Jacob’s Pillow welcomes world premiere engagement of “And Still You Must Swing”

Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards; photo Eduardo Patino

Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards; photo Eduardo Patino

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival presents the world premiere engagement of And Still You Must Swing with three of the world’s most celebrated tap dance luminaries—Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Jason Samuels Smith, and Derick K. Grant—July 6-10, 2016 in the intimate Doris Duke Theatre. The program embraces masterful technique, musicality, and improvisation including a live onstage band and a star-studded cast with critically-acclaimed guest artist and 2016 Jacob‘s Pillow Dance Award recipient Camille A. Brown.

“We are experiencing a tap renaissance in this country and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Jason Samuels Smith, and Derick K. Grant are three of the exceptional artists at its core,” says Jacob’s Pillow Director Pamela Tatge. ”That they are being joined by this year’s Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award winner Camille A. Brown is a gift.”

A “fiercely elegant” and “singularly authoritative artist” (Claudia La Rocco, The New York Times), Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards joins forces with Derick K. Grant and Jason Samuels Smith to present a dynamic project that captures the heart and legacy of tap dance, honoring the profound influence of jazz and swing. A highly-anticipated engagement, the cast returns to the Pillow following several celebrated individual engagements.

The program is a compilation of works both choreographed and improvised by Sumbry-Edwards and the cast, dedicated to the roots of the tap dance and larger swing community. Among other themes honoring the style’s history, Sumbry-Edwards celebrates the women who have contributed to the tap dance form in her solo work, while the second piece on the program Rhythm Migration also makes clear connections to cultural traditions that date back to African American Heritage in the face of deeply-seeded injustice.

Live musicians Allison Miller (Drums), Carmen Staaf (Piano), Alex Hernandez (Bass), and Gabriel Roxbury (Percussion) perform alongside the dancers throughout the evening, with musical composition by Miller and Sumbry-Edwards. An esteemed and prolific performer and composer, Miller was selected by the U.S. State Department to tour East Africa, Eurasia and Southeast Asia as Jazz Ambassador, among many other accolades. Special guest Lindy choreography by Dexter Jones. In collaboration with Divine Rhythm Productions, lighting design is by Sue Samuels; Styling by DaDE Collab with additional Styling for Camille A. Brown by Mayte Natalio and additional wardrobe for Jason Samuels Smith by Raymonds Mens Wear.

And Still You Must Swing
Doris Duke Theatre
Wednesday, July 6 through Saturday July 9 at 8:15pm
Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10 at 2:15pm


•        Free Pre-Show Talks with Jacob’s Pillow Scholar-in Residence Suzanne Carbonneau are offered on the porch of the Doris Duke Theatre 30 minutes before every performance.

•        A Post-Show Q&A with Gauthier Dance Artistic Personnel and Scholar-in-Residence Maura Keefe will take place onstage on Thursday, July 7.

•        Tickets start at $25. A limited number of $19 Under 35 Friday tickets are available for July 8; limit 2 per person, must be between the ages of 18 and 35. 

•        Box Office HoursSunday through Tuesday11am–5pm, Wednesday through Saturday 11am–8pm.

•        Jacob’s Pillow is located at 358 George Carter Road in Becket, MA, 01223 (10 minutes east on Route 20 from Mass Pike Exit 2). The Jacob’s Pillow campus and theaters are handicapped-accessible.


Gauthier Dance
July 6-10, Wednesday-Saturday at 8pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm
Ted Shawn Theatre

Following Festival 2015’s sold-out engagement in the Doris Duke Theatre, Germany-based Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart takes to the Ted Shawn Theatre stage with their signature wit, charming edge, and stunning display of versatility. The program includes the return of emerging choreographer Po-Cheng Tsai’s theatrical Floating Flowers, Israeli choreographer Itzik Galili’s Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White, and Spanish choreographer Cayetano Soto’s CONRAZONCORAZON, created specifically for the company. The program will close with Mauro Bigonzetti’s tour-de-force Cantata with original and traditional music from southern Italy performed live onstage by Gruppo Musicale Assurd. Tickets start at $45.

Free Inside/Out Performance: Dances for One
Wednesday, July 6, 6:15pm
Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space

Dances for One features performances from two companies of different dance styles, highlighting the power of solo performance and the mastery of a dancer’s relationship to the audience, set to live musical accompaniment. FREE

Hari Krishnan of inDance
Artistic Director Hari Krishnan of Toronto-based inDance presents works that acknowledge the burdens and legacy of Eastern and Western tradition. Krishnan performs solo work Tiger by the Tail, set to live music by inDANCE’s resident percussionist Kajajeyan Pararasasegaram.

Marina Elana of Marina Elana and Company
Trained by prestigious flamenco artists in Sevilla and Madrid, Spain, Marina Elana has toured both nationally and internationally. Elana presents Marina Magalhães, an improvised solo flamenco performance featuring live musical accompaniment by a vocalist and a guitarist.

Free Inside/Out Performance: Calpulli Mexican Dance Company
Thursday, July 7, 6:15pm
Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space

New York City-based Calpulli Mexican Dance Company focuses on stories, histories, and messages that can be captured in folkloric, contemporary, and classically-influenced interpretations of Mexican and Mexican-American culture. Led by Artistic Director Alberto Lopez, the program will feature a cross section of the company’s repertoire from Aztec-inspired rituals to the Caribbean-infused rhythms of the Gulf coast set to Mariachi serenades played live. FREE.

Free Inside/Out Performance: Christopher Ruud & The Stars of Ballet West
Friday, July 8, 6:15pm
Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space

Christopher Ruud & The Stars of Ballet West brings Ballet West’s diverse and expansive repertoire to intimate venues. For more than 50 years, Salt Lake City’s Ballet West has brought the very best of classical and contemporary dance to theaters and opera houses world-wide, including The CW’s reality television show Breaking Pointe. Veteran leading dancer and choreographer for the company Christopher Ruud presents The Stars of Ballet West in the haunting pas de deux from Giselle; the neoclassical pas de deux from George Balanchine’s Rubies; the abstract in Tomm Ruud’s mesmerizing Mobile; Gerald Arpino’s heart-stopping Ruth, Ricordi per Due; and a world premiere by Ruud. FREE

Free PillowTalk: Award-Winning Camille A. Brown
Friday, July 8, 5pm
Blake’s Barn

This year’s Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award recipient Camille A. Brown returns to the Pillow stage this week, and discusses her unique personal journey, recent TED Talks, and upcoming projects. FREE.

Free Inside/Out Performance: Improv Traditions and Innovations: From Ring Shout to Blues to Jazz Program of The School at Jacob’s Pillow

Saturday, July 9, 6:15pm
Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space

Dancers from The School’s new Cultural Traditions program, Improv Traditions and Innovations: From Ring Shout to Blues to Jazz Program present a variety of dances, coached by program director and Urban Bush Women founder Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and Fulbright Fellow Nia Love. FREE

Free PillowTalk: What the Eye Hears
Saturday, July 9, 4pm
Blake’s Barn

The new book What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing by The New York Times critic Brian Seibert has been called “smart, wonderfully anecdotal and definitive” (Elizabeth Kendall, The New York Times). In this talk, Seibert will discuss and sign copies of his book. FREE

Sunday Master Class with Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards: And Still You Must Swing
Sunday, July 10, 10am
Doris Duke Theatre

Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards & cast from will teach a master class that is open to all intermediate and advanced dancers ages 16 and over. Pre-registration is required, call 413.243.9919 x5 the week of the class to register. Quiet observation is welcome; $15 per class or $80 for a 6-class card. Participants younger than 18 will require a parent’s signature on a liability waiver.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s