Dance Commentary: Holy Matrimony!
Given that gay marriage is legal in Massachusetts, Jacob’s Pillow may be a particularly apt site for both dance lovers and gay couples to tie the knot.
By Debra Cash
The temple of dance that Ted Shawn built in the Berkshires in the 1930s has become a rustic wedding chapel. Jacob’s Pillow management announced this week that the Pillow is available to provide “world class” wedding business. And why not? Couples have been getting married at museums and historic sites for years (I, myself, got married in a New England barn that had been willed to the Girl Scouts).
Jacob’s Pillow, in addition to running an active school and festival dance program during the summer months, is an official National Historic Landmark. Given the gorgeousness of the much-photographed grounds complete with outdoor stage, blooming wildflowers and an opportunity to literally dance around bonfires, the Pillow may be just the place for those with a historic turn of mind.
“Papa” Ted and his wife “Miss Ruth” St. Denis married in 1914 in a ceremony Shawn later described as having “cloak and dagger overtones” associated with escaping the oversight of her mother. Later their relationship shifted and changed as they built a dance company and Shawn acted on his homosexuality. These are not traditions that ostensibly heterosexual couples should emulate. Nonetheless, given that gay marriage is legal in Massachusetts, the Pillow may be a particularly apt site for both dance lovers and gay couples to tie the knot.