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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Jacob's Pillow to Launch Virtual Festival

BECKET, Mass. — Jacob's Pillow, home to the longest-running dance festival in the United States, is set to launch a virtual festival with eight weeks of free programming running from July 7 to Aug. 29. 

Jacob's Pillow announced the cancellation of its 10-week festival for the first time in the organization’s 88-year history in March, due to the novel coronavirus. 

Weekly highlights feature streams of popular performances from the past 10 years, a series of new PillowTalks with leaders in the dance field, an online version of the beloved intergenerational movement class Families Dance together, and a new Master Class Series from The School at Jacob’s Pillow. 

Attendees are encouraged to make a contribution in lieu of purchasing a ticket and 50 percent of donations for performances will be shared with the artists featured. Community engagement events will share proceeds with local community organizations.  

"After we canceled our on-site festival due to the global pandemic, we soon realized the need to fulfill our mission by engaging artists and audiences in a quintessential summer experience from Jacob's Pillow virtually," said Jacob's Pillow Executive & Artistic Director Pamela Tatge. "The civic organizing and protests confronting racism and inequality in our country greatly impacts our organization’s decision-making. The model we envision is one that is free for all, made more accessible by being entirely online, pays artists and scholars for their time, and provides artists with additional support during a time when many have lost their income. 

"I'm excited to think about all the people who will now have the chance to 'visit' our campus and experience the crossroads of dance that is Jacob's PIllow."

Fifty percent of donations received from performances are shared directly with the featured artists in support of their continued work. All donations for Families Dance Together will be contributed to the NAACP Berkshire County Branch. Fifty percent of proceeds raised from Dog Dance (Aug. 1) will be shared with the Berkshire Humane Society. And all donations for The Land on Which We Dance (Aug. 5) will be shared with the artists in support of their important work. 

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