(BECKET, Mass.) – Doug Varone & Dancers and Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion bring new works to Jacob’s Pillow from Wednesday, August 2 through Sunday, August 6. Varone’s 30th anniversary includes a retrospective plus recent work, with music by Chopin, Arvo Pärt, and Bang on a Can cofounder Michael Gordon; Kyle Abraham’s Dearest Home takes place in a refigured, theater-in-the-round setup in the Doris Duke Theatre.
Doug Varone premieres a new Nocturne on himself, as a compliment to his 1987 solo of the same name, as well as Boats Leaving and the company’s newest work, ReComposed.
Presented in-the-round, Kyle Abraham’s Dearest Home explores the concepts of love, longing, and loss. The audience has control over their experience with the opportunity to listen to the piece with or without music, through wireless headphones.
In his retrospective, Varone will present his 1987 solo Nocturne in D Flat Major, Opus 27, #2, performed to Frédéric Chopin’s music. Varone says this “seminal work explored the blur between pedestrian movement and pure dance, and set in motion a vocabulary and style that I’ve been mining ever since.” His choreographic trajectory is showcased in the premiere of his new solo Nocturne in D Flat Major, Opus 27, #1, also danced to Chopin’s composition.
Eight dancers will take the stage next for Varone’s New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Award Winning Boats Leaving (2006). In this piece, danced to classical and religious music composer Arvo Pärt’s “Te Deum,” dancers use their emotive bodies to create a somber community onstage. Boats Leaving showcases Varone’s quintessential choreographic approach. He leads the audience on an individual and emotional experience through contemporary and virtuosic movement, fueled by the dancers and the music.
Closing the program is the company’s most recent work, ReComposed, which premiered in 2015 and is inspired by visual artist Joan Mitchell’s pastel drawings. Composer Michael Gordon’s “Dystopia” grasps at qualities of Mitchell’s drawings through “an orchestra swooping and sliding with a sense of barely controlled chaos.”
In his most recent work, Dearest Home, Kyle Abraham, MacArthur “Genius” Fellow and Jacob’s Pillow Award-winner, presents an intimate performance that explores the concepts of love, longing, and loss. Dearest Home audiences watch the performance in-the-round, allowing them to fully experience the “glorious conviction” of the dancers.
Dearest Home premiered in May 2017 at the Yerba Center for the Arts, a multidisciplinary contemporary arts center in San Francisco. While the dancers of Abraham.In.Motion perform the work in silence, audience members have the unique opportunity to choose whether to experience the work with a sound score through wireless headphones or in silence. The music, an original composition by Jerome Begin, recorded by Vivian Yau (vocals), and Cyrus Beroukhim, Jennifer Choi, Wendy Lau, and Danika Paskvan (musicians), accompanies the rich movement of the dancers.
Jerome Begin, called a “fabulous composer-pianist” by the New York Times, creates experimental electronic and acoustic music scores. He has collaborated with distinguished companies such as Bill T. Jones, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Keigwin + Company, among others. In Dearest Home, “the sound situation offers the best of two worlds,” says Allan Ulrich of The San Francisco Chronicle. Witnessing the piece without the score provides an intriguing alternative to traditional dance performances, allowing the audience to engage all their senses and witness the vulnerable, fervent energy of the dancers within the space.
Kyle Abraham brings together a diverse group of dancers from varying ages and subcultures. His work is widely known for its ability to dive into the realities of a changing social world, revealing individual histories and oftentimes silenced voices. Instead of the sharper-edged emphasis of some of Abraham’s prior works, a softness and subtlety pervades the movement in Dearest Home; Abraham.In.Motion shares an unmistakable intimacy with the audience within this special in-the-round setting.
Performance & Ticket Details
Doug Varone & Dancers
Ted Shawn Theatre, August 2–6
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8pm
Saturday & Sunday at 2pm
$69, $49, $39
A limited number of $35 Under 35 tickets are available; adults ages 18-35 are eligible. One ticket per person; each guest must show valid I.D. when picking up tickets at Will Call. Other discounts are available.
Tickets are on sale now; online at jacobspillow.org, and via phone 413.243.0745, and at the Jacob’s Pillow Box Office at 358 George Carter Road, Becket, MA, 0122
Doris Duke Theatre, August 2–6
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8:15pm
Thursday, Saturday, Sunday at 2:15pm
$45, $35, $25