Jacob’s Pillow spotlights Bryan Arias, Brendan Brooks and Wendy Whelan to close out July

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival presents the highly-anticipated world premiere of ARIAS Company’s a rather lovely thing at the Doris Duke Theatre, July 27-31. Bryan Arias, former company member with high-profile Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) and current member of Crystal Pite’s Kidd Pivot, brings his burgeoning three-year old contemporary dance ensemble to Jacob’s Pillow for an evening-length performance.

a rather lovely thing seeks to challenge notions of identity, bias, and stereotype through reflections on reality, existence, and happiness. Intrigued by the universality of human experience, Arias explains that he hopes his artistry can “exist in a thought or a dream”.  Four dancers – Bryan Arias, Spenser Theberge, Jermaine Spivey, and Ana Maria Lucaciu – abstractly and literally morph identities to explore individuality. With experience garnered from The Göteborg Ballet, Hofesh Schecter Company, The Forsythe Company, the Royal Danish Ballet, Kidd Pivot, and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, the four dancers comprise an unstoppable powerhouse of talent and expertise. Ambient sounds and classical compositions by 19th century cellist Jacques Offenbach, Johann Sebastian Bach, Frédéric Chopin, and opera composer Georges Bizet guide the work.



“An expressive young powerhouse dancer” (Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times), Bryan Arias has captivated audiences in his work with multiple top contemporary dance companies for years. As a respected dancer and up-and-coming choreographer, any feat the ambitious Arias takes on is expected to deliver. Arias was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and began formal dance training at the highly-esteemed La Guardia High School for the Performing Arts in New York City. Since then, Arias has performed with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, NDT, and Crystal Pite’s Kidd Pivot, working with choreographers such as Jiří Kylián, Ohad Naharin, and Crystal Pite. He is the recipient of the Copenhagen International Choreography Competition’s (CICC) “First Place and Audience Choice Award” for his work Without Notice, as well as Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s International Commission Project and a Northwest Dance Project Residency Award. Arias has created work for Springboard Danse Montreal, the Juilliard School, Hubbard Street 2, NDT’s “Switch”, Ballet Vorpommern, and The Scottish Ballet, with upcoming commissions for NDT2 and Tanz Lucerne Theater.



Bryan Arias debuted ARIAS Company in November 2013 with an evening-length, sold-out production of a place where something flourishes at Manhattan Movement and Arts Center. Developed as a choreographic home for Bryan Arias’s creative interests, ARIAS Company fuses disparate dance styles and backgrounds, striving to be relevant, forward-thinking, and thought-provoking. As a company, ARIAS Company has traveled internationally to Festival Siquientescena (Mexico), Pietrasanta Music Fesitval (Italy), CICC (Copenhagen), and Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur (Quebec, Canada). “Finely crafted and expertly danced” (Oberon’s Grove), fans and critics alike have applauded the multiplicity of talents presented by ARIAS Company.



Bryan Arias received Creative Development Residencies at Jacob’s Pillow for the past two years to focus his choreographic aspirations. a rather lovely thing reflects movement research achieved through the residency process. In 2007, Arias both choreographed and performed at Jacob’s Pillow as part of Rasta Thomas’s Bad Boys of Dance, which was later featured in Ron Honsa’s documentary Never Stand Still.

Rasta Thomas’s Bad Boys of Dance from 2007: http://danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org/bad-boys-of-dance/heartbreak-on-repeat/


Performance and ticket information

ARIAS Company
Doris Duke Theatre

Wednesday, July 27–Saturday July 30, 8:15 pm

Saturday, July 30 & Sunday, June 31, 2:15 pm


  • Free Pre-Show Talks with Jacob’s Pillow Scholar-in-Residence Philip Szporer are offered on the porch of the Doris Duke Theatre 30 minutes before each performance
  • Free Post-Show Q&A with ARIAS Company will take place immediately following the performance on Thursday, July 21 at the Doris Duke Theatre.
  • Tickets start at $25. Now on sale online at jacobspillow.org, via phone at 413.243.0745, or in person at the Jacob’s Pillow Box Office.
  • Box Office hours:  Wednesday– Saturday11am-8pm; Sun, noon-5pm; Tues, 11am-5pm


Pillow Members receive exclusive benefits. To become a Member, call 413.243.9919×125.

