Inside the Pillow Lab: Rokafella and Kwikstep
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. During this Pillow Lab residency, Kwikstep and Rokafella took time to look over their choreographic body of work to extract inspiring phrases and build a new duet that celebrates the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop. CREATORS AND DANCERS: Rokafella and Kwikstep ABOUT ROCKAFELLA Rokafella began dancing in school talent shows and eventually as a background dancer for local artists. She has roots as a street performer (hitter) and has appeared in various music videos and films. She is the Managing Director of Full Circle Souljahs Dance Company and is a professor at The New School. She directed a documentary about B-girls entitled All The Ladies Say and has a collaborative t-shirt line, ShiRoka, with Japanese graffiti writer Shiro. Rokafella is a well-known advocate for women in hip hop and brings her Nuyorican aesthetic into the cypha, stage, and classroom. ABOUT KWIKSTEP Kwikstep began dancing as a child and grew to join the ranks of well-known street dancers and breakers who traveled around the world sharing the ethos of hip hop culture as it evolved. He has been featured in popular music videos, films, and commercials, and has choreographed hip hop theater performances. Full Circle Souljahs is a nonprofit dance company that he founded in 1992 to help preserve and embrace the culture and lifestyle of hip hop in NYC. He also DJs open format dance parties and produces music for shows and local MCs. He recently became a professor at Queens College in New York City and does guest lectures about hip hop’s roots and influences. Follow them on Instagram at @DJKS360 and @larokafella and on their dance company website, fullcirclesouljahs.com. FILMING: Erica Spizz NEL SHELBY PRODUCTIONS Nel Shelby, Producer Ashli Bickford, Editor Benjamin Richards, Graphic Animation Sonia Bartolomeo The 2022-2023 PILLOW LAB RECEIVES LEADERSHIP SUPPORT FROM: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation © 2023 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Inc.
In Inside the Pillow Lab
Play video Inside the Pillow Lab: Larissa Velez-Jackson
Inside the Pillow Lab: Larissa Velez-Jackson
For this project, "Yackez Love For A New World Paradigm", Larissa returns to directing and choreographing Yackez, her collaboration with her husband, musical director Jon Velez-Jackson.
Play video Inside the Pillow Lab: Michael Sakamoto
Inside the Pillow Lab: Michael Sakamoto
"Garden of the Wilis" is planned as a devised work blending legacies in ballet and butoh and reflecting aesthetic and cultural shifts in the performing arts as embodied in the personal narratives of the lead performers: former ABT/Broadway/film perfo
Play video Inside the Pillow Lab: Mythili Prakash
Inside the Pillow Lab: Mythili Prakash
"She’s Auspicious" examines notions of femininity and purity through the paradox of the Hindu Goddess Devi, who is worshiped as powerful and auspicious, in contrast to the woman who is objectified and marginalized in society.
Play video Inside the Pillow Lab: Theresa Ruth Howard
Inside the Pillow Lab: Theresa Ruth Howard
For this Pillow Lab, MoBBallet (Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet) founder Theresa Ruth Howard tapped 2021 Guggenheim Choreographic Fellow Christopher Huggins to enter a process with eight international Black dancers.
Play video Inside the Pillow Lab: Sonya Tayeh & Jenn Freeman
Inside the Pillow Lab: Sonya Tayeh & Jenn Freeman
"Is It Thursday Yet?" is a stimulating hybrid of theatricality and clinical analysis, a solo dance work with live musical accompaniment exploring autistic choreographer and dancer Jenn Freeman’s neurodivergent brain in motion.
Play video Inside the Pillow Lab: Faye Driscoll
Inside the Pillow Lab: Faye Driscoll
Go inside the development of Faye Driscoll’s newest work, "Weathering," a multi-sensory flesh sculpture made of bodies, sounds, scents, liquids, and objects.