Dances with Dramaturgs
While dramaturgs have been common in theater and opera companies since the 18th century, they were relatively unknown in dance until the late 20th century. Dating back to the first Pillow instance in 1998, all of the dances represented in this playlist have credited dramaturgs. Find out more in a related podcast.
Wicked Bodies, 2022
Reflecting the fact that Wicked Bodies was the product of many collaborators and years of development, the work’s dramaturgy also required multiple contributors, credited to Darron L West with Paloma McGregor and Will Bond.
Nearly Sighted/ unearthing the dark, 2022
Shawn René Graham was the dramaturg for this work, which involves live audio descriptions of the movement delivered onstage by three different individuals.
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's Eastman
Fractus V, 2018
Guided by the dramaturgy of Antonio Cuenca Ruiz, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui set out to explore the power of language as a means of government control, inspired by the writings of linguist and political theorist Noam Chomsky.
Piece For Person and Ghetto Blaster, 2018
Nicola Gunn herself has sometimes played the role of dramaturg for the choreographer of this work, Jo Lloyd, though here she credits Jon Haynes as Script Dramaturg.
Camille A. Brown & Dancers
BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play, 2017
Three dramaturgs are credited for this dance—Daniel Banks, Kamilah Forbes, and Talvin Wilks—while the choreographer also drew inspiration from Kyra Gaunt’s book, The Games Black Girls Play.
Elvis Everywhere, 2017
Tom Cole was the dramaturg for this multi-layered work by Mark Dendy and Stephen Donovan, which was originally inspired by an interview with Donald Rumsfeld describing his encounter with Elvis Presley in Las Vegas.
Carmen de Lavallade
As I Remember It, 2014
Talvin Wilks was not only credited as dramaturg, but also as co-writer for this solo presentation by one of the great dancer/actresses of our time.
David Roussève / REALITY
While Roussève is credited with choreography, text, and direction, he also relied upon dramaturg Lucy Burns to help create this tale of an African American gay urban teenager who only appears onstage through his text messages.
Reggie Wilson / Fist & Heel Performance Group
As an internationally-recognized historian of modern dance, Susan Manning had never served as a dramaturg before Reggie Wilson invited her to serve in that capacity for Moses(es), which also employed Phyllis Lamhut as a choreographic advisor.
Kyle Abraham / Abraham.In.Motion
Charlotte Brathwaite was the dramaturg for this full-evening work, inspired by the historically Black neighborhoods of Pittsburgh where Kyle Abraham grew up.
Doug Elkins and Friends
Fräulein Maria, 2012
With Anne Davison credited as dramaturg, this uproarious riff on The Sound of Music was described by Suzanne Carbonneau as “a little bit Borscht Belt, a little bit Tony Kushner.”
David Dorfman Dance
Prophets of Funk, 2011
Known today as a Tony Award-winning director and writer, Alex Timbers served as dramaturg for this full-evening celebration of Sly and the Family Stone.
Barak Marshall's MONGER
Credited as a dramaturgical advisor, Ariel Ashbel is an Israeli-born performance maker who is now based in Berlin. Barak Marshall’s MONGER was presented at the Pillow in its U.S. premiere.
Lucy Guerin Inc
Structure and Sadness, 2010
Inspired by a catastrophic Australian bridge collapse that claimed the lives of 35 people, Structure and Sadness was created with the assistance of dramaturg Maryanne Lynch.
Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company
With extensive theater credits, Jim Lewis served as dramaturg for Chapel/Chapter, a full-evening work which combines movement with fragments of crime narratives.
Bebe Miller Company
Talvin Wilks was the dramaturg for this full-evening work which concerns itself with the impact of the unfamiliar alongside the everyday, grappling with how the sense of self shifts as we experience change.
Danish Dance Theatre
Gerd Schottländer was the dramaturg for this U.S. premiere with a title that translates as “chalk,” part of a trilogy addressing the limits and challenges of human interaction.
The Fragile Stone Theory, 2002
Actor/singer/artist Julius Hollingsworth was the dramaturg for this two-act production, commissioned by Jacob’s Pillow and presented here in its world premiere engagement.
Jane Comfort and Company
A veteran of New York City’s Public Theater, dramaturg Morgan Jenness helped develop this “scripted dance” with a score by Toshi Reagon and book and lyrics by Carl Hancock Rux.
Rennie Harris Puremovement
Rome and Jewels, 2000
Not only was Ozzie Jones credited as dramaturg for this contemporary riff on Romeo and Juliet, but he also contributed to the text along with Sabela Grimes, Rodney Mason, Rennie Harris, Raphael Williams and, of course, William Shakespeare.
Zaccho Dance Theatre
Invisible Wings, 1998
Kim Euell was the dramaturg for this monumental site-specific production, tracing the history of the Underground Railroad on land that would later become known as Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.