Pillow Talk

Festival Launches June 24

By: - Jun 23, 2024

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival will bring the acclaimed Social Tango Project—an innovative dance company founded and based in Buenos Aires, Argentina— for an immersive week-long engagement during Week 4 of the Festival. Offering audiences a deep dive into the art of tango, Social Tango Project will showcase this social dance like never before in the historic Ted Shawn Theatre from Wednesday, July 17 to Sunday, July 21. 

Ticket holders of the Saturday evening performance by Social Tango Project will also receive free entry to a one-night-only Argentinian-style dance party, or “milonga,” starting after the performance in an adjoining space. 

During this week of the Festival, the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage will feature a series of one-night-only performances by Miguel Gutierrez on Wednesday, July 17, Annie Hanauer on Thursday, July 18, INSPIRIT on Friday, July 19, and The School at Jacob’s Pillow’s Contemporary Performance Ensemble on Saturday, July 20. Tickets for one-night-only performances are available on a Choose What You Pay model. Tickets for all performances are on sale now. 

As part of Jacob’s Pillow Live—a new livestream series showcasing artists from this summer’s Festival—the Thursday, July 18 performance by Social Tango Project and the Saturday, July 20 performance by The School at Jacob’s Pillow will be livestreamed for free. Livestream access to the performance by Social Tango Project will be available from 8-9:30pm Eastern on Thursday, July 18. Livestream access to the performance by The School at Jacob’s Pillow will be available from 6-7pm Eastern on Saturday, July 20. Pre-registration for livestreams is encouraged at

On Friday, July 19, the Pillow will host the Third Annual Du Bois Forum Roundtable & Celebration —a retreat which will include a roundtable discussion with writers, scholars, and artists from across the country, as well as a W.E.B. Du Bois-inspired dinner designed by James Beard award-winning chef Bryant Terry. Other events during Week 4 of the Festival include a free PillowTalk in Blake’s Barn with Social Tango Project Director Agustina Videla and filmmaker Pable Destito on Saturday; and a workshop with Festival Artists of Social Tango Project on Sunday morning—open to all dance experience levels, ages 16+. 

“Social Tango Project will really transform the Ted Shawn Theatre, bringing tango to the concert stage in a way that our audience has not seen before,” said Pamela Tatge, Artistic and Executive Director of Jacob’s Pillow. “This is a dazzling performance that showcases not just the talented artists traveling to us from Argentina, but regional and local tango dancers as well. Alongside Social Tango Project are incredible performances on the Leir Stage, including a debut from London-based American artist Annie Hanauer, and INSPIRIT and Miguel Gutierrez returning to the Pillow. In just one week, we are bringing together artists from across the world and reuniting with old friends all performing a range of dance forms that you simply cannot see in one place anywhere else.”  


Hailing from the birthplace of tango, Social Tango Project inspires individuals to join the dance floor and celebrate this social dance in communities world wide. Bringing tango to the Ted Shawn Theatre stage in a unique way, the company provides “a journey into the heart of Tango,” (La Naciòn Newspaper), allowing audiences to immerse themselves in this special dance. With the mission of sharing the social power of dance, the company shows audiences everywhere how Tango can transform people’s lives.

The company’s performance brings together movement, live music, and cinematic documentary film projection, creating an immersive experience that gives audiences a colorful window into tango’s power to cultivate community and social cohesion at times of political unrest.. Championing the company’s mission of fostering tango communities everywhere, each performance will also feature onstage appearances by local and regional dancers. 

Leading the company since 2011, Artistic Director Agustina Videla is a celebrated choreographer, professor, and dancer. In her career, Videla and her partner were chosen to represent Argentina in the “Exposición Universal de Lisboa,” and invited to dance at the “Megaexposición Tango” in the Palais de Glace and at the “Feria Internacional del Tango,” organized by the Buenos Aires City Government. Videla has performed and taught at tango festivals across Europe, and for the last 15 years, she has led tango seminars in Europe, Canada, and the United States. 


