on and around the Pillow's campus in site-specific creations that reinvigorate and realign audience relationships with the Pillow’s natural campus. Highlights include  Eastern Woodland Dances, an event featuring the breadth of Indigenous performance traditions within the Eastern Woodland region and its diaspora (July 17); real-time Augmented Reality performance from Brian Brooks (July 24);  and a world premiere from Okwui Okpokwasili & Peter Born telling the story of a Black girl with hair so powerful it allows her to receive and send messages through time (August 6-7). 


The Pillow’s celebrated PillowTalk series, featuring thought leaders in the field, will happen onsite for small audiences and stream online weekly; The School at Jacob’s Pillow Performance Ensemble will take the Henry J. Leir Outdoor Stage on selected Saturday afternoons; in-person workshops with Festival artists will happen weekly on Sunday mornings; and the beloved intergenerational Families Dance Together classes will happen weekly online. Blake’s Barn, home to the Jacob’s Pillow Archives and the newly-expanded Norton Owen Reading Room, will be open daily, Tuesday-Sunday, with free, advanced ticketing to browse collections that include memorabilia, books, photographs, and footage of performances at Jacob’s Pillow from the 1930s to today; and also feature the exhibition, Build Me A Theater, which chronicles the history of performance spaces at Jacob’s Pillow including the Ted Shawn Theatre, currently under renovation. 


International companies will be featured in online-only, Pillow-exclusive streams. Jacob’s Pillow will present the exclusive U.S. premiere of Crystal Pite’s Body and Soul, choreographed for and performed by Paris Opera Ballet at Palais Garnier (July 1-15), as well as a new performance film by Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, highlighting an evening of Odissi dance as well as a rare, inside look at the one-of-a-kind Nrityagram Dance Village in the outskirts of Bangalore, India (July 8-22). Cirque Barcode & Acting for Climate Montréal will be the only international company to perform on the Pillow’s grounds this Festival (August 13-15). 


Pillow Pop-Ups will occur around Berkshire County in a new “On the Road” series that will bring free dance performances to neighboring towns over two weekends on a uniquely designed portable stage.  Companies to be featured are the intergenerational Ladies of Hip-Hop Dance Collective (July 31-August 1) and Philadelphia-based Kulu Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble (August 7-8).  


For additional details and regular updates, visit Member Pre-Sale for onsite performances begins May 6, 2021. Tickets for onsite events and all online events go on sale to the public June 1, 2021. To purchase tickets visit or contact 413.243.0745.  


Festival 2021 Schedule

Event information for the Henry J. Leir Outdoor Stage, Site-Specific performances, Exclusively online performances, talks, classes, and more are found below. Select Festival artist descriptions contain clips within Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive, featuring past Jacob’s Pillow performances.


Jacob’s Pillow will prioritize the health and safety of all community members as they pass through campus this summer by investing in medical staffing, COVID-19 testing, Personal Protective Equipment (“PPE”), and implementing extensive protocols in consultation with medical professionals and in accordance with applicable federal and state laws and regulations. Strict protocols will be put in place to ensure the safety of artists, staff, and audiences. Patrons visiting campus will be required to fill out a health questionnaire in advance of arrival, follow mask wearing guidelines, maintain social distance of six feet or more, and agree to contact tracing. 


All programming subject to change. 


Season Opening Gala: Global Pillow

Exclusively Online

June 12


In a free, online Season Opening online Gala, celebrate all that Jacob’s Pillow has provided to artists and audiences for over 89 years with exclusive online commissions and the presentation of the annual, coveted Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award. Unique one-of-a-kind experiences including an opportunity to talk with artists and more are available for purchase by contacting Additional programming for the Gala is to be announced.



