Inside the Pillow Lab: Brian Brooks/Moving Company


Inside the Pillow Lab captures works in process by artists during their fall COVID-compliant residencies. The Pillow Lab, the Pillow’s year-round center for research and development, provides artists the crucial space and time in development, research, and technical stages of choreography-driven projects. In a residency originally slated for March 2020 and cancelled due to the pandemic, Brian Brooks and his group of dancers, The Moving Company, return to the studio for the first time anywhere since March 13, 2020. Brooks will revisit "Closing Distance," which premiered in January 2020 and is a prescient exploration of the human desire to connect physically and emotionally, with dancers in close contact, often arranging and rearranging one another’s bodies. "Closing Distance" is set to Caroline Shaw’s Pulitzer Prize-winning suite “Partita for 8 Voices,” recorded by Williamstown, MA-based vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth. Shaw, who wrote the suite during the ensemble’s annual residency at MASS MoCA, has cited Sol Lewitt’s line drawings as an influence. Brooks and The Moving Company will also develop a new, outdoor site-based performance for audiences to experience while indoor venues remain restricted. The Moving Company, based in New York City, creates and performs new work by founding choreographer Brian Brooks. Since 2002 the group has toured internationally, with presentations and residencies provided by The Joyce Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Jacob’s Pillow, NY City Center’s Fall for Dance, The Guggenheim Museum, Lumberyard Performing Arts, the American Dance Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, and the 92nd Street Y Harkness Festival. A Guggenheim Fellow, Brooks recently completed a Mellon Foundation Creative Artist Fellowship at University of Washington, researching the intersection of performance and augmented reality technologies. He has collaborated with New York City Ballet Associate Artistic Director and former principal dancer Wendy Whelan since 2012, including the Jacob’s Pillow co-commissioned project Restless Creature. Your support brings artists together again. Please support the Pillow Lab and other Jacob's Pillow programs at or text "PILLOW" to 51555. CHOREOGRAPHER: Brian Brooks REHEARSAL COACH/CHOREOGRAPHIC ADVISOR: Risa Steinberg DANCERS: Carlye Eckert Evan Fisk Zachary Gonder Noelle Hauptmann-Anderson Leo Hishikawa Taylor LaBruzzo Stephanie Terasaki Spencer Weidie REHEARSAL FOOTAGE: Closing Distance MUSIC: Partita for 8 Voices Composer: Caroline Shaw Recorded by: Roomful of Teeth Music used with permission from First Chair Promotions. Closing Distance has been commissioned by the University of Washington’s Meany Center for the Performing Arts supported by a Mellon Creative Artist Fellowship. Generous support has also been provided by Virginia and Timothy Millhiser, the Dianne and Daniel Vapnek Family Fund, and the Tucker Family Foundation. Major support for Brian Brooks/Moving Company has been provided by The SHS Foundation. Inside the Pillow Lab video filmed by Spencer Weidie and Brian Brooks. Interviews conducted by Spencer Weidie. Produced by Nel Shelby of Nel Shelby Productions Directed & Edited by Ashli Bickford Graphic Design by Benjamin Richards THE 2020-2021 Pillow Lab receives Leadership Support from: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation The Barr Foundation With Additional Support from: Deborah & Charles Adelman, Arison Arts Foundation, Harkness Foundation for Dance, Christopher Jones & Deb McAlister, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Closed Captioning is available for this film.

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