A maverick of contemporary dance-making in the downtown New York scene, Miguel Gutierrez is a multidisciplinary artist based in Lenapehoking/Brooklyn, NY and Tovaangar/Los Angeles, CA. In his work, Gutierrez creates empathetic and irreverent spaces for queer and trans people of color to dream and reflect on their own complexity. At the Pillow, Gutierrez will perform sueño, a bilingual music project that will be further developed in part during his July 2024 Pillow Lab Residency. The work, in response to research on early-twentieth century modern dance pioneers in the Pillow’s historic archives, “incorporates dancers and live musicians, offering the audience a heightened world of fantastical drama.” (The Highline)

Gutierrez’s work has been presented internationally in venues such as Festival d’Automne/Paris, the Walker Art Center, and in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. He is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, United States Artists Fellowship, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award, four NY Dance and Performance Bessie Awards, and a 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award. He is an Associate Professor of Choreography and Vice Chair of the MFA program at UCLA in the department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance. 

Miguel Gutierrez made his Pillow debut as a choreographer in 2003, when the group Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People performed his work I succumb on the Henry J. Leir Stage as a part of the Inside/Out performance series.


Annie Hanauer is an independent dance artist based in London, UK, and working internationally. Hanauer’s work centers on building inclusive and accessible artistic practices, joyfully disrupting the assumptions of what a dancing body is. Stemming from her own lived experience as a disabled person, her work investigates the power, wisdom, creativity, and resilience of people who have been ‘othered.’ A space for all our tomorrows, to be performed on the Leir Stage, imagines a utopian space for different bodies to share. Taking inspiration from the historical artist community of Monte Veritá in the Swiss mountains, Hanauer and collaborators perform “a twirling and shimmering dance, punctuated by breathtaking moments, whose fluidity is matched only by its expressiveness.” (Dance Reflections)

In addition to touring her own work, Hanauer has created pieces for Candoco Dance Company, Theater Münster, Mobius Dance, ZHdk Zurich University of the Arts, and as the Cowles Visiting Artist 2020 at the University of Minnesota. She currently performs internationally and leads inclusive workshops, choreographic residencies, and professional classes around the world. In collaboration with Sarah Blanc and Vicky Malin, Hanauer is one-third of AnnieVickySarah (AVS), a collective of three independent artists interested in developing a range of accessible creative practices, launched in 2017. This summer’s performance in the Festival marks Hanauer’s U.S. and Pillow debut. 



Founded by Artistic Director, artist, and educator Christal Brown, INSPIRIT celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year as a company that embodies unity and communal growth in its works. Evolving from a performance ensemble into a collaborative methodology, INSPIRIT’s vision is to provide a forum for collaboration among emerging artists and choreographers, promoting public appreciation and education of contemporary dance. 

This summer, INSPIRIT will present What We Ask of Flesh, a meditative work developed in the company’s March 2021 Pillow Lab residency. Premiering in November 2023 at Middlebury College as a piece which combines soundscapes, installation art, and the dancer’s physicality, the company will perform an “organic” rendition of the work on the outdoor stage to explore the human capacity for life and how stories are carried within our own bodies. 

INSPIRIT made their Pillow debut in Festival 2005 on the Henry J. Leir Stage as a part of the Inside/Out performance series. In April 2021, Christal Brown led the company in a Pillow Lab Residency. 



Performances by The School at Jacob’s Pillow Performance Ensembles provide an inside look at The School experience and feature repertoire created on the dancers by leading choreographers who serve as program faculty. Guest choreographers for the 2024 Ensemble include Cindy Salgado for Crystal Pite Repertoire, Jessica Wright for Studio Wayne McGregor, and Jennifer Archibald. This performance is the culmination of the 2024 Contemporary Program, led by Program Director Milton Myers and Associate Program Director Francisco Martinez. 

Dancers of The School at Jacob’s Pillow are apprentices, trainees, pre-professionals, and early-career professionals from around the world. The School’s professional advancement programs are held onsite during the Festival to nurture the artistic voices and growth of the next generation of dance artists.



