European ballet companies have been frequent guests at the Pillow ever since the Royal Danish Ballet made its U.S. debut here in 1955, so this Playlist proudly leads off with the Danes’ most recent engagement in 2018. And we also include individual European artists like Alicia Markova, who co-directed the Pillow in addition to performing in 1941—a transformative season you can learn more about in an extensively-illustrated online essay.
Royal Danish Ballet
A Folk Tale, 2018
A perfect illustration of both tradition and change, this 1854 ballet has been lovingly preserved while also being freshly costumed in the 21st century.
Daniil Simkin's "INTENSIO"
Islands of Memories, 2015
This multi-national project features choreography by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa in a project devised by the Russian-born Daniil Simkin.
These dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet show off their bravura technique while also enjoying the witty choreography of Samuel Murez.
This ballet by Benjamin Millepied was performed at the Pillow only once for a Gala, in the same season when the company performed Joëlle Bouvier’s evening-length Romeo and Juliet.
The Göteborg Ballet
Episode 17, 2010
Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman created this work as part of a trio of ballets inspired by Ravel’s “Boléro.”
Radio and Juliet, 2009
The music of Radiohead furnished the soundtrack for Romanian choreographer Edward Clug’s modern gloss on the classic story of Romeo and Juliet.
Lyon Opera Ballet
Un Ballo, 2002
While Lyon Opera Ballet has often been known for its cutting-edge repertory, this work by Jiří Kylián is surprisingly lush and romantic.
Stockholm / 59° North
Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven, 1997
Created for these dancers by Ulysses Dove, Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven was Dove’s meditation on AIDS, the disease that ended his life all too soon.
Johan Renvall & Madeleine Onne
Little Improvisations, 1983
Antony Tudor’s charming Little Improvisations premiered at Jacob’s Pillow in 1953, and wasn’t seen here again until this revival thirty years later.
Created by Kenneth MacMillan in memory of the Stuttgart Ballet’s John Cranko, this ballet was excerpted here to honor dance writer Walter Terry, who had died the previous year.
Gala Performance, 1959
Only Ballet Rambert could present a large-scale work like Antony Tudor’s Gala Performance on the then-tiny Ted Shawn Theatre stage and make it appear so roomy.
Sugar Plum Fairy variation from The Nutcracker, 1941
Though the setting is obliterated by a canvas floor covering and backdrop, this rare footage was captured on the Pillow’s Tea Garden platform, still in use today.