While dances sometimes contain narrative elements, there’s no single way to tell a story through movement. Highlighted here are some examples of Pillow performances that embody different kinds of storytelling.
Big Dance Theater
Alan Smithee Directed This Play: Triple Feature, 2015
The narrative in a typical Big Dance Theater work is often picked apart and put together in surprising ways, in this instance combining bits of Dr. Zhivago with Terms of Endearment.
New York Theatre Ballet
Donald Mahler’s Cinderella was premiered at the Pillow more than 30 years ago, and brought back in 2015 by New York Theatre Ballet.
David Roussève / REALITY
The lead character in David Roussève’s Stardust appears onstage only through his text messages, creating a coming-of-age story for the Twitter generation.
Companhia Urbana de Dança
Na Pista, 2014
Rather than one through-line narrative, Sonia Destri’s Na Pista combines the individual stories of its dancers to create a montage of personal histories.
This Croatian choreographer used her own experience of a separation to create a very personal duet entitled Mi-Nous, presented here in 2003.
Vers la Flamme, 1999
This riveting excerpt from Vers la Flamme weaves together a story by Chekhov and a Scriabin Prelude played live by pianist Christopher O’Riley.
Daniel Ulbricht / Ballet 2014
Fancy Free, 2014
When Daniel Ulbricht’s company brought Jerome Robbins’s Fancy Free back to the Pillow for the first time since 1949, audiences cheered a ballet milestone.
Radio and Juliet, 2009
Telling the Romeo & Juliet story in an entirely new way, this company from Slovenia used the music of Radiohead in the wildly popular Radio and Juliet.
Kidd Pivot Frankfurt RM
Dark Matters, 2011
Crystal Pite’s Dark Matters holds the distinction of being performed to sellout crowds in two consecutive seasons, a fitting honor for this spellbinding work.
New in the Duke
Sara Mearns and Honji Wang, Maya Beiser & Wendy Whelan, Ephrat Asherie Dance, Dormeshia, Jason Samuels Smith, & Derick K. Grant + 16 others
Nora Kaye & Hugh Laing
The Gods Go a-Begging, 1951
This Balanchine rarity was created for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1928 and recreated here by Nora Kaye and Hugh Laing in 1951.