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Ballet Coast to Coast

The first three entries below are from a program with the same title as this playlist, and all share the distinction of representing U.S. ballet companies from outside New York City. For more on this subject, see Nancy Wozny’s multi-media essay, “Pointe Spread: The Marvel of Regional Ballet” and a related podcast.

20 performances

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Ballet Coast to Coast

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Houston Ballet

Reflections, 2021

Justin Peck created this work especially for Houston Ballet with a commissioned score by Sufjan Stevens. Originally performed with two grand pianos onstage, Reflections is in six movements, two of which were presented at the Pillow.

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Playing 1 of 20

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Boston Ballet

Home Studies, 2021

While Helen Pickett originally choreographed Home Studies to be experienced online, she remade it for the stage and premiered this version of the ballet at Jacob’s Pillow.

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Playing 2 of 20

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Pacific Northwest Ballet

Second to Last, 2021

As the closing work on the 2021 program entitled “Ballet Coast to Coast,” Alejandro Cerrudo’s Second to Last incorporated dancers from Houston Ballet and Boston Ballet along with those from Cerrudo’s home company, Pacific Northwest Ballet. This excerpt shows just the PNB dancers.

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Playing 3 of 20

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Boston Ballet

Playlist (EP) (excerpts), 2019

William Forsythe’s five-year residency with the Boston Ballet resulted in Playlist (EP) as his first new work for the company, with two different sections from the ballet excerpted here.

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Playing 4 of 20

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Miami City Ballet

Polyphonia, 2017

Christopher Wheeldon created Polyphonia for New York City Ballet in 2001, the first work he made in his role as Artist-in-Residence after retiring from the stage.

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Playing 5 of 20

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The Washington Ballet

Seven Sonatas, 2017

Alexei Ratmansky made this work for American Ballet Theatre in 2009 with Julie Kent in one of the leading roles. After Kent took the reins of The Washington Ballet in 2016, it became one of the first works that she brought into the company’s rep.

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Playing 6 of 20

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Collage Dance Collective

Lineage, 2017

Although the company was founded in New York City (by Pillow alumnus Kevin Thomas), it relocated to Memphis in 2007 and continues to be one of the city’s cultural linchpins. Choreographer Darrell Grand Moultrie created this work for Collage in 2016.

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Playing 7 of 20

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Aspen Santa Fe Ballet

Silent Ghost, 2016

Created by Alejandro Cerrudo especially for Aspen Santa Fe Ballet in 2015, this performance is from the company’s fifth and final engagement at Jacob’s Pillow before it ceased operations in 2021.

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Playing 8 of 20

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Pacific Northwest Ballet

Her Door to the Sky, 2016

Inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe’s Patio Door series, Jessica Lang created both the choreography and the set design for this ballet which had its world premiere at the Pillow.

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Playing 9 of 20

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BalletX

Sunset, o639 Hours, 2016

This evening-length ballet by Matthew Neenan was inspired by a true story about the inaugural trans-Pacific airmail flight.

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Playing 10 of 20

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The Sarasota Ballet

Monotones I, 2015

A highlight of The Sarasota Ballet’s Pillow debut engagement in 2015 was this abstract ballet by Sir Frederick Ashton, whose works are a cornerstone of this company’s repertory.

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Playing 11 of 20

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Alonzo King's LINES Ballet

Biophony, 2015

The full-evening Alonzo King work excerpted here was described by its choreographer as “an illumination of the acoustic harmony of the wild.”

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Playing 12 of 20

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Trey McIntyre Project

Mercury Half-Life, 2014

This was the final work on the program when the Trey McIntyre Project gave its farewell performance at the Pillow in 2014, after having made its official world debut here six years earlier.

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Playing 13 of 20

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The Joffrey Ballet

Son of Chamber Symphony, 2012

This world premiere by Stanton Welch marked the Joffrey’s triumphant return to the Pillow after an absence of 47 years.

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Playing 14 of 20

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The Suzanne Farrell Ballet

Clarinade, 2006

Although this group ceased operations in 2017, their efforts to breathe new life into neglected works by George Balanchine provided a real service, as in this gem set to a concerto written for Benny Goodman.

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Playing 15 of 20

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Miami City Ballet

Rubies, 1996

Conceived as part of a full-evening Balanchine work entitled Jewels, this section of the ballet was presented at the Pillow on a program dedicated to the Balanchine/Stravinsky Legacy. The other two works on that program were Apollo and Agon.

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Playing 16 of 20

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Ballet Chicago

Calcium Light Night, 1989

This was the first ballet ever choreographed by Peter Martins, created in 1977 for Heather Watts and Daniel Duell. Ballet Chicago was founded by Duell in 1988 and they performed in three successive Pillow seasons, beginning with the one seen here.

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Playing 17 of 20

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The Washington Ballet

Double Contrasts, 1980

Choreographer Choo San Goh was on the Pillow’s faculty in 1980 when The Washington Ballet returned here after a 20-year absence and presented two of his works. At the time, Goh was the company’s Assistant Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer.

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Playing 18 of 20

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Center Ballet of Buffalo

Les Biches, 1969

This important 1924 ballet by Bronislava Nijinska, regarded as one of the first neoclassical ballets, was staged for these young dancers by the choreographer herself. These incredibly rare film fragments were unknown to the Pillow until 2016 when the filmmaker’s daughter donated them to the Archives.

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Playing 19 of 20

San Francisco Ballet

Concerto Barocco, 1956

This film represents the East Coast debut of San Francisco Ballet, with a Balanchine classic in startlingly different costumes than the standard black leotards and pink tights long employed by the New York City Ballet.

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Playing 20 of 20

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