Inside the Pillow Lab: Irene Rodríguez


Inside the Pillow Lab is an intimate new film series that captures works in process and behind-the-scenes moments of what it’s like for artists to live, work, and rehearse together again in COVID-compliant residencies on the Pillow’s retreat-like campus. Irene Rodríguez Pillow Lab residency led up to the Jacob’s Pillow Gala, where she developed a new work that has been commissioned by Jacob’s Pillow and the Vivienne Jones Endowment Fund at Jacob’s Pillow. The work premiered at the Season Opening Gala on June 18, 2022. Born in Cuba, and settled recently in the US, Irene Rodríguez is a leading international figure of Spanish dance and choreography; the King of Spain granted her the Order “Isabella the Catholic,” Spain’s highest civilian honor. Principal Dancer, Choreographer and educator, she has worked as dancer and style and Choreography consultant of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. She earned a Theater Arts Degree and a Master’s Degree in Theoretical Studies of Dance given conferences internationally and master classes to the Juilliard School, San Jose Ballet, etc. In 2019 she was the director of the Spanish and Flamenco Dance Program of The School at Jacob’s Pillow. Rodriguez founded her own dance company: Compañía Irene Rodríguez, which has performed in the most prestigious theaters and festivals around the world and in the U.S., including the Joyce Theater, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She founded and directed Havana’s most prestigious Spanish dance academy and she has also been the artistic director of the International Festival “La Huella de España” founded by Alicia Alonso. Among her awards are: First Prize in the VIII Iberoamerican Choreography Competition, the Audience and UNEAC Award at the Choreography contest “Vladimir Malakhov,” the Iberoamerican Medal Honoris Causa (México University); among others. INSIDE THE PILLOW LAB Irene Rodríguez RESIDENCY DATES: June 13 - June 19, 2022 APPEARING IN FILM: Irene Rodríguez, Choreographer Irene López, Manager and Costume Design Marlon Fernandez, Dancer Don Laurin Johnson, Musician Christian Puig, Musician MUSIC: Don Laurin Johnson, Musician Christian Puig, Musician Film Produced by Nel Shelby Productions: Nel Shelby, Producer and Director Loren Robertson, Producer and Project Manager Christopher Duggan, Drone Operator and Videographer Michelina Risbeck, Videographer Nel Shelby, Editor Benjamin Richards, Graphic Animation Photography by Christopher Duggan "No TUrning Back" (World Premiere) was created during a Pillow Lab Residency at Jacob's Pillow in the spring of 2022. The work explores the fusion of Irene's Latin American and African roots that crafts her cultural and personal expressions today. LEAD SUPPORT OF THE 2021-2022 PILLOW LAB IS PROVIDED BY: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation WITH ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FROM: Deborah & Charles Adelman Arison Arts Foundation The Barr Foundation Harkness Foundation for Dance Barbara and Amos Hostetter Christopher Jones & Deb McAlister Mertz Gilmore Foundation National Endowment for the Arts © 2022 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Inc.

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