Single tickets start at $45. Bench seating for up to four individuals is $150. Performances are outdoors and subject to cancellation with full refunds in case of inclement weather. In the event of cancellation, audiences will be invited to a private Zoom presentation to meet the artists and view pre-recorded performance excerpts. Most performances will be captured and streamed within 2 weeks of the premiere date for online audiences. For detailed performance times & additional ticketing details, visit


Dorrance Dance Plays the Pillow

Henry J. Leir Outdoor Stage

June 30-July 4

Celebrate July 4th week with a uniquely American dance form—a tap dance takeover with dance and live music from Michelle Dorrance, Josette Wiggan-Freund, Nicholas Van Young, special guests, and the remarkable dancers and musicians of Dorrance Dance.


On the Pillow’s outdoor Henry J. Leir stage, Dorrance Dance performs a world premiere full-company work by Nicholas Van Young with new original music by Dorrance Dance musicians. Developed during a COVID-compliant residency at the Pillow Lab this past winter, the work is inspired by this past year’s global experience of isolation and the concept of chaos and order. This piece is framed by a tantalizing excerpt from …Praise: The Inevitable Fruit of Gratitude, created by Josette Wiggan-Freund and features the music of jazz trumpeter extraordinaire Keyon Harrold. The phenomenal company dancers embark on a journey that explores a rhythmical expression of the innermost yearnings of gratitude and praise.


Explore past Pillow performances on Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive:

Dorrance Dance in All Good Things Come to an End in 2018:



Henry J. Leir Outdoor Stage

July 7-11

Available to watch online July 22-August 5; online premiere July 22nd at 7pm Eastern

Founded by director Ana Maria Alvarez in 2005, CONTRA-TIEMPO is a bold, multilingual dance theater company that draws on their Los Angeles lineage with work rooted in Salsa, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop, and contemporary dance. In the company’s Pillow debut, they perform the evening-length work joyUS justUS, an embodiment of radical joy and justice. “Potent, timely, and positive” (LA Dance Chronicle), the work centers joy as a critical part of building a more just and loving world. Featuring original music by East Los Angeles Chicano band Las Cafeteras and d. sabela grimes, this “joyous celebration of community” (San Francisco Bay Guardian) engages local communities as participants and collaborators as an exuberant reminder of our capacity to connect, come together, and celebrate. 


Ballet Hispánico

Henry J. Leir Outdoor Stage

July 14-18

Available to watch online July 29-August 12; online premiere July 29 at 7pm Eastern

A Festival favorite known for "piercing stereotypes" (The New York Times), Ballet Hispánico is celebrated as the nation’s renowned Latinx dance organization and one of America’s Cultural Treasures. Under the direction of former Company member, Artistic Director & CEO Eduardo Vilaro, the company is recognized for bringing communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures through innovative dance performances, transformative dance training, and enduring community engagement experiences.

Founded in 1970 by National Medal of Arts recipient Tina Ramírez, the organization emerged during the post-civil rights movement on New York’s Upper West Side, providing a safe haven for primarily Black and Brown Latinx youth seeking artistic sanctuary during New York City’s plight in the 1970s. The need for place, both culturally and artistically, led families to find Ballet Hispánico. The focus on dance as a means to develop working artists, combined with the training, authenticity of voice, and power of representation, fueled the organization’s roots and trajectory. With its strong emphasis on dance, achievement, and public presence, the organization has flourished in its three main programs: its Company, School of Dance, and Community Arts Partnerships. The organization serves as a platform for historically omitted and overlooked artists, providing them with increased capacity, voice, and affirmation. Programming to be announced. 


Explore past Pillow performances on Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive:

Ballet Hispánico in Línea Recta in 2017:


Brian Brooks / Moving Company

Henry J. Leir Outdoor Stage

July 21-25

Available to watch online August 5-19; online premiere August 5 at 7pm Eastern

A “master of momentum” (Chicago Tribune), Brian Brooks has choreographed for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Miami City Ballet, Wendy Whelan, and his own New York-based company. In The Moving Company’s first Pillow performance since 2013, they perform two world premieres and revisit Closing Distance which premiered just before the pandemic and hasn’t been performed since.


