Lar Lubovitch Kicks Off 40th Anniversary Tour at Jacob's Pillow

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Photo Courtesy of Jacob’s Pillow
Becket – Marking the beginning of its 40th anniversary season, the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company returns to Jacob’s Pillow July 2 – 6. The company’s Pillow program includes Lubovitch’s signature work Concerto Six Twenty Two (1986), as well as two new dances from 2007, Little Rhapsodies and Dvorák Serenade. 

Hailed as “one of the ten best choreographers in the world” by The New York Times, Lubovitch creates sophisticated and seamless work, imbued with poetic and musical eloquence. In addition to creating dances for his renowned modern dance company, Lubovitch has choreographed for leading international ballet companies, Broadway, television, film, and even championship figure skating. A 1987 Tony Award nominee, 1993-94 Astaire Award recipient, and 2004 Elan Award winner, Lubovitch is a celebrated visionary in the dance community.

“Lar Lubovitch is one of the pillars of American dance. His craftsmanship and imagination can master any assignment—from film to Broadway to ice. All the great dancers want to work with him, and do. It’s a fitting and celebratory moment for dance that Lar will be at the Pillow for his 40th anniversary season,” comments Ella Baff, Jacob’s Pillow Executive Director.

His company’s Pillow program demonstrates Lubovitch’s versatility. Little Rhapsodies is a suite of character studies for three male dancers, set to piano etudes by Robert Schumann, and featuring internationally acclaimed dancer Rasta Thomas. Thomas, a former dancer for the Kirov Ballet and in Twyla Tharp’s Movin’ Out on Broadway, debuted his own company, Bad Boys of Dance, at Jacob’s Pillow in 2007. Little Rhapsodies showcases each dancer’s individuality and virtuoso skills as they portray a range of emotions, from jovial to lonely, empowered to expectant. By contrast, Dvorák Serenade is a full company work defined by sculptural movement patterns and described as “one of Lubovitch’s big, sweeping ensemble works, the sort he does best,” by The Financial Times.

For his return to the Pillow, Lubovitch has restaged his acclaimed Concerto Six Twenty Two, which the company will perform for the first time since 1995.  Set to a score by Mozart, Concerto Six Twenty Two was one of the first dances to portray men in caring and loving relationships. The work was particularly meaningful in the face of the mid-80s AIDS crisis, and continues to resonate with audiences today. The Washington Post described the work as “great fun, which one felt almost viscerally—watching the dancers charge and soar was akin to bodysurfing the crests of a clarinet sea.” The performance of Concerto Six Twenty Two at the Pillow is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts’ American Masterpieces: Dance Initiative, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts.

Lar Lubovitch Dance Company enjoys a long history with Jacob’s Pillow and this summer’s performances mark its sixth appearance at the Festival. Introduced in 1971 by Ted Shawn himself, the Lubovitch company then returned for residencies at the Pillow in 1980, 1981, 1991, and 2004. This year’s Pillow performances also mark the official start of the company’s 40th anniversary tour, which continues on to engagements in twenty U.S. cities and one location overseas.

Chicago native Lar Lubovitch was educated at the University of Iowa and the Juilliard School in New York and is acknowledged as one of America’s leading modern dance choreographers. Lubovitch founded the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company in 1968, and since its creation, he has choreographed more than 100 dances for the company. Based in New York City, the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company has performed in nearly all fifty American states and has been presented in more than thirty foreign countries. Lubovitch has also created work for and set work on leading ballet and modern companies around the world, including American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Joffrey Ballet, and Hubbard Street Dance Company, among others. At present, more than a dozen North American dance companies include Lubovitch works in their active repertoires.

For more information on Lar Lubovitch Company and Jacob’s Pillow visit www.lubovitch.org or www.jacobspillow.org.
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