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Jacob’s Pillow announces 2023 summer festival lineup

Calgary's Decidedly Jazz Danceworks is among the companies making their Jacob's Pillow debut in 2023.Trudie Lee

The 2023 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival this summer, June 28-Aug. 27, will feature nine weeks of performances and the largest breadth of international dancers since its 2019 season, according to a recent announcement from the company.

The Pillow’s 91st season marks the return of international programming post-pandemic, and will include both returning and debuting artists. Performances will take place on the Pillow’s campus in Becket in the recently renovated Ted Shawn Theatre and on the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage. The summer season will also feature pop-up performances and special events throughout Berkshire County.

The 2023 season showcases live music and dance styles ranging from hip-hop and street dance to ballet and contemporary. The festival will feature performances by six international companies, including groups from the Netherlands and Northern Ireland.


“I’m really excited about the fact that we’re welcoming so many international companies back to the Pillow,” said Pamela Tatge, executive and artistic director at Jacob’s Pillow. “It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to live up to our reputation as an international dance destination.”

According to a press release, companies performing in the Ted Shawn Theatre include Mark Morris Dance Group, Dutch National Ballet, Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart, Dorrance Dance, Oona Doherty — OD Works, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, and Compagnie Käfig. On the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage, confirmed performers include AXIS Dance Company, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, and Tulsa Ballet, along with numerous other artists in shorter engagements, including a regional gathering of Indigenous dancers. A festival within the festival — Hip Hop Across the Pillow — will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the genre.

Tatge called the outdoor stage “one of the most magnificent platforms for dance in the world.”

“To be able to witness bodies in nature like the way you can at Jacob’s Pillow is unmatched,” she said.


Artists and companies making their Jacob’s Pillow debut include Dutch National Ballet; San Francisco-based AXIS Dance Company; Oona Doherty from Belfast; New York’s Complexions Contemporary Ballet; Decidedly Jazz Danceworks from Calgary, Canada; and Oklahoma’s Tulsa Ballet.

Festival-goers will also be able to see several works developed through the company’s residency program, the Pillow Lab, now in its sixth year. Featured performances include Rokafella and Kwikstep’s commissioned work for Hip Hop Across the Pillow, and works by Ananya Dance Theatre and Mythili Prakash.

Audiences can also mark their calendars for three Jacob’s Pillow parties. Pillow Pride returns on July 8, celebrating the LGBTQ+ community; followed by the All Styles Dance Battle on Aug. 4, which is part of the Hip Hip Across the Pillow minifestival; and a themed dance party on Aug. 19 with the Martha Graham Dance Company.

Presale tickets go on sale March 6, and general public ticket sales start April 17. The complete program for the festival will be announced in April. For more information, visit jacobspillow.org/festival.

Brittany Bowker can be reached at brittany.bowker@globe.com. Follow her @brittbowker and also on Instagram @brittbowker.