Ovation, the only multi-platform network dedicated to art, artists and all forms of artistic storytelling, is set to premiere its new, original series A Chance to Dance tonight, August 17 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. This new dance challenge series was filmed, in part, at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, National Historic Landmark, National Medal of Arts recipient, and home to America's longest-running dance festival, located in Western Massachusetts.
A Chance to Dance, produced by Nigel and Simon Lythgoe (producers of So You Think You Can Dance), follows Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, two of the UK's most prominent contemporary dancers and choreographers, in their quest to create a new dance company in just 28 days. Traveling across the country, they audition dancers from dance schools in Washington, DC; Salt Lake City, UT; and Austin, TX. The competition and the pressure intensify as the final group heads to the dance mecca of Jacob's Pillow, where they must eliminate half the dancers and form a company for the grand finale: an original live performance in New York City.
"Given Jacob's Pillow's role in the arts as a place for dancers to be 'discovered' and new dance companies to launch, it was the perfect location for A Chance to Dance," comments Ella Baff, Executive and Artistic Director of Jacob's Pillow. "After dancing with the Royal Ballet for many years, Michael Nunn and William Trevitt performed at the Pillow with their company, Ballet Boyz, at our 2008 Festival. It was a pleasure to welcome them back to work with such terrific dancers in the Pillow's historic theaters, studios, and grounds and to have the producers and film crew here. Many of the dancers shared with me that it was a long-held dream to perform at Jacob's Pillow, especially as we celebrate our 80th Anniversary Season, and to have been chosen among so many amazing dancers for the TV series. I hope hundreds of thousands will tune in to see how the excitement unfolds."
Tonight, August 17 at 5pm, in honor of the premiere, Jacob's Pillow will host a free PillowTalk entitled A Chance to Dance. Representatives of the new television series will be present, and some of the related Pillow footage will be screened.
A CHANCE TO DANCE is a seven-part series airing on Ovation every Friday night at 10PM ET/7PM PT from tonight, August 17 to the finale on September 28. In addition, a sneak peak of the premiere is being made available one week in advance of the linear premiere on VOD and TV Everywhere for Ovation cable and satellite subscribers. Ovation's Facebook page will feature outtakes, interviews, video diaries and other content not included in the linear series, as well as episodes for digital rental or purchase.
Jacob's Pillow, celebrating its 80th Anniversary Festival in 2012, is a National Historic Landmark, recipient of the National Medal of Arts, and home to America's longest running international dance festival. The Festival includes more than 50 national and international dance companies and 300 free and ticketed performances, talks, tours, classes, exhibits, and events. The School at Jacob's Pillow, one of the most prestigious professional dance training centers in the U.S., encompasses the diverse disciplines of Ballet, Cultural Traditions, Contemporary, and Jazz/Musical Theatre Dance, as well as an Intern Program in various departments of arts administration and production. The Pillow's extensive Archives, open year-round to the public, chronicle more than 80 years of dance in photographs, programs, books, costumes, audiotapes, and video. Year-round Community Programs enrich the lives of children and adults through public classes, residencies in area schools, and more than 200 free public events. Through Jacob's Pillow Curriculum in Motion®, a nationally-recognized program, artist-educators work with Berkshire County teachers and students grades K-12, transforming existing curricula such as biology, literature, and history into kinesthetic and creative learning experiences. Creative Development Residencies, in which dance companies are invited to live and work at the Pillow and enjoy unlimited studio time; choreography commissions; and the annual $25,000 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award all support visionary dance artists and choreographers. Virtual Pillow is aimed at expanding global audiences for dance and offers the opportunity to experience dance and Jacob's Pillow from anywhere in the world via online interactive exhibits, global video networks, and mobile social media. As part of the Virtual Pillow initiative, Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive, is a curated online video collection of dance highlights from 1936 to today. On March 2, 2011, President Obama honored Jacob's Pillow with a National Medal of Arts, the highest arts award given by the United States Government. Jacob's Pillow is the first dance presenting organization to receive this prestigious award. For more information, visit www.jacobspillow.org.