Jacob’s Pillow Season Concludes with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Souleymane Badolo

Angelica Generosa of Pacific Northwest Ballet  (photo Angela Sterling)

Angelica Generosa of Pacific Northwest Ballet (photo Angela Sterling)

(BECKET, Mass.) – Pacific Northwest Ballet, one of America’s premier ballet companies, concludes the mainstage season at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in the Ted Shawn Theatre, Wednesday, August 24, to Sunday, August 28, in a program showcasing three works by a range of esteemed choreographers – “3 Movements” by Benjamin Millepied; “Sum Stravinsky” by Kiyon Gaines; and the world premiere of “Her Door to the Sky” by Jessica Lang – danced to music by Steve Reich, Stravinsky, and Benjamin Britten.
Also this week in the Doris Duke Theatre, Burkina Faso-born, Brooklyn-based dancer and choreographer Souleymane “Solo” Badolo explores the delicate balance between maintaining roots and beginning again. In Yimbégré, he and fellow dancer Sylvestre Koffitse Akakpo-Adzaku, along with master drummer Mamoudou Konate, demonstrate a powerful, athletic, and incredibly contemporary movement technique. This work is a deeply personal dance, full of intimate gesture and bursts of energy, strongly grounded in African traditions and history.

The Pacific Northwest Ballet program opens with world-renowned dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied’s work “3 Movements”. Regarded for having “stylish, architectural choreography” (Jean Lenihan, Los Angeles Times), the seemingly effortless choreography features a large ensemble of 16 dancers performing to influential avant-garde composer Steve Reich’s driving Three Movements for Orchestra accompanied by Brad Fields’ lighting design. This piece marked Millepied’s first work for PNB in 2008.


Souleymane Badolo (photo Nina Mouritzen)

Souleymane Badolo (photo Nina Mouritzen)

The second work on the program is “Sum Stravinsky” choreographed by former PNB soloist Kiyon Gaines. The uplifting work acknowledges Balanchine as an inspiration, shown in the whimsical choreography and stunning costumes designed by Pauline Smith to mimic the iconic “Balanchine blue” hue. Amongst the elegant partnering and crystal clear lighting by Randall G. Chiarelli, the piece, “is a playful work that’s all casual lightness, pleasantly showcasing its dancers” (Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times). Shared quirky moments of interaction between dancers give in part to the stunning accompaniment of Igor Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks concerto, allowing for the addition of unexpected touches of beauty to the piece.

The program closes with the world premiere of “Her Door to the Sky” by prolific choreographer Jessica Lang. Lang’s “Her Door to the Sky” is a Jacob’s Pillow and Pacific Northwest Ballet commissioned work. The piece will premiere at Jacob’s Pillow with a cast of 10 dancers complemented by Simple Symphony, an early score by the English composer Benjamin Britten.

Led by the artistic vision of former New York City Ballet principal Peter Boal since 2005, the Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) is one of the largest and most highly-regarded ballet companies in the United States, composed of nearly 50 dancers who present more than 100 performances each year. PNB sets standards for artistic excellence, innovation, and creativity, maintaining a diverse repertoire of the world’s leading choreographers including William Forysthe, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp, Christopher Wheeldon, and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa.
An esteemed choreographer, Benjamin Millepied is the former Director of the Paris Opera Ballet and a former New York City Ballet principal. Along with composer Nico Muhly, art consultant Matthieu Humery, founding producer Charles Fabius, and composer Nicholas Brittell, Millepied founded the contemporary dance company L.A. Dance Project in 2012, located in Los Angeles, California. His ballets are represented in the repertory of major dance companies around the world including New York City Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the Mariinsky Ballet, the Lyon Opera Ballet, and the Royal New Zealand Ballet, among many others.


A former participant in the New York Choreographic Institute, Kiyon Gaines’s final PNB performance as a soloist on June 7, 2015 led to the beginning of his career as a faculty member at PNB School, and Resident Choreographer at Ballet Arkansas.


Choreographer and Artistic Director of Jessica Lang Dance, Lang is a 2015 New York City Center Fellow and 2014 New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Award recipient and is hailed as “a master of visual composition” (Dance Magazine). Lang has created more than 90 works for companies worldwide, including Birmingham Royal Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, ABT II, Hubbard Street 2, and New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute.



Pacific Northwest Ballet has performed in the Ted Shawn Theatre on three previous occasions in 2006, 2009, and 2014. The company’s co-founder Kent Stowell performed at Jacob’s Pillow in 1964. Prior to becoming Artistic Director of PNB, Peter Boal presented his own company at Jacob’s Pillow in 2004.
Pacific Northwest Ballet was founded in 1972 as Pacific Northwest Dance Association under the auspices of Seattle Opera Association, with early leadership provided by Leon Kalimos, Janet Reed, and Melissa Hayden. Highlights of these early years include the acquisition of Lew Christensen’s Nutcracker in 1975 and a mixed repertory season offered in spring 1977. The Company became an independent organization in September 1977 and was renamed Pacific Northwest Ballet in 1978. In August 1977, Kent Stowell and Francia Russell were appointed Artistic Directors. During their extended tenure the Company and School attained an international reputation for superb performances and excellent training. In July 2005, Peter Boal succeeded Mr. Stowell and Ms. Russell as Artistic Director of Pacific Northwest Ballet and Director of Pacific Northwest Ballet School. The Company of nearly 50 dancers presents more than 100 performances each year of full-length and mixed repertory ballets at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall in Seattle and on tour. The Company has toured to Europe, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada, and throughout the United States, with celebrated appearances at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, New York City Center, and The Kennedy Center.



