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The film explores why dance matters - to those who create and perform it and to those who watch it. This documentary tells the remarkable story of how an abandoned Massachusetts farm has evolved into a National Historic Landmark and a nexus for dance throughout the world. Its unlikely purchase by choreographer Ted Shawn during the Great Depression allowed this secluded site in the Berkshires to become the internationally renowned Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. Through candid conversations with world-class choreographers and dancers, thrilling performances, backstage access, and rare footage from the Pillow's Archives, 'Never Stand Still' immerses the viewer in this most ephemeral of art forms, celebrating not only its value to our culture but to our lives. Written by
Though I have seen many dance performances, I never had the pleasure of visiting Jacob's Pillow. This film explained what, in part, I was missing.
Never Stand Still starts with the origin and early history of the performance center and school that would become a significant cultural center dedicated to dance in all its forms. Over the years, the focus of the center grew from a concentration on modern dance to embrace all variations of dance, and the music that accompanies.
Using archival footage, Never Stand Still reminds us of the cultural debt we owe the pioneers of dance in America, from Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn to Paul Taylor. These film pieces are narrated by today's dance icons and others who are new to the conversation. By discussing the processes that are used at Jacob's Pillow to teach and to perform, we get a behind-the-scenes view of dance culture and an understanding of how this Massachusetts retreat fits into the fabric of American dance.
I am glad this film could educate me as to the mission of Jacob's Pillow. Perhaps someday I will have an opportunity to experience it firsthand.
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