Jacob’s Pillow Dancers 1981

On 28 Jul 1981, in blog, productions, by ricardo

Photo Stephan Driscoll

Ricardo Viviani and Elizabeth Zengara in a duet by Igal Perry (Peridance NYC)

...”Mr. Perry moves his 12 dancers about the tiny space impressively, giving them big jumps - crisply executed -and runs for a note of urgency.” Jennifer Dunning ..."A delicate, flowing measure was peformed by Elizabeth Zengara, well-partnered by Ricardo Viviani"
In 1981 I got a scholarship to study at The Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and School. Jacob's Pillow is a very special place. The school is a summer camp; the students live in cabins scattered around the woods of the Berkshire Mountains. The program includes an intensive dance education with 5 dance classes per day. The scholarship program also includes work on the many skills needed for running a dance performance: this way the students are also involved in the performances presented at the Dance Festival. "The Pillow" first introduced me to Bessie Schönberg, Liz Thompson, Manuel Alum, Bill Irwin, the Kathakali Dance of India and so many other people.
”Bessie Schönberg, who heads our choreography department was most impressed with Ricardo’s sense of invention.”

Liz Thompson, Artistic Director

The premiere of the evening created for the student body was on the evening of my birthday on the 28th of July. "Songs" by Igal Perry was in the program. I've always attributed my broken finger to the jealous presence of Miss Ruth in the woods as I was doing my warm-up jog and tripped on some roots. (If you like to get some of the details about the relationship of Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn read this account by Norman Owen) After this X-Ray the doctor said that this finger would fuse and have no articulation. He gave me the choice of having my finger stiff-curled or stiff-stretched (it turned out just fine and articulated). To perform in the evening I would bandage it and stick in a glass of ice to numb the pain: this way I could partner Liz. I wonder how my hand felt to her when I was doing the lifts. The following year and 50th Anniversary season the photo of the performance was featured in this poster. Be sure to take a look at Norton Owen's book "A Certain Place: The Jacob’s Pillow Story" for a deeper look into Ted Shawn's Men Dancers and The Pillow. More people: Carey Erickson, Martha Partridge, Donna diMeo, Ney Fonseca, Bobby Barrett, Susan Tenney, Stephan Koplowitz, Jess Meeker, Jelom Vieira.
Tagged with:  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.