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Michelle Dorrance Will Turn Jacob’s Pillow Into a Forest of Tappers

Dorrance Dance will take over Jacob’s Pillow for a week in July as a part of the 2020 festival. The acclaimed tap company led by Michelle Dorrance will debut several new works all over the Pillow campus in Becket, Mass.

Pamela Tatge, the organization’s executive and artistic director, said the idea came out of a conversation she had at the festival’s pub with Nicholas Van Young, the associate artistic director at Dorrance Dance. He started pounding out rhythms at the bar and tables, she said, and told her “I could really play this structure, these surroundings.”

This spurred Ms. Tatge to invite the company to creatively integrate the festival’s sites, and the materials they’re made of, into a set of performances and pop up interventions.

At the Ted Shawn Theater, a new solo by Ms. Dorrance will receive its world premiere alongside “SOUNDspace.” The program will also feature premieres by “living tap legends” commissioned by the company.

At the Doris Duke Theater, Dorrance Dance will present a new work that draws on previously created site-specific pieces by Ms. Dorrance and Mr. Van Young, which will be combined with an exploration of the Pillow’s black box theater space. Ms. Dorrance will also curate a week of Inside/Out outdoor performances.

The 2020 festival, announced on Wednesday, will feature several other world premieres, including John Heginbotham’s “Dance Sonata,” created in collaboration with the composer Ethan Iverson (July 22-26); and “Wicked Bodies,” developed by Liz Lerman when she was part of the Pillow Lab artist residency program (Aug. 19-23).

Several festival favorites will be returning. Kyle Abraham’s A.I.M. company will perform “Untitled Love,” a new work set to the music of D’Angelo (June 24-28). Limón Dance Company, which made its debut as a company at the festival in 1946, will celebrate its 75th anniversary (July 8-12), performing Doris Humphrey’s “Air for theG String,” an early piece by its first artistic director.

The full season lineup and more information can be found at jacobspillow.org.

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