Flight Study, a new work set to a dynamic string quartet piece by GRAMMY-Award winning classical composer Bryce Dessner, was developed in multiple residencies over the past year. Brooks also performs a new untitled solo work for himself for the first time in over five years. Closing Distance is set to a Pulitzer Prize-winning score by composer Caroline Shaw, and features the eight-voice Williamstown, MA-based ensemble Roomful of Teeth. The program was shaped, in part, by the company’s time spent at the Pillow Lab last October.  


Explore past Pillow performances on Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive:

Brian Brooks Moving Company in Motor in 2013:


Life Encounters: Archie Burnett

Henry J. Leir Outdoor Stage

July 28-August 1

Available to watch online August 12-26; online premiere August 12 at 7pm Eastern

Directed by the legendary Archie Burnett, first Father of the New York-based House of Ninja,

Life Encounters invites audiences to witness the evolution of New York City underground dance histories by way of Burnett’s most cherished personal memories. From long nights spent at NYC’s iconic underground dance party The Loft to developing kinships with the Hustle, Waacking, Vogue, and post-modern dance communities, Burnett and a dynamic cast of guest artists—Abdiel Jacobsen, Princess Lockerkoo, Ephrat Asherie, and more—embody the adage that there is nothing quite like a life well-danced. A leading figure in the social and street dance scene for over 45 years, Burnett co-directed the Street & Club Dances program at The School at Jacob’s PIllow last summer, and has performed at Danspace, 92nd Street Y, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. 


Dallas Black Dance Theatre

Henry J. Leir Outdoor Stage

August 4-8

Available to watch online August 19-September 2; online premiere August 19 at 7pm Eastern

Founded in 1978 by Ann M. Williams and currently led by Artistic Director Melissa M. Young, Dallas Black Dance Theatre has captivated audiences in their native Dallas Arts District and nationwide for over 45 years with contemporary modern dance by the nation’s leading choreographers. In a highly-anticipated Jacob’s Pillow debut, Dallas Black Dance Theatre performs a Pillow-commissioned world premiere by sought-after choreographer Darrell Grand Moultrie, celebrated for his work with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, American Ballet Theatre, and Dance Theatre of Harlem. Darrell Grand Moultrie’s Pillow-commissioned work for DBDT is made possible by the Joan B. Hunter New Work Commission. Additional programming to be announced. 


LaTasha Barnes presents The Jazz Continuum 

Henry J. Leir Outdoor Stage

August 11-15

Available to watch online August 26-September 9; online premiere August 26 at 7pm Eastern

The Jazz Continuum exploration centers the prolific artistry of Jazz music and dance as a cornerstone of Black American dance forms. Through this acclaimed series, LaTasha Barnes and her cast of masterful dancers and musicians embody, amplify, and showcase the power of Jazz dance and Lindy Hop to their personal dance journeys and the artform as a global phenomenon.


In this world premiere of the second exploration of the Jazz Continuum series, this powerful cast will investigate the energetic and generative relationships within Jazz and Lindy Hop and share their imaginings of its reapplication. Barnes is an internationally recognized and award-winning dancer, choreographer, educator, performer, and ambassador of culture. She has been honored to be a frequent collaborator with Dorrance Dance, Ephrat Asherie Dance, Ladies of Hip-Hop, and Caleb Teicher & Co.



Henry J. Leir Outdoor Stage

August 18-22

Available to watch online September 2-16; online premiere September 2 at 7pm Eastern

Taking flight by pushing the boundaries of aesthetics and kinesthetic bravery, MacArthur Award-winning choreographer Elizabeth Streb is known for “her loud, unflinching explorations of physics” and has, “devised what looks like her own Olympic sport” (The New York Times). 


Returning to the Pillow for the first time in over 20 years, the STREB Extreme Action Company revisits their roots with a retrospective of Elizabeth Streb’s classic solos from the 70s and 80s, early equipment experimentations from the 90s, and jaw-dropping extreme action opuses with the large scale “action machines” the company has since become known for from the early 21st century. This historic look back connects their experimental path with the extreme action of their current and future works.


