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Now & Then

The 2022 exhibit in Blake’s Barn, also entitled Now & Then, focuses attention on the intersections between past and present at the Pillow, juxtaposing vintage images with contemporary work by Festival Photographer Christopher Duggan. Similarly, this playlist offers an opportunity to view some classic dance works in performances that span many decades.

16 performances

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Now & Then

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Taylor Stanley

"Mourner's Bench" from Southern Landscape, 2022

Though both Philadanco and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company presented this contemporary classic at the Pillow in the early 1990s after Beatty himself introduced it here in the late 1940s, it had been absent from Pillow stages for more than 30 years.

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Playing 1 of 16

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Talley Beatty

"Mourner's Bench" from Southern Landscape, 1948

When Talley Beatty performed this solo here just a year after he created it, documentation was amazingly robust, resulting in this film as well as several evocative photographic portraits.

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Playing 2 of 16

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New York Theatre Ballet

Trio Con Brio, 2015

As they have done with so many other obscure treasures, New York Theatre Ballet invested immense amounts of time and skill to recreate this work from a silent film, allowing a new generation of audiences to experience a little-known Antony Tudor ballet.

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Playing 3 of 16

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Tatiana Grantzeva, Nicholas Polajenko, Ralph McWilliams

Trio Con Brio, 1952

This rarity by Antony Tudor was both created and premiered at the Pillow, with a team of resident dancers who would later tour a full program of dances to represent Jacob’s Pillow far beyond our borders.

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Playing 4 of 16

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Paramodernities by Netta Yerushalmy

Revelations: The Afterlives of Slavery, A Response to Alvin Ailey’s "Revelations" (1960), 2018

While this was far from a literal recreation of Revelations, the layers of interpretation and meaning that Netta Yerushalmy and her collaborators brought to this project revealed new depths in an iconic work.

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Playing 5 of 16

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Ailey II

"Wade in the Water" from Revelations, 1988

Alvin Ailey himself was present for this momentous revival of a work that had first found its present form at the Pillow nearly three decades earlier.

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Playing 6 of 16

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Adam H. Weinert

"Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen" from Four Dances Based on American Folk Music, 2016

Davon Rainey was the first Black performer to perform this foundational solo by Ted Shawn, bringing a new layer of authenticity to a work that drew inspiration partly from an African-American Spiritual.

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Playing 7 of 16

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Ted Shawn

"Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen" from Four Dances Based on American Folk Music, 1938

Seeking to emphasize diversity in selecting genres to feature in this work, Ted Shawn chose to foreground African-American Spirituals as “a unique and valuable contribution to American Folk Music.”

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Playing 8 of 16

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Daniel Ulbricht / Ballet 2014

Fancy Free, 2014

The very definition of a timeless classic, this collaboration between Jerome Robbins and Leonard Bernstein made its way back to the stage of the Ted Shawn Theatre after an absence of 65 years.

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Playing 9 of 16

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Ballet Theatre

Fancy Free, 1949

Though this performance only survived on silent film, synchronizing the vintage film with a contemporary recording of Leonard Bernstein’s score brings the work miraculously back to life.

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Playing 10 of 16

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Cynthia Gregory

Brahms Waltz, 1982

Revived to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Jacob’s Pillow, this work by Ruth St. Denis was personally coached by Denishawn dancer Jane Sherman.

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Playing 11 of 16

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Ruth St. Denis

Liebestraum, 1949

Ruth St. Denis was 70 when this film was made, documenting a brief solo that was always performed in tandem with the Brahms Waltz even though the two musical scores were by different composers.

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Playing 12 of 16

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Alexandra Danilova

Sugar Plum Fairy variation from The Nutcracker, 1952

Celebrated for her vivid stage personality as well as for her embodiment of the style she had mastered in Imperial Russia, Danilova offers a rare glimpse of a long-gone era in ballet history.

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Playing 13 of 16

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Alicia Markova

Sugar Plum Fairy variation from The Nutcracker, 1941

One of the earliest color films in the Pillow Archives, this footage was captured on the Tea Garden platform during the season when Markova co-directed the Pillow with Anton Dolin.

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Playing 14 of 16

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Norman Walker

Kinetic Molpai, 1962

This was the first revival of a work created more than 20 years earlier for Ted Shawn’s company of men dancers, a project instigated by Shawn himself but carried out by Norman Walker, who assembled a diverse cast to recreate the dynamic movement style.

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Playing 15 of 16

Ted Shawn's Men Dancers

Kinetic Molpai, 1937

Because Ted Shawn had the foresight to record his dances on silent film in the 1930s, this dance (and many others) could later be reunited with the musical score by Jess Meeker, Shawn’s composer-accompanist who remained an essential part of the Pillow for 65 years.

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Playing 16 of 16

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