Performance and ticket information

Pacific Northwest Ballet

Ted Shawn Theatre

Wednesday, August 24 – Saturday, August 27, 8pm

Saturday, August 27 & Sunday, August 28, 2pm


  • Free Pre-Show Talks with Jacob’s Pillow Scholar-in-Residence Maura Keefe are offered in Blake’s Barn 30 minutes before each performance.
  • Free Post-Show Talk with artists from Pacific Northwest Ballet will take place immediately following the performance on Friday, August 26 at the Ted Shawn Theatre.
  • Tickets start at $45. Now on sale online at jacobspillow.org, via phone at 413.243.0745, or in person at the Jacob’s Pillow Box Office.
  • Box Office hours: Wednesday- Saturday, 11am-8pm; Sun, noon-5pm; Tues, 11am-5pm


Pillow Members receive exclusive benefits. To become a Member, call 413.243.9919×125.

Jacob’s Pillow is located at 358 George Carter Road in Becket, MA, 01223 (10 minutes east on Route 20 from Mass Pike Exit 2). The Jacob’s Pillow campus and theaters are handicapped accessible.




Souleymane Badolo

Wednesday, August 24 – Saturday, August 27, 8:15 pm

Saturday, August 27 & Sunday, August 28, 2:15 pm

Doris Duke Theatre


Born in Burkina Faso and based in Brooklyn, dancer and choreographer Souleymane “Solo” Badolo explores the delicate balance between maintaining roots and beginning again. In Yimbégré, he and fellow dancer Sylvestre Koffitse Akakpo-Adzaku, along with master drummer Mamoudou Konate, demonstrate a powerful, athletic, and incredibly contemporary movement technique. This work is a deeply personal dance, full of intimate gesture and bursts of energy, strongly grounded in African traditions and history. Tickets start at $25, $10 Youth tickets available.


Festival Finale

Saturday, August 27

Dance the night away at the ultimate Pillow party.  Tickets include Saturday evening performances, tasty treats, an epic dance party with DJ BFG, and more. Tickets start at $50 for Souleymane Badolo, $75 for Pacific Northwest Ballet.


Free Inside/Out Performance: Women Making Work

Wednesday, August 24, 6:15 pm

Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space


Women Making Work is an opportunity to see exciting works by talented female choreographers in multiple genres based in the arts hub of New York. FREE

o          Tiffany Mills Dance Company

Founded in 2002, Brooklyn-based Tiffany Mills Dance Company collaborates with artists across mediums to create an intellectually and aesthetically unique experience. The company will present excerpts from Mills’ highly-physical, utopic work After the Feast.


o          Nadine Bommer Dance Company

Founded by Israeli choreographer Nadine Bommer, New York City-based Nadine Bommer Dance Company brings exciting dance theatre work to the Inside/Out series. Inspired by the film Team America, American Cinema is a theatrical dance comedy that explores cinematic characters’ movement through dancers and marionettes.


o          Yin Yue Dance

Yin Yue is the artistic director of New York City-based Yin Yue dance ensemble. Yue is the recipient of BalletX’s first Choreographic Fellowship in 2015. The company will present a new work showcasing Yue’s signature precise movement and thrilling soundscape.


Free Inside/Out Performance: American College Dance Association Gala Highlights

Thursday, August 25, 6:15pm

Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space


The American College Dance Association (ACDA) promotes the diversity and growth of university dance departments across the U.S. Selected by esteemed judges from regional and national conferences, the evening’s work will be comprised of rising collegiate choreographers and performers from a wide range of universities. FREE


Free Pillow Talk: Multi-Faceted Collaborators

Friday, August 26, 5pm

Blake’s Barn

As both Audience Education Manager and Assistant to the Artistic Director, Doug Fullington’s work for Pacific Northwest Ballet crosses many boundaries, and he discusses his many roles in conversation with Peter Boal. FREE


Free Inside/Out Performance: Just Sole! Street Dance Theater Company

Friday, August 26, 6:15pm

Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space


Family-friendly and Philadelphia-based Just Sole! uses hip-hop and street dance forms to empower others to embrace and voice their personal stories while exploring the culture and history of these dance styles. The evening’s program will include Who I Am, Brave New World, The Good Man’s Plight, and In Between the Lines. FREE


Free PillowTalk: PS Dance!

Saturday, August 27, 4pm

Blake’s Barn


Exploring what can happen when students have dance in their curriculum, this award-winning documentary is screened and discussed by director and producer Nel Shelby, executive producer Jody Gottfried Arnhold, and consultant Joan Finkelstein. FREE




Free Inside/Out Performance: Nico Brown

Saturday, August 27, 6:15pm

Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space


New York City-based artist Nico Brown has been lauded as a “powerful [dancer] with smart ideas” (Siobhan Burke, The New York Times). With roots in rural Illinois, Brown draws inspiration from the expansive landscapes of his youth. His program includes the new work This is not a letter by my arms around you for a brief moment and the solo Nation. Brown is an alumnus of The School at Jacob’s Pillow’s Intern Program. FREE


Sunday Master Class with Festival Artist: Souleymane Badolo

Sunday, August 28, 10am

Doris Duke Theatre

Souleymane Badolo guides dancers of all levels through his multifaceted movement vocabulary–informed by dodo from Burkina Faso, urban African dances, and Western contemporary and improvisatory dance forms–in this master class featuring live percussion accompaniment. Pre-registration is required, call 413.243.9919 x5 the week of the class to register. Quiet observation is welcome; $15 per class or $80 for a 6-class card. Participants younger than 18 will require a parent’s signature on a liability waiver.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.