Explore past Pillow performances on Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive:

STREB in Little Ease in 1997:


Ballet Coast to Coast

Featuring artists from Boston Ballet, Houston Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet 

Henry J. Leir Outdoor Stage

August 25-29

Available to watch online September 9-23; Online premiere September 9 at 7pm Eastern

Leading artists from Boston Ballet, Houston Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet take the stage in a Pillow-exclusive program that highlights the stunning range of ballet in the United States today. The program will feature performances from each company and culminate with the dancers performing together for the first time in Second to Last, a work by Pacific Northwest Ballet’s resident choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo, inspired by and set to the music of Arvo Pärt. 


Explore past Pillow performances on Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive:

Houston Ballet in Just in 2018:


Pacific Northwest Ballet in Her Door to the Sky in 2016:


Boston Ballet in Playlist (EP) in 2019:


The School at Jacob’s Pillow Performance Ensemble

Henry J. Leir Outdoor Stage

July 3; July 24; August 14

Available to watch online as a live stream at date & time of performances on July 3, July 24, and August 14. 

Performances by The School at Jacob’s Pillow Performance Ensemble provide an inside look at The School experience and feature repertoire created on the dancers by leading choreographers who serve as program faculty. Happening at the culmination of each 2 week program, witness performances from the Performance Ensembles in the genres of Contemporary Ballet (July 3), Contemporary (July 24), and Tap Dance (August 14). Program Directors of the Contemporary Ballet Program are Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Luis R. Torres; Program Directors of the Contemporary Program are Milton Myers and Helen Pickett; and Program Directors of the Tap Dance Program are Michelle Dorrance, Derrick K. Grant, and Dormeshia. 


Dancers of The School at Jacob’s Pillow are apprentices, trainees, pre-professionals, and early-career professionals from around the world. Two-week long Professional Advancement Programs during Festival 2021 are onsite and online, and are designed to nurture the artistic growth of the next generation of dance artists. 


Single tickets range from $10-$45. Performances happen on and around the Pillow’s 220-acre campus with limited capacity group settings and are subject to cancellation with full refunds in the instance of inclement weather. 


Dorrance Dance Plays the Pillow


June 30-July 3

Available to watch online July 15-29; Online premiere July 15 at 7pm Eastern


In a site-specific world premiere, Dorrance Dance explores the unique and enchanting environment of the Pillow grounds. These special daytime performances will take audiences on a roving journey that showcases the Pillow’s campus in a never-before-seen (nor-heard) way.  


Commissioned by Jacob’s Pillow with leadership support from Gerry and Hank Alpert.


Commemorating the Opening of Jacob's Garden


July 10


In a pilot partnership with Adam Weinert and Brett Perry of the Dancing Farmer, LLC, Jacob’s Pillow inaugurates Jacob’s Garden, a place to grow fruits and vegetables and connect both dancers and audiences to the multiple histories that exist on the land of Jacob’s Pillow, while pointing to a more sustainable future. Drawing direct inspiration from Shawn’s original 1931 “friendship garden”, the shared cultivation of a 1.5 acre garden will be at once a working farm, a living archive, and invite coordination with local community members. 


The early-summer inaugural event will feature Kristen Wyman of Eastern Woodland Rematriation; who will provide an offering to the Earth; a movement-based activation performed by Orlando Zane Hunter Jr. and Ricarrdo Valentine of the Bessie Award-winning company Brother(hood) Dance!; and Adam Weinert who was honored with a 2020 Bessie for Outstanding Revival for his work around the legacy of Ted Shawn.  Brother(hood) Dance! regularly explores the lineage of land ownership in their work, centering work that is Black Liberation with a specific slant towards agrarianism by way of gardening and farming. Weinert, along with Brett Perry, Cynthia Koppe, Brandon Washington and Ching Ching Wong, will present Tillers of the Soil choreographed by Ted Shawn and Ruth St. Denis in 1916 and lead the audience in a line dancing event accompanied by live music.


