The Season Opening Gala has been the occasion for many “one-time-only” presentations at Jacob’s Pillow since the 1970s, as evidenced by these examples from various genres, spanning the decades.
The Swan, 2023
In his Jacob’s Pillow debut, Lil Buck presented his radical re-interpretation of The Dying Swan, as seen more traditionally elsewhere in this playlist.
Princess Lockerooo and The Fabulous Waack Dancers, 2023
This special site-specific presentation took place in a tent on the Great Lawn, as a precursor to all the excitement that was about to begin inside.
Dance Theatre of Harlem
This Bitter Earth, 2023
The score for Christopher Wheeldon’s timeless duet remixes Dinah Washington’s 1960 vocals with Max Richter’s “On the Nature of Daylight,” a mashup that was first created for a 2010 Martin Scorcese film.
A.I.M by Kyle Abraham
Show Pony, 2023
Although this dance was presented as a last-minute substitute for another Kyle Abraham work, it made a perfect offering to celebrate Misty Copeland’s Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award, concerning itself with “the pressures of being on display and having to deliver.”
Sonata for Two Cellos, 2001
This extremely rare solo by José Limón has only been performed four times since its creation in 1961—and one of those performances is seen here in a powerful excerpt.
My Roots, 2022
This dynamic solo by Cuban-born Irene Rodríguez was created during a Pillow Lab residency and premiered at the 90th Anniversary Gala.
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Seen here in its world premiere, Antidote was performed to celebrate Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s acceptance of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award in 2022.
Caleb Teicher & Company
With live music provided by beatboxer Chris Celiz, this rousing group work kicked off a season that included a weeklong engagement by Caleb Teicher and Conrad Tao in the Doris Duke Theatre.
Less Amor, 2019
Though the Trey McIntyre Project gave its final performances at the Pillow in 2014, McIntyre continues to create, as can be seen in this world premiere for the 2019 Gala.
Dance Theatre of Harlem
Come Sunday, 2018
This solo by Geoffrey Holder was presented as a special tribute to the originator of the role, Carmen de Lavallade, who served as Honorary Chair of the 2018 Gala.
Miami City Ballet
Carousel Pas de Deux, 2017
Sir Kenneth MacMillan choreographed this pas de deux for the 1992 London revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel, also seen on Broadway in the following season.
Just a Minute, 2014
When John Heginbotham received the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award in 2014, he graciously presented this solo in gratitude.
Wendy Whelan & Lloyd Knight
"Moon" from Canticle for Innocent Comedians, 2013
This duet from Martha Graham’s Canticle for Innocent Comedians is the only surviving portion of a 1952 work that is otherwise considered to be lost.
Though this dance was created by Nacho Duato in 1991, he reworked it especially for superstar David Hallberg more than 20 years later.
Choreographer Benjamin Millepied originally created this duet for himself and ABT ballerina Gillian Murphy.
The Dying Swan, 2010
Nearly 30 years after she began her career with the Bolshoi Ballet, Nina Ananiashvili presented a definitive performance of this Fokine classic, shared here in its entirety.
Solo Performance, 2002
The performance seen here marked Savion Glover’s Jacob’s Pillow debut, followed three years later by a week-long engagement featuring two of his mentors, Jimmy Slyde and Dianne Walker.
Gregory Hines, Dianne Walker, Jimmy Slyde
Gala Performance, 1996
Cameras were fortunately rolling on the one-and-only occasion when Gregory Hines visited the Pillow to jam with two of his favorite dancing partners.
Carmen de Lavallade
Portrait of Billie, 1992
As a special tribute to choreographer John Butler, who attended this singular performance, Carmen de Lavallade revived the work he had created on her more than 30 years earlier.
Yoshiko Chuma & The School of Hard Knocks, 1987
As part of a multi-week residency, Yoshiko Chuma presented this unique performance on the Pillow’s Great Lawn, which had been inaugurated the previous summer.
Marge Champion and Blake Champion
Just a year before Blake Champion was killed in a car accident, he danced with his mother for this special tribute to his father, Gower Champion.
Peter Maxwell & Vicki Regan
Miller Melange, 1982
In extra-close proximity to their audience in the Bakalar Studio, this ballroom dance duo offered a sneak preview of the program they would present the following month in the Ted Shawn Theatre, entitled “Winning Teams.”