The School at Jacob's Pillow --America's leading training center for dance

Uploaded by JacobsPillow on 02.05.2011

I fell like I'm growing so much in a week and a half already.
The way we get along; the way we work together; the way we
inspire each other; the way we support each other. My teachers see something in me.
You grow so much as a person
as well as a dancer or an artist.
Classes that you're able to take; shows that you're able to see; beautiful people; peaceful area; I mean you can't get any better than that.
This place is like heaven for any dancer.
The school has a very all encompassing view of dance just in the way that the festival does
in everything that we present on all the three stages: the faculty, the school,
the scholars who come here
and of course there are audience members who come from all over the world.
This is great. This is part of the whole spirit and the philosophy and the texture
of what the Pillow's really about. So the school, there's sequential programs: there's Ballet,
Cultural Traditions, and that migrates around the world
according to different places
in the world geographically and also
just certain things that we really want to explore at different times.
And then after Cultural Traditions there's Contemporary Program
then there's Jazz/Musical Theater.
All of these draw faculty from all over the world. The dancers have work created on them
by extraordinary choreographers.
Our participants include
dancers from literally all over the world
Argentina, France, Greece, Sweden, Serbia
Japan, Russia
as well as all points
in the United States
It's now starting to become
a bit of a conservatory,
and so it can be very selective who gets in.
And so we look at
the years of experience that they've had
almost semi-professional,
training at a pretty high level.
Not that it means that someone that is not at the top can't get in. We look at potential.
We are looking for artists
that are looking to be professional performers and they want more information.
Here in a matter of three weeks
they're given with the Archives
and the artists that come in
another since of the possibility
of what art can be in terms of dance.
The student body is relatively small compared with a lot of other programs.
That's intentional because
the idea of the Pillow is to have
hands on
minds on kind of mentoring and coaching.
They can sit one-on-one
with the faculty, and they can understand more about what is going to unlock
that block that they may have.
I have been mentoring people for years now,
and helping them, and its what I do, and I just love to help young dancers. I think they are so incredible young people.
And its so hard to be a dancer now a days.
And its so difficult to get contacts and get out and do things
that they need someone to champion for them.
The Pillow has been very helpful for me and Anna-Marie has been very nice.
She has helped me
and also other dancers
try to get a career going in this program.
I had masterclass with Nina
and right after the masterclass I had Anna-Marie talk to Nina.
They spoke all in russian so that
upped the nerves a bit,
and I didn't know what she was saying, and eventually she gave me her card
and talked about me joining her company for the next season.
And I said yes right away.
Being part of the festival at Jacob's Pillow was actually, um...
I don't think there's a word to describe what that feels like to me.
Because you look at the festival program and there are companies that we've seen: Trey McIntyre
the Trocks, Yin Mei and Kyle Abraham.
To be part of that?
It's something that I certainly didn't expect.
The Jazz Happening I'm very excited about because we get to
perform with
all these people that we've been working with now, and other guests, which is just a great experience.
I mean
who would have ever thought I'd get to perform with Chet Walker and Dana Moore and Bill Hastings and someone
who was in Wicked. And we get to be on the same stage as them and be back stage with them.
Companies are walking around here all the time,
And you see, “Oh they're just like me.”
I think the Archives is great because you get to see the history of Jacob's Pillow. You get to see all the videos that they
documented, and what this place has gone through in so many years.
I think that's just a great place to go.
I tell them on the first day, “your life is going to change.”
Eyeballs roll,
by the second week
they start realizing that
my life is changing.
My life is changing.
So if your life is changing maybe your
way of dancing, your way of
absorbing information changes. And by the third week when you realize the end is coming you're
on a train
and you're absorbing absorbing absorbing,
and in that
three-week period we bombard
people with possibilities.
When he applied to the Ballet Program this summer he said he wanted to be here in order to
“dig deeper into the art I can't live without.”
And we were pretty happy after he left the Ballet Program just days later
when he called us to tell us that this Fall he joins the main company of American Ballet Theatre
as an apprentice.
If I was a young dancer with more time
I would be so happy to come here and spend two weeks. Jacob's Pillow
is a magical place. The setting is magical.
The Ted Shawn Theatre is magical.
Today I came and I heard
Milton Myers teaching.
A great-great modern dance teacher.
And he was speaking to a room full of young people and he was daring them
to throw themselves into space.
Daring them to invent a turn every time you perform it.
And i guess he was daring them to be artists.