Eastern Woodland Dances


July 17


Local Indigenous dancers of the Mashpee Wampanoag, Seneca, Cayuga, and Nipmuc nations come together to highlight the breadth of Indigenous performance traditions within the Eastern Woodland region and its diaspora. This event is curated by local Nipmuc elder Larry Spotted Crow Mann and Annawon Weeden of the Mashpee Wampanoag, Narragansett, and Pequot nations. 


Jacob’s Pillow has engaged with Indigenous peoples and culture since its founding in 1933 and revitalized its commitment to presenting Indigenous dance with a week-long landmark celebration in 2019 titled “The Land on Which We Dance.” Since then, this continuation has deepened to seek ways to provide sustained support of Indigenous performance and further explore the history of the land of Jacob’s Pillow. 


Viewpoint / Brian Brooks Immersive Technology


July 24


On the grounds of the Pillow or in your living room, Brian Brooks creates a real-time Augmented Reality performance, experienced as a 3D hologram through the lens of a smartphone. This new form of media called Volumetric Video, allows the viewer to control the point of view of a live-action performance and superimpose the experience into whatever environment they are in.  


Created in partnership with the Seattle-based technology company Omnivor Media, this unique performance experience is something you need to see to believe. Audiences on the Pillow grounds will experience the debut of this new technology with far-reaching implications of where performance happens, and audiences around the world can access the performance through an app. Users will be encouraged to share their experience in a collaborative archive documenting experiences of Brooks' work in a range of locations. Brooks has been at the forefront of experimental performance technology alongside his company The Moving Company. 


Emily Johnson / Catalyst


July 30-August 1


Award-winning choreographer Emily Johnson has created a distinguished body of dance works and social choreographies that unite audiences in a shared experience of movement, place, history, collective action, and the continuance of Indigenous cultural practices and perspectives. Her newest work delves into the power of creation.  


Featuring a newly commissioned soundscore by Raven Chacon and a cast of more-than-human creatures, this site specific in-process presentation of Being Future Being builds a visual, aural and ancestral landscape of Indigenous power created for Jacob’s Pillow through two residencies. By (re)building new visions of the forces that brought this world into being, Johnson brings forth new futures with the potential to reshape the way we relate to ourselves, and to the human and more-than-human cohabitants of our world.


Okwui Okpokwasili & Peter Born

August 6-7



MacArthur Fellow Okwui Okpokwasili and collaborator Peter Born present the world premiere of Swallow the Moon. This installation on the Pillow grounds is guided by a sonic score that tells the story of a young girl with hair so powerful it allows her to receive and send messages through time. The site-specific work envisions an embodied space that transmits a song from the girl's future self to her present.


Okpokwasili is an Igbo-Nigerian American choreographer who creates work at the intersection of theater, dance, and installation that is grounded in the body and perspective of the Afro-femme. Okpokwasili has received numerous awards for her thought-provoking performance including a Bessie Award, a Doris Duke Award, an Alpert Award, and a United States Artists award. 


Cirque Barcode & Acting for Climate Montréal

August 13-15



Cirque Barcode and Acting for Climate Montréal, two Montréal based circus companies, started collaborating in 2019 with a mission to work towards a more sustainable future by combining performing arts and environmentalism. The group reimagines the way their art is practiced, finding concrete solutions to environmental challenges. They perform in and around nature as a way to reconnect with their local environment.  


Their new work Branché is an acrobatic circus performance for all ages that happens outdoors, in and around trees. Revolving, climbing, and jumping around each other, the acrobats adapt and are directly influenced by the environment and location they perform in. The work celebrates the strength of community and emphasizes the human responsibility to refine and steward our relationship with the natural environment. As the only international company performing on the Pillow’s campus this year, the artists are dedicated to crafting a unique experience using the natural landscape as their apparatus. 


