A weekly, highly personal and subjective list of performances and artists we want you to know about:
The mother of all dance festivals, Jacob’s Pillow, opens this week in Becket, Massachusetts. One of this season’s festival opening artists is Jonah Bokaer, who will offer three works, including his 2016 “Rules of the Game.” Bokaer, who was a young dancer with Merce Cunningham, is a beautiful mover himself: his elegant shifts between motion and stillness can take your breath away. He uses those qualities in choreography that is precise and disciplined, but with a remarkable fluidity and tenderness.
Bokaer’s aesthetic is collaborative. He’s worked with sculptor Daniel Arsham for many years, making the visual elements of the dance as dramatic and central as the movement itself. In “Rules,” Bokaer and Arsham partnered with Pharrell Williams, who created his first orchestral score for this work, which premiered in Dallas with a full orchestra. At the Pillow, Bokaer re-creates it in the intimate Doris Duke Theatre, and is also offering his solo “Study for Occupant,” and the trio “OCCUPANT.” Seeing these works at The Pillow in the woods is a gift. Opens Wednesday, June 21 at 8:15 pm.
On the other end of the summer festival spectrum, Brooklyn’s JACK presents a four-day festival, “EXPLODE! queer dance,” exploring what’s possible in queer dance today. The festival aspires to present a broad coalition of lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer dancemakers. There are several familiar names in downtown dance, including Jennifer Monson, DD Dorvillier, and Thomas DeFrantz, but curator Clare Croft hasn’t limited the festival to what’s local, or any one form. The goal is to go wide, and embrace the many kinds of queer performance working to be seen and recognized. In addition to the performance schedule, the festival includes daytime programs and discussions at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and Oxford University – New York. Evening performances open at JACK on June 22 at 8 pm.
Cover: (L to R) James McGinn and Albert Drake in “Rules of the Game.” Photo © Sharen Bradford.
Got something to say about this? Sound off here
Don’t miss a thing! We’ll send you a notification of every article we post if you sign up with your email. (The signup is right below, scroll down). We promise you won’t be deluged and we won’t spam you either.