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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Harlem Dance, Buddy Guy's Blues, Nat 'King' Cole Stylings Highlight Week

By Grace LichtensteinGuest Column

Blues, jazz, hip-hop, folk, cabaret — you can catch a bit of everything with the varied pops calendar in our region this week. Big names, too: Dance Theatre of Harlem, Buddy Guy, John Davidson to name a few.

Jacob's Pillow

The 50th anniversary of the beloved Dance Theatre of Harlem is being celebrated July 10-14 at the Ted Shawn Theatre. Co-founded by the late Arthur Mitchell, it is now headed by founding member and former principal dancer Virginia Johnson. This is the troupe's first return to the Pillow in five years.

On the bill are a collection of works from the 21st as well as 20th century: Darrell Grand Moultrie's "Harlem on My Mind," Christopher Wheeldon's "This Bitter Earth," George Balanchine's "Valse Fantaisie" and an expanded version of Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's "Balamouk."

"Harlem on My Mind" traces the history of jazz through five couples, according to the Pillow announcement. The work features musical compositions by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Rodgers and Hart, Wynton Marsalis, and a contemporary arrangement of "My Funny Valentine" by trumpeter Chris Botti. What makes "Balamouk" special is that it has been expanded since it was originally created by Jacob's Pillow Dance Award winner Ochoa.

At the Pillow's Doris Duke Theatre, come feel the "POWER," a world premiere by the  Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performing Group. This is a full-length work that Wilson calls "post-Africa/Neo-HooDoo Modern dance." "POWER" is a Pillow commission.

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