Jacob's Pillow acknowledges PS21, Performances Spaces for the 21st Century where Branché will have its U.S. premiere on August 7 and who has partnered with us to ensure the tour of this program has minimal environmental impact.


Soul Line Dance Party

Socially Distant Onsite Dance Party

August 21


The New England Soul Line Dance Network believes Soul Line Dancing is empowering, evolving, and inspiring. (It is also performed with social distance!) With a mission to uplift community by sharing the love of line dancing across the Greater Boston and New England area, the network hosts regular workshops, classes, and socials. The Pillow’s first-ever Soul Line Dance Party is designed for every body and every dance ability and is a fun way to connect and groove to R&B and hip-hop music.


jumatatu m. poe


August 26-28


In the Let ’Im Move You series, jumatatu m. poe and collaborator Jerome “Donte” Beachman distill decade-long research of J-Sette performance, a “high step” march popularized by the women’s majorette teams at historically Black colleges in the United States. An amalgam of the performance and complexities of Black joy, poe and Beacham investigate rhythm, pattern, and attention in this iteration of the work.


This Is A Success (2016) and A Study (2013/2016) were first developed in a residency through Kultursekretariat’s Tanzrecherche NRW program at Kulturforum Alte Post in Neuss, Germany. Research for the work happened in studios, gay bars, and clubs across Köln Germany. A reimagining of these works for the Pillow’s campus allows audiences to travel through and within a lens of the body of work that is Let ’Im Move You. 


Festival Finale (Socially Distant)

August 28


In true Pillow fashion, ring in the end of summer and celebrate Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2021 with a joyous socially distant dance party on the Great Lawn under the stars and a live DJ set. Tickets to the evening performance of jumatatu m. poe include admission to the party.



Paris Opera Ballet + Crystal Pite

Exclusively Online

Premiere, July 1 at 7pm Eastern; on Demand through July 15


“One of the finest dance makers on the world stage” (The Guardian), Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award winner Crystal Pite joins forces with the Paris Opera Ballet in Body and Soul, choreographing an internationally acclaimed full length work praised for “dashes of inventiveness, brilliance and poetry” (The New York Times). Streaming exclusively by Jacob’s Pillow for the U.S. premiere, Body and Soul was originally filmed with 36 dancers at Paris’s Palais Garnier with jaw-dropping costumes, set design, and staging. 


Body and Soul articulates Pite’s ongoing fascination with conflict, connectedness and the embodiment of the human spirit. Performed in three distinct parts, with fluidity, generosity, and a rare intensity, the performance begins with a voice-over text that describes a scene of conflict between two individuals. As the performance progresses, the script’s meaning morphs and deepens at each iteration, creating compelling tension between individuals, groups, and species. Body and Soul is a timeless, vast, and heartbreakingly intimate portrait of the human condition.  Known for drawing from the languages of William Forsythe, Ji?í Kylián and Mats Ek, Crystal Pite is a Vancouver-based choreographer whose work has been recognized by the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award and many other honors. Limited to audiences based in the United States & Canada. 


Nrityagram Dance Ensemble

Exclusively Online

Premiere, July 8 at 7pm Eastern; on Demand through July 22


Travel to a lush ten-acre village of dance on the outskirts of Bangalore to see a Pillow-exclusive virtual performance by the internationally renowned Indian classical dance company, Nrityagram Dance Ensemble. India’s first modern Gurukul, Nrityagram is a one-of-a-kind community where dance is a way of life, founded by Protiima Bedi in 1990. Today, it is home to the internationally renowned Indian classical dance ensemble. 


