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. This work redefines family-friendly entertainment with an inclusive performance installation of live acoustic healing instruments, original digital-based sound, and living sculpture by Yackez. This project also highlights a new direction of Yackez, where emphasis is placed upon telling their story of healing and changed perspectives by way of their experience of illness and disability. The immersive environment is meant for the audience to experience the show as they wish as sculptural elements—like their foam mascot, Yacky—come alive. About Yackez Yackez, a.k.a. the world’s most lovable art-pop duo, is the multimedia collaboration of Larissa and Jon Velez-Jackson. As Culturebot wrote of the duo, they are “so beloved and so natural in their campy stage antics they seem to defy what it means to perform absurdity at all times.” Jon is a songwriter, writer, and full-time journalist. Larissa (LVJ) is a New York-based choreographer, movement educator, and multi-platform artist. LVJ is a Boricua-Italian-American originally from Newark, New Jersey, and an ongoing cancer survivor, committed to the healing potential of art and body/mind practice. LVJ is an older adult fitness specialist who has incorporated older non-dancers in their own and Yackez’s intergenerational projects. LVJ was nominated for a 2016 New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer and received a 2016 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant to Artists Award. INSIDE THE PILLOW LAB Larissa Velez-Jackson RESIDENCY DATES March 27 - April 5, 2023 APPEARING IN FILM Director/Lead Choreographer: Larissa Velez-Jackson Musical Director: Jon Velez-Jackson Musicians: Yackez (Jon and Larissa Velez-Jackson) Performance and Choreography: Malcolm-x Betts, Mary Read, Shizu Homma Production Manager: LD DeArmon MUSIC BY Yackez (Jon and Larissa Velez-Jackson) FILMING Erica Spizz NEL SHELBY PRODUCTIONS: Nel Shelby, Producer Mason Chapello, Editor Benjamin Richards, Graphic Animation Sonia Bartolomeo, Project Manager The 2022-2023 PILLOW LAB RECEIVES LEADERSHIP SUPPORT FROM: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation © 2022 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Inc.
In Inside the Pillow Lab
Play video Inside the Pillow Lab: Sekou McMiller
Inside the Pillow Lab: Sekou McMiller
For this project, Sekou McMiller is developing a new installment within his “Afro Latin Jazz and Soul Experience” series, tentatively titled "Shine".
Play video Inside the Pillow Lab: Dancerly Intelligences
Inside the Pillow Lab: Dancerly Intelligences
For this project, Jacob's Pillow hosted three artists at the intersections of dance and technology for the first ever Dancerly Intelligences residency.
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: André Zachery
Inside the Pillow Lab: André Zachery
During his Pillow Lab residency, André Zachery develops "Respiration", an evening-length multimedia performance of dance, original sound and digital media inspired by the novel "The City We Became" by acclaimed Afrofuturist writer N.K. Jemisin.
Play video Inside the Pillow Lab: Rokafella and Kwikstep
Inside the Pillow Lab: Rokafella and Kwikstep
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.
Play video Inside the Pillow Lab: LaJuné McMillian
Inside the Pillow Lab: LaJuné McMillian
For this project, LaJuné McMillian is developing "Spirit and Child", a series of prayers between Child and Spirit, presented as a live motion capture performance and installation.