“Confidence, Sophie. You need to work on your confidence.” That’s the voice of every dance teacher I’ve ever had, a cacophony of mental noise as I hastily pack my things for my morning contemporary class at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. I’ve never been to the Pillow before, despite reading about it every year since about age 12, when I learned what it was. Growing up dancing in Wyoming, and then moving to California to continue studying dance in college, I’ve always been on the wrong side of the country. This year, though, I’m finally in the right place at the right time.
Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. Photograph by David Dashiell
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Continue Reading