Hailed by The New York Times as having “among the world’s greatest dancers,” Up?d?na: An offering will give audiences access to the company and their Nrityagram Dance Village like never before. The Odissi dance company performs works choreographed by Surupa Sen and set to a score by Pt. Raghunath Panigrahi. Ancient wisdom, sacred rituals, and divine transformation are unveiled and interpreted by electrifying dance. Sen will also lead audiences in a rare, behind-the-scenes look at Nrityagram Dance Village, home to Nrityagram that has inspired global audiences for over 30 years.   


zoe | juniper

Exclusively Online

August 17 


Seattle-based dance and visual artist Zoe Scofield radically reframes and repositions the relationship between performer and viewer in The Other Shore, conceived and directed alongside longtime collaborator and visual artist Juniper Shuey with Sara Brown, Evan Christian Anderson, Meredith Glisson, Lilach Orensten, and dancers. Audiences are mailed a special box in advance that includes VR goggles to be paired with a smartphone and other art objects designed to enhance the performance experience. 


Part one of a multi-year, three-part series building on always now, a work that premiered at the culmination of a Pillow Lab residency in 2018, The Other Shore seeks to heighten audience senses and expand the possibilities of perception, power, and what dance can do. 


All ticket buyers receive a special performance package in the mail that includes VR goggles, ephemera, and an art book to guide them through an online performance. Tickets must be purchased by July 15 to receive performance package materials. Limited to audiences based in continental United States. 


Curriculum in Motion® Institute Presentations

Exclusively Online

August 1, 8, 15 


Witness the work of Curriculum in Motion® Institute graduates as they share their application of Curriculum in Motion® in their communities. These 7-minute presentations tell their stories. Different presenters each week. Additional event details to be announced. 




Jacob’s Pillow On the Road

July 31-August 1; August 7-8


A new series called “On the Road” showcases free Pillow Pop-Ups around Berkshire County over two weekends. Performances will happen on a uniquely designed portable stage and feature local performers as well as the all-female intergenerational Ladies of Hip-Hop Dance Collective (July 31-August 1) known for illuminating the strength, power, and diversity of women in hip-hop and Philadelphia-based Kulu Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble (August 7-8) dedicated to preserving the traditional dance and music of West Africa and the African diaspora.  Lead sponsor: Mill Town Capital




Onsite July 4-August 29

Online beginning July 2nd

PillowTalks are a curated series of entertaining and informative discussions with choreographers, writers, filmmakers, and cultural experts. Moderated by Pillow Scholars, PillowTalks provide an opportunity to gain behind-the-scenes insight into the field of dance. Hour-long PillowTalks take place onsite Sundays at 3:30pm at Blake’s Barn (next to the Box Office), and are free and open to the public with advance registration. Recordings of online PillowTalks will be shared throughout the summer, premiering Fridays at 4pm.

The 2021 PillowTalk Series features conversations with Festival Artists like Ana Maria Alvarez, Artistic Director of CONTRA-TIEMPO, choreographer and founder of STREB Action Company, Elizabeth Streb; and former editor-in-chief of Dance Magazine Wendy Perron. For the first time, the PillowTalk Series will feature two exclusively online talks: one with MacArthur Fellows Saidiya Hartman and Okwui Okpokwasili; and another with South African artist William Kentridge. 



Remembered today as the “accidental anarchists of downtown dance,” this seminal 1970s

performance group is chronicled in a new book by Wendy Perron. Sun, July 4, 3:30pm



This impressive Cuban-American artist talks about her success in boldly traversing the worlds of

social dance, political activism, community organizing, and art making. Sun, July 11, 3:30pm



Ballet Hispánico’s Eduardo Vilaro joins new Pillow associate curators Melanie George and Ali

Rosa-Salas in discussing the role of dance in a changing world. Sun, July 18, 3:30pm



Ted Shawn’s instructions to architect Joseph Franz provide the title for an exhibition and this

discussion of Pillow performance spaces, past and present. Sun, July 25, 3:30pm



This craftsman who provided the Ted Shawn Theatre’s immense beams was a local hero, a

pioneering Black businessman connected with W.E.B. DuBois. Sun, August 1, 3:30pm



Revered as the oldest continuously operating professional dance company in Dallas, this

versatile ensemble is making its long-awaited Pillow debut. Sun, August 8, 3:30pm



