Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, summer dance concert series held annually near Lee, Mass., in the Berkshires. The site, originally an 18th-century farm, was purchased by the American modern dancer Ted Shawn in 1930, and three years later it became the home of his Men Dancers Company. A dance festival was inauguated here in 1940, and in 1942 the Ted Shawn Theater, the first in the United States designed specifically for dance, opened its doors. Shawn directed the summer dance festival until his death in 1972. Today, the Jacob's Pillow complex includes three performance venues, a professional dance school, exhibition spaces, and other facilities. The festival has been directed by Ella Baff since 1997. Its dances have traditionally been eclectic, and the festival continues to feature several companies each season and to include such dance styles as ballet, modern, ethnic, tap, and jazz. Jacob's Pillow is a National Historic Landmark (2003).
See N. Owen, A Certain Place: The Jacob's Pillow Story (1997).
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