by Karen Krolak
Monkeyhouse Artistic Director
America's oldest dance festival, Jacob's Pillow, is nestled in lovely nook of the Berkshire Mountains about 2.5 hours from Boston. As one of the 14 choreographers selected to attend Jacob's Pillow's prestigious Choreographers' Lab, I was supposed to arrive on Tuesday, August 19th by 3 PM.
Jason proposed that we head out to Western Mass a few days early to explore the area and to see The Illustrious Return Of Don Quixote at Double Edge Theater. Earlier in my Sabbatical, we had attended one of their open trainings in Ashfield. We were eager to see how they adapt their productions to outdoor locations(including a pond) on their 105-acre farm.
As I was packing on Saturday, my mom called to alert me about another intriguing show at Mass MoCA by an Australian company called Strange Fruit. Although the timing was tricky, (Mass MoCA is almost an hour beyond Ashfield!) it was possible to see both. We couldn't resist the lure of another company in wild wigs investigating issues of balance. Having spent so many years choreographing for pieces on drywall stilts, I was curious to see the vocabulary Strange Fruit developed on their 15 foot tall flexible fiberglass poles. Needless to say, Sunday revolved around a series of scenic drives and site specific performances.
Poking around pottery galleries in Northampton on Monday, images for new pieces inspired by our adventures were already percolating.