Becket

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…

Becket quarry — Ghosts in the machines

Berkshire naturalist Thom smith takes a walk into the industrial past of a Becket quarry. The Chester-Hudson Quarry operated for close to 100 years. It is a skeleton of its past now. When it closed in the 1960s, buildings, machinery and vehicles were abandoned as if the workers finished their shift and left for the…

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…

Rhythm tap swings at Jacob’s Pillow

The sound of a step moving lightly lifts into a beat. Against a bass strum, it builds in a rapid roll and ripple and drive. Swing is a pulse with accents playing against it, said Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, internationally recognized rhythm tap dancer and choreographer. Swing is a feeling and an interaction. Swing is a glad movement.…