Tickets are on sale now; online at and via phone at 413.243.0745

Social Tango Project
July 17-21; Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 8pm; Friday through Sunday at 2pm

(Saturday evening ticket includes a post-show milonga dance party)
Ted Shawn Theatre | Tickets from $65

Free livestream offered for the performance on Thursday, July 18 at 8pm, as part of Jacob’s Pillow Live. Register at

Miguel Gutierrez
Wednesday, July 17 at 6pm
Henry J. Leir Stage | Choose What You Pay; Rain or Shine Tickets from $35

Annie Hanauer
Thursday, July 18 at 6pm
Henry J. Leir Stage | Choose What You Pay; Rain or Shine Tickets from $35

Friday, July 19 at 6pm
Henry J. Leir Stage | Choose What You Pay; Rain or Shine Tickets from $35

The School at Jacob’s Pillow: Contemporary Performance Ensemble

Saturday, July 20 at 6pm

Henry J. Leir Stage | Choose What You Pay; Rain or Shine Tickets from $35

Free livestream offered for the performance on Saturday, July 20 at 6pm, as part of Jacob’s Pillow Live. Register at



Morning Classes

June 25-28; Tuesday through Friday, 9-10am

Open to all dance experience levels, ages 16+. Offered weekly through the summer in Sommers Studio. $12 per class; $50 for 5 class card. Pay via online pre-registration or cash/card at the door.

  • Ballet: Tuesdays through August 20
  • Contemporary: Wednesdays through August 21
  • West African Dance & Spiritual Well-Being: Thursdays through August 22
  • Hip-Hop/Street Styles: Fridays through August 23


Third Annual Du Bois Forum Roundtable & Celebration at Jacob's Pillow 

Fri., July 19 

  • 3pm Du Bois Forum Roundtable (Free) 
  • 6pm INSPIRIT performance (tickets sold separately) 
  • 7:30pm Du Bois-inspired Dinner (dinner reservations are required; pricing and menu to be announced) 

Join us for the third annual gathering of the Du Bois Forum at Jacob’s Pillow. Writers and artists will again reflect upon the Black intellectual and artistic traditions that W.E.B. Du Bois shaped and the urgency of this work in our current moment. This multi-part event features a Du Bois-inspired menu under the stars, designed by James Beard award-winning chef Bryant Terry, author of Black Food and 30+ writers, scholars, and artists from across the country.


The Du Bois Forum is a retreat for writers, scholars, and artists founded by Tufts University historians Kerri Greenidge and Kendra Field, and Du Bois biographer David Levering Lewis. This year’s event is supported principally by Tufts University and the Mellon Foundation, alongside our partners: Great Barrington’s Du Bois Freedom Center, Jacob’s Pillow, Kripalu, and Troutbeck. The Forum aims to support Black thought, creative production, and social change.

Prior to dinner, attendees are encouraged to attend a Du Bois Forum Roundtable discussion at 3pm (free entry), as well as the 6pm performance by INSPIRIT on the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage (tickets sold separately). Dinner reservations are required. For information and to inquire about dinner tickets, please contact

PillowTalk: Envisioning Social Tango 

Saturday, July 20 at 4pm Blake’s Barn 


While directing Social Tango Project, Agustina Videla also creates films with Pable Destito, and here they share some examples of their film work and talk about how these two pursuits intersect. 

Workshop with Festival Artists: Social Tango Project 

Sunday, July 21 from 10-11:30am 

Open to all dance experience levels, ages 16+ 

Tango is more than a dance—it's a profound connection between two individuals, a conversation set to music, each responding to the other's movements. Social Tango Project artistic and general directors Agustina Videla and Ramon de Oliveira Cezar will unveil the fundamental principles of communication inherent in tango, fostering a friendly and inclusive atmosphere where students can explore and grow. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes that can slide; tango requires pivots and turns, and is not possible to do in bare feet.


Workshop: Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) at Jacob’s Pillow

Saturday, July 21 from 10am-1pm

This interactive and embodied workshop uses multiple lenses to explore the dynamic dance form of tango as participants learn to consider how to bring tango into the dance classroom in a culturally sustaining way.


DEL at Jacob’s Pillow connects dance educators, college dance students, classroom teachers, and professional dancers to the DEL model of dance education. Workshops are facilitated by Ann Biddle and Felice Santorelli. $49; registrants offered a 20% discount on same-day matinee performances in the Ted Shawn Theatre. Pre-register at Ages 16+; no prior dance experience required. 

In Studio Observation in The School

Tuesdays through Fridays: June 25 – August 16, 10:45am-12:15pm and 2:30-4pm

Quiet observation of classes and rehearsals inside the Perles Family Studio will be open on a first come, first served basis. In the case of inclement weather, School observation hours will not be held.






