Breaking Boundaries

The country’s oldest dance festival is still acting like a youngster. This summer’s lineup of over 350 performances and other events at Jacob’s Pillow includes hip-hop, innovative tap, interdisciplinary experiments and other boundary-breaking performances alongside some of the world’s premier established contemporary dance companies.

This week the festival opens with two contrasting programs. The Hong Kong Ballet presents an evening of works exploring themes from masculinity and sacrifice to marital and professional jealousy, and dance icon and actress Carmen de Lavallade reflects on her six-decade career with the likes of Lena Horne, Josephine Baker and Alvin Ailey.

The next week’s shows are a pretty good representation of the festival’s boundary-breaking tastes. Trey McIntyre Project (pictured) presents a piece inspired by the creepy imagination of Edward Gorey, paired with an homage to Freddie Mercury and Queen. And Unreal Hip-Hop showcases the all-female crew Decadancetheatre, the Boston-based Wondertwins, and B-girl extraordinaire Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie, who will also perform at the Pillow next month with tap-girl extraordinaire Michelle Dorrance.

Jacob’s Pillow Dance, 358 George Carter Road, Becket, (413) 243-0745,

Author: Chris Rohmann

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