There is much I could write about Pilobolus, a dance company that’s been around for over 35 years. If you’ve been fortunate enough to see them live as I have, you probably understand their appeal and popularity with audiences. The company’s artistic directors and dancers have managed to create “a profoundly serious artistic enterprise that has successfully reached out to a popular audience.” They inject humor, acrobatics, wit, and awe-inspiring partnering work into their dances.
Often photographed, images of the company have been everywhere and for the last year they’ve been all over television with a series of shadow dances in which dancers tumble, dive, and morph into everyday objects, people, and animals. Most recently, they’ve appeared on Conan O’Brien’s late night talk show. You can learn more about the Creative Services division of Pilobolus responsible for these commercials, spots, and segments at their website. Outside of these projects, the company maintains a rigorous performance and workshop schedule and create inventive choreography that goes beyond the simplicity of moving silhouettes. Yet, in a humorous Q&A for the Seattle Times, Jonathan Wolken, a Pilobolus founder and choreographer touches on what these opportunities have done for the company since their stint on the Academy Awards last year.
Let’s face it, in a single set of couple-of-minute skits … more people saw what Pilobolus could do than had seen us onstage for the entire lifetime of the company. The effect of that was nothing at first, and then the phone slowly began to ring, and now it’s quite an impressive thing. We get invitations to do all kinds of things from all over the country and all over the world. And it may not be an exact correlation, an exact result really of the Academy Awards, but frankly I would say there’s a pretty close relation.
You can check out the videos below but, here are some fun Pilobolus books to add to your home or studio library:
Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world. Read Nichelle’s posts.