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Norton Owen to Discuss ‘New Beginnings at Jacob’s Pillow’ on Aug. 1

PITTSFIELD — On Monday, Aug. 1, the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires will host Norton Owen, who has been associated with the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival for four decades. He will speak about the festival’s history and its future direction in a talk titled “New Beginnings at Jacob’s Pillow.” This free program at Congregation Knesset Israel, 16 Colt Road, Pittsfield is part of the federation’s Connecting with Community series.

As a Berkshire landmark for more than 80 years, Jacob’s Pillow boasts a historical dance legacy second to none. Owen, its long-time director of preservation, says it also prides itself on a tradition for new beginnings, from its pioneering days as the summer home for Ted Shawn and His Men Dancers to its current status at the forefront of presenting major dance artists from throughout the world. Owen will trace the festival’s history of innovation and offer a taste of what might be expected in the future, drawing upon some of the rich imagery found in the Jacob’s Pillow Archives.

Owen has been associated with Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival since 1976 and has been director of preservation since 1990, overseeing the PillowTalks series and projects involving documentation, exhibitions, audience engagement, and archival issues. He is the curator of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive, an acclaimed online video resource that reaches audiences worldwide.

The program precedes a kosher lunch at noon ($2 suggested donation for adults over age 60 years of age, $7 for all others). Advance reservations are required for lunch and can be made by calling (413) 442-2200 before 9 a.m. on the day of the program. For more information, call the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires at (413) 442-4360, ext. 10.

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