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.




July 27-31, WednesdaySaturday at 8pmSaturday and Sunday at 2pm

Ted Shawn Theatre


Choreographer Brian Brooks is beloved for his “kinetic thrill and visual power” (Sarah Kaufman, The Washington Post), while former New York City Ballet star and principal dancer Wendy Whelan is “riveting, interesting, unusual, intelligent” (Alastair Macaulay, The New York Times). Jacob’s Pillow audiences will remember their winning collaboration in Restless Creature in 2013; this season they return with new solos and duets, full of elegance and electricity. This singular performance is amplified by the remarkable, live musical stylings of string quartet Brooklyn Rider, hailed as “the future of chamber music” (Greg Cahill, Strings Magazine).


Free Inside/Out Performance: Dances for Two

Wednesday, July 27, 6:15pm

Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space


Dances for Two features an evening of works dedicated to exploring the performance of the pas de deux. FREE


Donnell Oakley Makes Dances

Donnell Oakley is a Brooklyn-based choreographer, dancer, and teacher. In sure i’m sure, Oakley and performer Courtney Drasner explores vulnerability in the face of the unknown in charming and intimate ways.


Schoen Movement

Emily Schoen approaches dance as a humanized, heartening, musical, and highly technical form of physical art. Schoen Movement returns to Inside/Out with a hypnotic new modern tango duet.


Manuel Vignoulle – M/motions

Based in New York City, French choreographer Manuel Vignoulle of Manuel Vignoulle-M/motions fuses classical styles with contemporary gesture. Vignoulle and fellow dancer Rena Butler perform the powerful duet Black & White set to music by Icelandic duo Jonsi & Alex.



Free Inside/Out Performance: Dark Circles Contemporary Dance (DCCD)

Thursday, July 28, 6:15pm

Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space


Founded in 2010 in Seoul, South Korea and with an American branch based in North Texas, Dark Circles Contemporary Dance (DCCD) explores the depth of human connection within a multicultural framework. Led by Dance Magazine’s 2015 “25 to Watch” choreographer Joshua L. Peugh, DCCD features innovative combinations of classical technique and modern movement styles with a dynamic company of performers. The program will include the critically acclaimed Aimless Young Man and a world premiere work titled 1998. FREE


Families Dance Together Class

Friday, July 295-6pm

For children ages 5-18, accompanied by an adult

$5 per adult/$1 per child


This intergenerational class, led by Pillow Artist Educator Jeff Bliss, is a unique opportunity for children and adults to experience the joy of creating simple dances together. Meet in the Pillow’s Tea Garden at 4:45pm to register. Class is held in the Bakalar Studio. This program is a Jacob’s Pillow/Becket Arts Center collaboration.


Free Pillow Talk: Treasures Uncovered 
Friday, July 29, 5pm
Blake’s Barn


More than four decades after Ted Shawn’s death, scholars continue making important archival discoveries, including a previously-unknown treasure trove at the New York Public Library sampled here for the first time. FREE


Free Inside/Out Performance: Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble

Friday, July 29, 6:15pm

Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space


Based in Philadelphia, PA, Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble presents a unique, cross-cultural blend of Ukrainian and American aesthetics derived from classical, contemporary, and folkloric styles. Praised for their “high virtuosity” (The Philadelphia Inquirer), the ensemble’s performances reflect the spirit and character of the Ukrainian people from pre-Christian traditions to the many regional styles of modern day Ukraine. FREE

Free PillowTalk: What Rehearsal Directors Do
Saturday, July 30, 4pm

Blake’s Barn


Risa Steinberg often assists choreographers by rehearsing their work (while also serving on the faculty of the Juilliard Dance Divisions), here explaining her current assignment with Wendy Whelan and Brian Brooks. FREE


Free Inside/Out Performance: Contemporary Program of The School at Jacob’s Pillow

Saturday, July 30, 6:15pm

Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space


Dancers from the Contemporary Program of The School at Jacob’s Pillow present contemporary variations coached by program director Milton Myers and esteemed faculty member and Colombo-Belgian choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Thang Dao, and Robert Moses. FREE


Sunday Master Class with Festival Artist: ARIAS Company
Sunday, July 31, 10am
Doris Duke Theatre

Festival artist ARIAS Company will teach a master class 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.


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