As a foremost tradition-bearer of Black American social dance, LaTasha Barnes places jazz

dance in the context of House, Hip-Hop, Waacking, and Lindy Hop. Sun, August 15, 3:30pm



A true original in the performing arts, Streb discusses her concepts of extreme action, which

challenge the assumptions of art, aging, injury, gender, and human possibility. Sun, August 22,




Mirroring the current performance program, this discussion recounts the 20th -century evolution

of regional ballet and recent developments in the field. Sun, August 29, 3:30pm




South African artist William Kentridge collaborates with Wayne Ashley, Xander Seren,

and Neil Souza in a Pillow-commissioned project envisioning a new virtual performing arts

platform. Fri, July 2, 4pm



Two MacArthur Award recipients, multidisciplinary artist Okwui Okpokwasili and scholar Saidiya

Hartman, come together for a meaningful discussion about the afterlife of slavery in modern American society and other timely topics. Fri, July 9, 4pm




Sunday Workshops with Festival Artists

Onsite Class

Sundays, July 4-August 29


Intimate classes with Festival Artists offer a unique experience for movers to learn repertory and technique from leading dance artists today. Explore a range of genres and class types from tap dance and Horton-based modern to classical ballet. Classes take place weekly on Sundays, July 4-Aug 29, 10-11am. Additional event details to be announced. For more details and registration, visit


Families Dance Together

Exclusively Online

Fridays, July 9-August 27


This beloved movement class has been held at Jacob’s Pillow since 2001 in collaboration with Becket Arts Center. In this newly-adapted virtual class, experience the joy of creating simple dances from the comfort of your home in this intergenerational movement class, designed for movers of all ages to enjoy together. The class is led by artists of Dance Exchange on Fridays weekly at 3pm.  

Curriculum in Motion® Institute

Artists As Essential Movement Workshop


Be prepared to move and write in this one hour interactive workshop with Curriculum in Motion® Institute graduates reflecting on the question “How are dance artists essential in our communities, especially in this historic time?” Open to choreographers, artists, educators, and movers of all levels interested in this embodied experience. Additional event details to be announced. 



DELving Mini-Workshops

Created in partnership with the Dance Education Laboratory (DEL), this online workshop series explores a choreographer’s voice through the DEL model, which emphasizes a comprehensive and inclusive approach to embodied learning. The program is facilitated by Director of DEL at Jacob’s Pillow Ann Biddle and DEL Facilitator Felice Santorelli with special guest artists. Each workshop explores a choreographer’s work through multiple entry points, including the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive site, in order to design accessible lessons and activities for all dance learners. Additional event details to be announced. For more details and registration, visit



Jacob’s Pillow Archives 

Norton Owen Reading Room / Stephan Driscoll Collection

Open Tue-Sun., June 30-Aug 29

Tue, 12pm-5pm; Wed-Sat 12pm-8pm; Sunday 12pm-5pm

FREE with advanced ticketed entry.

Choose from among nearly 10,000 videos, browse the impressive library of dance books, and view photos and other materials. A brand-new addition to Blake's Barn houses a spacious Special Collections Room showcasing treasures from Stephan Driscoll, recent acquisitions, historic costumes, and other highlights from the permanent collection. Tickets to access the Archives are free and available in 30 minute increments. 


Build Me A Theater

Blake’s Barn

Open Tue-Sun., June 30-Aug 29

Tue, 12pm-5pm; Wed-Sat 12pm-8pm; Sunday 12pm-5pm

FREE entry included with a ticket to the Archives or any additional day-of, onsite event.

Ted Shawn's instructions to architect Joseph Franz provide the title for this examination of all the Pillow's performance spaces, past and present. Artifacts and images from the Ted Shawn Theatre, Doris Duke Theatre, Inside/Out, and the Bakalar Studio create a kaleidoscopic celebration of live performance at the Pillow.