Colombian-Belgian Choreographer Receives Jacobís Pillow Dance Award

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BECKET, Mass. — Internationally sought-after Colombian-Belgian choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa is the recipient of the 2019 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award.

With a career that spans over 15 years, Lopez Ochoa has created more than 90 works for more than 50 major dance companies around the world — bridging different countries, genres and reputations with a fluency that is unmatched. Lopez Ochoa will accept the award as part of Jacob’s Pillow Season Opening Gala on June 15.

Ochoa joins a list of honorees that include Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar, Bill T. Jones, Merce Cunningham, Kyle Abraham, Michelle Dorrance, Camille A. Brown, Liz Lerman and Faye Driscoll, among others.

"Annabelle Lopez Ochoa is a versatile and prolific choreographer who has created signature works for companies around the world. A global citizen, she creates rigorous works of great beauty and intensity in hybrid contemporary and classical ballet vocabularies that enable dancers to truly realize themselves. Ochoa demands that dancers are deeply and unabashedly present, and because of this, the audience cannot help but be drawn to them. We honor her many achievements while investing in the work she has yet to create," Jacob's Pillow Director Pamela Tatge said.

"I am deeply moved that my artistic statelessness is being recognized as a strength. What I once considered my greatest challenge turns out to be the reason I was chosen for this year's Jacob's Pillow Dance Award. This award encourages me to continue speaking not with one voice, but with many," Lopez Ochoa said.

Lopez Ochoa's choreographic career began in 2003, after 12 years of performing with several European dance companies. Since then, she has been praised as a "rising star of the Dutch dance scene" (NRC newspaper) and was later lauded a "truly masterful choreographer with an edge for dance" (Temecula Performing Arts Examiner). Her work can be found in the repertoire of some of today's most celebrated dance companies including New York City Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Washington Ballet, and English National Ballet, as well as in theater, opera, musical theater and fashion.
Additional accolades include a South Bank Sky Arts Award and a National Dance Award for Best Classical Choreography, in addition to frequent highlights in the “Best Dance” lists of The Guardian, Dance Magazine, and Dance European Magazine, among others.


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Biz Briefs: Jacob's Pillow Founderís Property on the Market

Property for sale

William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty has listed a 19th-century compound in the town of Chester formerly owned by the founder of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. The estate is listed for $685,000 and is represented by Great Barrington/Lenox agent Stephanie McNair.

Ted Shawn lived on the property in the 1930s during which he founded what would become the country's oldest internationally celebrated summer dance festival in Becket, but the seeds of Jacob's Pillow are found here in Chester. The property, nestled on a hilltop overlooking 73 acres, provides opportunity for swimming, tennis and hiking.

According to McNair, this was the original dance property, and dancers from all over the world stayed here. It then became a retreat for families from New York City staying in the area for the summer. Before Shawn owned the property, it served as a camp for the YMCA in the late 1800s.

The entirety of the property has since been restored, including the four-bedroom main residence, two-bedroom house, seven-bedroom Grand Lodge, swimming pool and barn, once used as the camp’s mess hall. For more information on the property, located at 14 Johnson Hill Road, please visit the firm’s website here.


New beer

Big Elm Brewery and Oldtone Productions, the producers of the Oldtone Roots Music Festival, have announced a cooperative effort to produce a beer for the 2019 late summer festival season. The beer name and label - "Cattle Rag IPA" - were inspired by the long hair Scottish Highland Cattle that Cool Whisper Farm is known for. The cattle are an indispensible (but distant) part of the Oldtone Roots Music Festival experience, which is held on Matt and Lisa Schober's working farm.

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