HOUSTON BALLET ARTISTIC DIRECTOR STANTON WELCH INVITED TO CHOREOGRAPH WORLD PREMIERE FOR
JACOB’S PILLOW SEASON OPENING GALA
Welch Creates His First Work for Esteemed Dance Festival
BECKET, MASSACHUSETTS – On Saturday, June 18, 2011, Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch will premiere a new work created especially for the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2011 Season Opening Gala. Set to music from Mozart’s violin concertos, the work will be performed by dancers of The School at Jacob’s Pillow Ballet Program. This will mark the first time Mr. Welch has participated in the revered dance festival.
“It’s an honor to be chosen to partake in a festival that has had such a profound impact on American dance. I knew about the prestige of Jacob’s Pillow growing up as a young dancer in Australia,” says Mr. Welch. “Dance education is so important in what I do; I love being involved with the development of our academy at Houston Ballet. It is such a thrill to have the same opportunity to teach and develop the students of The School at Jacob’s Pillow by creating a new work for them.”
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2011 runs June 18 – August 28 and features over 160 dance performances by companies around the world, including performances by dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and the Trisha Brown Dance Company. Jacob’s Pillow has been called the “hub and mecca of dancing” by TIME Magazine and is home to America’s longest running international dance festival. The festival includes performances, talks, professional dance training at The School at Jacob’s Pillow, and community programs for audience engagement and education. Jacob’s Pillow was recently honored with the National Medal for the Arts in a ceremony at the White House.
Houston Ballet has participated in the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival only once before. In 1979, a group of ten dancers under the name of “Soloists of Houston Ballet” performed two different programs, including the world premieres of Ben Stevenson’s works Tchaikovsky Variations and Britten pas de deux, and other works by Rudi van Dantzig and John Cranko.
Only eleven men and eleven women are chosen to study at The School at Jacob’s Pillow Ballet Program each summer. Mr. Welch’s work will launch their summer curriculum, which will include master classes, talks, exhibits, and archival study. Dancers will receive a range of coaching in solo work, pas de deux, musicality, and performance analysis.
Along with Welch’s premiere, the opening gala will feature a variety of performances by renowned dance groups and musicians. Benjamin Millepied, New York City Ballet principal dancer and choreographer of Black Swan fame, will present his 2006 work Closer, a duet performed by dancers of Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève. Other dance performances will include David Neumann, KEIGWIN + COMPANY, and the Mark Morris Dance Group. Celebrated American pianist and composer Philip Glass will perform a solo work.
The season opening gala will conclude with the presentation of the fifth annual Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award, presented by executive and artistic director Ella Baff. Dinner, dancing, and a live auction will round out the evening. A dance photography exhibit, created especially for the Pillow by photographer Annie Leibovitz, will be on exclusive display at the event.
Single tickets as well as tables are available for purchase by contacting Gwen Franklin at 413-243-9919 x 126.
More information about Jacob’s Pillow and the 2011 Season Opening Gala may be found at the Jacob’s Pillow website.
JACOB’S PILLOW DANCE FESTIVAL 2011 SEASON OPENING GALA
WHAT: WORLD PREMIERE BY STANTON WELCH
Performed by dancers of The School at Jacob’s Pillow Ballet Program
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
ABOUT THE PROGRAM: Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2011 Opening Gala will feature an array of performances by renowned dance groups and musicians, including performances by composer Philip Glass and Mark Morris Dance Group, as well as works by choreographers Stanton Welch and Benjamin Millepied. The presentation of the fifth annual Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award by executive and artistic director Ella Baff will conclude the performance. The gala performance will be followed by dinner, dancing, and a live auction. A dance photography exhibit, created especially for the Pillow by photographer Annie Leibovitz, will be on exclusive display at the event.
WHEN: Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 6 p.m.
WHERE: Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Becket, MA
TICKETS: Gala single tickets range from $375-$775. Tables of 10 are available for purchase at various sponsorship levels: $10,000; $7,500; $5,500; and $3,500.For purchasing information, please contact Gwen Franklin at 413-243-9919 x 126.
INFORMATION: Visit Jacob’s Pillow online.