Dance

Brazilian piano meets hip hop in Ephrat Asherie’s Odeon

In the early 1900s in Brazil, Ernesto Nazareth composed music for solo piano. Ephrat Asherie remembers the first time she heard a classical melody jazzed up with samba. Her brother Ehud is a jazz pianist, and as he played she imagined the composer blending Brazilian with Chopin, a Baroque artist playing in the waiting rooms…

Ragamala performs Written on Water at Jacob’s Pillow

The game America knows as chutes and ladders goes back 1800 years. Painted snakes slither on historic boards, forming the slides, and the rungs reach up to flowering trees, plumed birds, suns and moons and rain shining like falling stars. The game descends from a second-century Indian tradition, and as Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival opens this…

Royal Danish Ballet returns to Jacob’s Pillow

In the summer of 1954, in the middle of his international dance festival, Ted Shawn was staying up nights and sending long-distance cables. Just before the curtain of his next performance, a key dancer had dropped out, and Shawn found himself reaching out to a woman and a company with a bare toehold on this side of…

Fiddlers jam at Hancock Shaker Village

Imagine holding hands and spinning until the room blurs. Imagine that movement in someone’s arms, to the beat of music. Imagine the musicians sliding from one tune to the next, the melody racing over the chords. Across the country, across 200 years and more, folk dance music has stayed alive. Mill workers have played on their breaks,…

William Kentridge honors Africa in World War I

You have already taken all I have. Now you are taking my son. The words appear on a vast wall. At center stage a man faces a round microphone, as though he is speaking on the radio in 1918. He is reliving the history of Africa in World War I — a story internationally acclaimed South African…

Camille A. Brown shares a sense of play

On a summer night, children are playing in the dusk. Their families can tell the games from the words they hear — Red light, Green light. Marco Polo. Three girls are jumping rope on the sidewalk. Their friends are calling out rhymes like the clapping games they teach each other on the school bus — Miss…

BTW Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival turns 85

It is July, 1932. An athletic, tanned and slender man with dark hair cut very short takes a break from his morning’s work. He stretches in the sun, unselfconsciously wearing little. He is laying a new floor to turn the barn into a dance studio. By the next summer, people in this county will drive most of…