U.K. Royal Ballet at Jacob's Pillow
To Highlight 2024 Season
By: Pillow - Nov 18, 2023
Jacob’s Pillow announced today that one of the world’s great ballet companies, The Royal Ballet of the United Kingdom, will appear at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival for the first time, as the company’s sole stop in the United States in 2024. To celebrate this milestone, Jacob’s Pillow will for the first time feature daily back-to-back performances from one company in multiple venues, with one program on the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage, and another distinct program in the historic indoor Ted Shawn Theatre.
The 2024 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival will run for nine weeks, beginning Wednesday, June 26 and ending on Sunday, August 25. The Royal Ballet will take over the festival for week two, with multiple performances each day beginning Wednesday, July 3 and ending Sunday, July 7. Full festival programming will be announced in early 2024.
The Royal Ballet is one of the most famous and celebrated ballet companies in the world. Based in London, England, the company has been in residence at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden since 1946. The company was founded by Dame Ninette de Valois in 1931—the same year that modern dance pioneer Ted Shawn purchased the rural farm property in Massachusetts that would become the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.
Now in its 92nd year, Jacob’s Pillow runs the oldest continually-operating dance festival in the United States. Each year, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival features national and international dance companies in free and ticketed performances, as well as talks, tours, classes, exhibits, events, and community programs, based in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts.
“The stars have aligned so that for the first time in our 92 years, The Royal Ballet will finally grace the stages of Jacob’s Pillow,” said Pamela Tatge, Executive and Artistic Director. “It is such an honor to have this be their exclusive U.S. engagement in 2024, and it has been thrilling to work with Director Kevin O’Hare to design what will feel like a Pillow takeover by the Ballet. In addition to performances both indoors and outdoors, there will be workshops, talks, and film screenings, so that we can all appreciate the artistry and worldwide contributions of this magnificent company to the field of dance.”
The Royal Ballet’s celebrated repertory is drawn from 19th-century ballet classics as well as the distinctive English works of its Founder Choreographer Frederick Ashton and Principal Choreographer Kenneth MacMillan, and continues to resonate with audiences strongly today through the striking contemporary sensibility of Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor and Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon.
A World Premiere by Wayne McGregor created especially for Jacob’s Pillow will feature alongside works by the company’s other associated choreographers and will also include the U.S. Premiere of Secret Things by American choreographer Pam Tanowitz. Royal Ballet Principals Matthew Ball, Mayara Magri, Marcelino Sambé, Anna Rose O’Sullivan, and Sarah Lamb will perform in this engagement along with a vibrant array of the company’s dancers. The opening night on Wednesday, July 3 will also include Principal dancer Natalia Osipova in Ashton’s evocation of Isadora Duncan. Programming and dates are subject to change.
Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, comments, “We are delighted to be making our first visit to Jacob’s Pillow which, with its fantastic pioneering heritage, has made such an impact on international dance. It’s wonderful to shine a light on our own history and dance making, celebrating The Royal Ballet’s repertory past and present in this inaugural visit. We can’t wait for our dancers to connect with American audiences in this stunning location—what better setting to share our mutual love of the art form?”
Full festival programming, including additional dance companies and full details on event dates and times, will be announced by February 2024. Tickets will go on sale in the spring, first to Jacob’s Pillow Members over a period of several weeks, then to the general public. To learn more about membership and early access to Festival 2024 tickets, visit jacobspillow.org/membership. For the most up-to-date festival programming announcements, visit jacobspillow.org. Year-round dance lovers can engage with multimedia from Jacob’s Pillow—including playlists, essays, a monthly podcast, and on-demand video—on the main website (jacobspillow.org), on-demand video hub (watch.jacobspillow.org), and online portal to the Archives (danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org).
ABOUT THE ROYAL BALLET:
Under the directorship of Kevin O’Hare, The Royal Ballet unites tradition and innovation in world-class performances and is a driving force in the development of ballet as an art form. Based at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, it brings together today’s most dynamic and versatile dancers with a world-class orchestra and leading choreographers, composers, conductors, directors and creative teams to share awe-inspiring theatrical experiences with diverse audiences worldwide.
The Company’s extensive repertory embraces 19th-century classics, the singular legacy of works by Founder Choreographer Frederick Ashton and Principal Choreographer Kenneth MacMillan, a compelling new canon of work by choreographers today including Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor and Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon, and the bold and complementary programming in the Linbury Theatre. Guest choreographers Kyle Abraham, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Cathy Marston, Arthur Pita, Crystal Pite, Hofesh Shechter, Pam Tanowitz and Twyla Tharp have also created work for the Company.