Jacob's Pillow Moves Into Festival 2018 Announcing First Four Festival Artists

BECKET, MA: In advance of the full Festival announcement in mid-December, Jacob's Pillow announces four dance companies that will be presented in 2018. Following the success of its 85th Anniversary Season and amidst new year-round events and programming, Festival 2018 will include Ephrat Asherie Dance presenting the world premiere of the hip-hop work Odeon; Israel's Batsheva - The Young Ensemble performing Naharin's Virus in a highly-anticipated Pillow debut; Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE performing their signature fusion of African, Caribbean, and modern genres paired with Afro-Cuban jazz by GRAMMY Award-winner Arturo O'Farrill performed live; and audience favorite Hubbard Street Dance Chicago returning on the occasion of their 40th Anniversary.

"It's thrilling to present the Pillow debut of Batsheva's Young Ensemble, help celebrate the 40th anniversary of one of America's most renowned contemporary dance companies, and present two works that have been developed at the Pillow," says Jacob's Pillow Director Pamela Tatge.

Ephrat Asherie Dance presents the world premiere of Odeon, a high-energy, hybrid hip-hop work set to and inspired by the music of early 20th century Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth in the Doris Duke Theatre, June 27-July 1. Lauded as "a bona fide b-girl" (The Boston Globe), 2016 New York Dance and Performance ('Bessie') Award recipient Ephrat 'Bounce' Asherie layers breaking, hip-hop, house, and vogue to the rich sounds of Nazareth's buoyant score, which melds classical romantic music with popular Afro-Brazilian rhythms, played live. Odeon was created in part during two residencies at the Pillow Lab.

The "superhumanly spry" (The New York Times) movers of Batsheva - The Young Ensemble will perform the award-winning Naharin's Virus in the Ted Shawn Theatre, July 4-8. Embraced as part of one of the most prominent contemporary dance companies in the world, the company boasts an internationally diverse roster of dancers from Israel and beyond. Adapted from the anti-play Offending the Audience by Austrian playwright Peter Handke and enriched by Ohad Naharin's innovative, wide-reaching movement language Gaga, Naharin�s Virus is described as being �as powerful as the eye of the storm� (The Jerusalem Post). Under the inimitable direction of �one of the most important living choreographers� (The Guardian), the majority of dancers in The Young Ensemble later become members of Batsheva Dance Company. The presentation of The Young Ensemble coincides with a two-week Professional Advancement program Gaga: The Movement Language of Ohad Naharin, offered by The School at Jacob's Pillow.

Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE performs New Conversations, a soulful, uplifting new work marked by Brown's iconic blend of African, Caribbean, and contemporary choreography and set to Afro-Cuban jazz music by GRAMMY Award-winner Arturo O'Farrill and ensemble performed live. The company of Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE has deeply moved audiences for over thirty years, praised for a �sophisticated amalgam of Afrocentric movement and modern dance� that often makes �spirituality...something vibrant and transformative� (Los Angeles Times). Brown is an in-demand choreographer who frequently sets works on major companies, most recently including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Limon Dance Company, and TU Dance. Performed with live music for the first time, New Conversations comes to the Ted Shawn Theatre, July 25-29. Music for New Conversations was commissioned by long-time Pillow supporters The Charles and Joan Gross Family Foundation and was created in part during a residency at Jacob's Pillow.

On the occasion of their 40th anniversary, world-renowned Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC) returns to Jacob's Pillow with a diverse program featuring today�s leading contemporary choreographers. Praised as a �near-perfect storm of movement, music, and choreography� (Los Angeles Times), HSDC brings an eclectic repertoire performed by an impeccably strong, technically-driven ensemble of dancers to the Ted Shawn Theatre, August 1-5. An audience favorite since their Pillow debut in 1983, HSDC has performed at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival more than a dozen times. Program to be announced.

Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival opens on June 20, 2018. The full festival line-up will be announced December 13. VIP Pre-Sale begins February 20, 2018. Public Sale begins on April 2.

Jacob's Pillow is a National Historic Landmark, recipient of the National Medal of Arts, and home to America's longest-running international dance festival. While celebrating its 85th Festival in 2017, the Pillow announced its transition to becoming a year-round center for dance through a five-year strategic plan titled Vision '22. Each Festival includes more than 50 national and international dance companies and over 350 free and ticketed performances, talks, tours, classes, exhibits, events, and community programs. 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, Contemporary, Musical Theatre Dance, Choreography, and an annual rotating program (Gaga in 2018). The Pillow also provides professional advancement opportunities across disciplines of arts administration, design, video, and production through seasonal internships and a year-round Administrative Fellows program. With growing community engagement programs, the Pillow serves as a partner and active citizen in its local community. The Pillow's extensive Archives, open year-round to the public and online at danceinteractive.jacobspillow. org, chronicle more than a century of dance in photographs, programs, books, costumes, audiotapes, and videos. Notable artists who have created or premiered dances at the Pillow include choreographers Antony Tudor, Agnes de Mille, Alvin Ailey, Donald McKayle, Kevin McKenzie, Twyla Tharp, Ralph Lemon, Susan Marshall, Trisha Brown, Ronald K. Brown, Wally Cardona, Andrea Miller, and Trey McIntyre; performed by artists such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Carmen de Lavallade, Mark Morris, Dame Margot Fonteyn, Edward Villella, Rasta Thomas, and hundreds of others. On March 2, 2011, President Barack 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.