Jacob’s Pillow Celebrates Director Ella Baff’s Final Season With Festival Finale

[Becket, MA] – In honor of Executive and Artistic Director Ella Baff’s final season, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival celebrates the close of its 83rd season with a Festival Finale event on Saturday, August 29. Tickets for the Festival Finale include a performance by the legendary Martha Graham Dance Company in the Ted Shawn Theatre or the young and innovative MADBOOTS DANCE in the Doris Duke Theatre, and access to the after-party where guests can mingle with dancers, pay tribute to Baff, enjoy desserts by local restaurants and bakeries, and dance the night away with DJ BFG in the historic Bakalar Studio.

The Festival Finale celebrates the era of artistic excellence and growth during Ella Baff’s 17 year tenure at the organization. Baff’s final season closes with the Pillow’s trademark pairing of dance legends and emerging artists on both stages, as the organization celebrates another successful summer as America’s longest-running dance festival, National Medal of Arts recipient, and National Historic Landmark.

In the Ted Shawn Theatre, Martha Graham Dance Company kicks off its 90th Anniversary Season with a range of classic and contemporary works, including Adonis Foniadakis’s powerful Echo, Graham’s iconic Embattled Garden, the stirring Depak Ine from Spanish choreographer Nacho Duato, and a world premiere by acclaimed Swedish choreographer Mats Ek. MADBOOTS DANCE will present two world premiere works which explore new ideas about modern masculinity, titled Beau. and (SAD BOYS), in the Doris Duke Theatre.

The Finale performances will be followed by a multi-venue party on the Pillow grounds. An expansive dessert spread in The Pillow Café will feature treats from local Berkshire vendors. The “Chocolate Barre” will include chocolates from Chocolate Springs Café, and the “Coffee Barre” will offer locally roasted coffee by No. Six Depot Coffee & Roastery. Additional desserts will be provided by Berkshire favorites such as Haven Café & Bakery, The Dream Away Lodge, and Becket Bakehouse.

DJ BFG (Berkshire county-based Gabriel Squailia) will be spinning live in the Bakalar Studio, combining old-school hits with new beats in his signature approach of seamless genre-hopping dance music. Festivities continue in the newly-expanded Blake’s Barn, the home of the Pillow’s dance Archives, where guests can enjoy the Blake’s Barn’s Best exhibit.

Prior to the Festival Finale activities, Saturday also brings the summer’s final PillowTalk and Inside/Out performance. At 4pm, a PillowTalk entitled “Rediscovering Film Treasures” will feature both a newly-discovered 1920s Denishawn dance film and a review of video documentation from the tenure of departing Artistic and Executive Director Ella Baff. To conclude this season’s Inside/Out Performance Series, Steps Repertory Ensemble, a virtuosic and energetic young company based in New York City, takes to the outdoor Henry J. Leir stage at 6:15pm.

Berkshire-based Main Street Hospitality is also a sponsor of Festival Finale.

When: Saturday, August 29; 8:00pm for Martha Graham Dance Company,
8:15pm for MADBOOTS DANCE
Finale after-party continues until 12:30am.

Where: Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Becket, MA

Tickets: Martha Graham Dance Company tickets: $150, $100, $75
MADBOOTS DANCE tickets: $75, $50

A limited number of $45 Under 35 tickets are available for this event, over the phone or in person only, 413.243.0745 (2 per person, ages 18-35).

Proceeds benefit the Pillow’s community programs.

Tickets are now on sale online at jacobspillow.org, via phone at 413.243.0745, or in person at the Jacob’s Pillow Box Office.

About: Jacob’s Pillow, celebrating its 83rd Festival in 2015, is a National Historic Landmark, recipient of the National Medal of Arts, and home to America’s longest-running international dance festival. Each Festival includes more than 50 national and international dance companies and 350 free and ticketed performances, talks, tours, classes, exhibits, and events.

The School at Jacob’s Pillow, one of the most prestigious professional dance training centers in the U.S., encompasses the diverse disciplines of Ballet, Cultural Traditions, Contemporary, and Musical Theatre Dance, as well as an Intern Program in various disciplines of arts administration, design, video, and production. The Pillow’s extensive Archives, open year-round to the public, chronicle more than a century of dance in photographs, programs, books, costumes, audiotapes, and videos. Year-round Community Programs enrich the lives of children and adults through public classes, residencies in area schools, and an extensive schedule of free public events.

Through Jacob’s Pillow Curriculum in Motion®, a nationally-recognized program, Artist Educators work with Berkshire County teachers and students grades K-12, transforming curricula such as biology, literature, and history into kinesthetic and creative learning experiences.

Creative Development Residencies, in which dance companies are invited to live and work at the Pillow and enjoy unlimited studio time; choreography commissions; and the annual $25,000 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award all support visionary dance artists and choreographers.

Virtual Pillow is aimed at expanding global audiences for dance and offers the opportunity to experience dance and Jacob’s Pillow from anywhere in the world via online interactive exhibits, global video networks, and social media. As part of the Virtual Pillow initiative, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive is a curated online video collection of dance highlights from 1936 to today.

On March 2, 2011, President Obama honored Jacob’s Pillow with a National Medal of Arts, the highest arts award given by the United States Government, making the Pillow the first dance presenting organization to receive this prestigious award.

For more information, visit www.jacobspillow.org

[Photo of Jacob’s Pillow Executive and Artistic Director Ella Baff by Christopher Duggan]

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