It’s impossible to overstate how the photographs of John Lindquist (1890-1980) have shaped public perception of the Pillow’s first four decades and influenced all subsequent photographers here. Now the institutional home for Lindquist’s body of work, Harvard University’s Houghton Library has digitized many thousands of images, and we are able to learn more about our past through these carefully-selected new prints, many of which are being exhibited for the first time. Blake’s Barn; open Tue-Sun, noon through final curtain.



Even as this season marks The Royal Ballet’s Pillow debut, the links between these two iconic dance institutions run deep. Some of the evidence is on display here, in rare photos and footage spanning the decades. From Alicia Markova and Antony Tudor to contemporary artists including Pam Tanowitz and Wayne McGregor, the shared histories are surfaced and celebrated. Ted Shawn Theatre Lobby; open Tue-Sun, noon through final curtain.



Curated by Phil Chan and Caroline Hamilton, this exhibit builds upon last year’s initial examination of Denishawn’s 1925-26 Asian tour. With newly-discovered treasures, this re-examination of the tour focuses on the experiences of three Denishawn dancers: Ernestine Day, Mary Howry, and Jane Sherman. Included are costumes they retained, objects they purchased, and words they wrote—challenging viewers to ponder what it means to share culture with integrity. Blake’s Barn; open Tue-Sun, noon through final curtain


Online Exhibit: Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive

This evolving online resource features breathtaking video highlights of Pillow performances from the early 1930s through today, with an expanded section of multimedia essays featuring talks, photos, and other exclusive content organized into various themes.


Jacob’s Pillow Archives/Norton Owen Reading Room 

This spacious, informal library and reading room allows visitors to view videos, browse through books, access the Pillow's computer catalog, or peruse permanent collections of Pillow programs and photographs from the Archives. The Reading Room and new Special Collections Room also feature recent donations and more archival treasures from the Stephan Driscoll Collection. Blake’s Barn; open Tues.-Sun., noon through final curtain.




Jacob’s Pillow is a National Historic Landmark, recipient of the National Medal of Arts, and home to America's longest-running international dance festival, which celebrates its 92nd season in Summer 2024. Jacob’s Pillow acknowledges that it rests on the ancestral homelands of the Muh-he-con-ne-ok or Mohican people. We pay honor and respect to their ancestors and elders past and present as we commit to building a more inclusive and equitable space for all. In addition, we acknowledge the Nipmuc, the Wampanoag and other tribal nations who also made their homes in what is now known as Massachusetts. 


Founded by Ted Shawn in 1933, each Festival includes national and international dance companies and free and ticketed performances, talks, tours, classes, exhibits, events, and community programs. The School at Jacob’s Pillow, a prestigious professional dance training center, advances the careers of the upcoming generation of performers and choreographers; during the Festival, 100 international dancers evolve as artists in ballet, choreography, contemporary, musical theatre, tap, and other genres, and year round, artist faculty and accomplished alumni nurture younger dancers in a series of Jacob’s Pillow 360 workshops and intensives offered in partnership with leading dance institutions worldwide. The Pillow also provides professional advancement opportunities across disciplines of arts administration, design, video, and production through its seasonal internship program. Through its community engagement programs, the Pillow serves as a partner and active citizen in its local community. The Pillow’s extensive Archives, open year-round to the public and highlighted online at, chronicle more than a century of dance in photographs, programs, books, costumes, audiotapes, and videos.


Notable artists who have created or premiered dances at the Pillow include choreographers Antony Tudor, Agnes de Mille, Alvin Ailey, Donald McKayle, Kevin McKenzie, Twyla Tharp, Ralph Lemon, Susan Marshall, Trisha Brown, Ronald K. Brown, Wally Cardona, Andrea Miller, and Trey McIntyre; performed by artists such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Carmen de Lavallade, Mark Morris, Dame Margot Fonteyn, Edward Villella, Rasta Thomas, and hundreds of others. On March 2, 2011, President Barack Obama honored Jacob’s Pillow with a National Medal of Arts, the highest arts award given by the United States Government, making the Pillow the first dance presenting organization to receive this prestigious award. The Pillow’s Executive and Artistic Director since 2016 is Pamela Tatge. For more information, visit

MAJOR INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT FOR JACOB’S PILLOW IS GENEROUSLY PROVIDED BY: Arison Arts Foundation, Barr Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Doris Duke Foundation, Ford Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, Mellon Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education. As of June 10, 2024.