Pilobolus lands on Sweet Briar stage

| February 17, 2014

Pilobolus, a dance theater company named for a fungus and noted for its staying power, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, in Sweet Briar College’s Murchison Lane Auditorium.

A high-octane romp full of raw energy created in collaboration with Trish Sie, “Licks” features 12 ropes and six dancers.

Founded in 1971 by Dartmouth College dance students, Pilobolus has performed for stage, television and online audiences, including in 64 countries, as well as on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “Sesame Street” and on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” The company has received a number of awards, including the Berlin Critic’s Prize, the Scotsman Award, the Brandeis Award, a Primetime Emmy Award for outstanding achievement in cultural programming and the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for lifetime achievement in choreography.

Making its reputation on inventive choreography, Pilobolus has become a modern-dance institution, staying fresh with new talent and stepping outside the confines of its own art form.

According to the company’s literature, “Pilobolus maintains its own singular style, evolving interplay with shape shifting, shadow play and other explorations, while actively collaborating with the best and brightest minds from all conceivable professions the world over.”

Some of its collaborators include Penn & Teller and OK Go, whose “All Is Not Lost” earned Pilobolus a 2012 Grammy nomination for a music video.

“[Esc]” is the result of a collaboration with masters of trickery, Penn & Teller.

In live stage performances, Pilobolus mixes its modern dance classics with its latest repertory. The Sweet Briar program is slated to include 1972’s “Ocellus,” the second work created by the company. Described as a men’s quartet that “explores the precision and grace with which bodies move when they are continually connected to one another,” “Ocellus” will share the bill with a 2013 creation titled “[esc].”

“The result of a collaboration with masters of trickery, Penn & Teller, [esc] is the ultimate piece of gripping, do-not-try-this-at-home choreography. Fantasy, athleticism, strength, confinement, fetters and escape are all at play in this tantalizing premiere,” the company says.

Other works on the program include “Licks,” another 2013 piece; “Rushes” from 2007; and “Walklyndon,” a 1971 classic featuring “six colorfully dressed jocks romping, bumping, kicking and galumphing,” that derives its physical humor from slapstick and vaudeville.

Tickets for Pilobolus go on sale Monday, Feb. 17. Seating is general and is free for the SBC community. Non-SBC admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for students and free for children younger than 12. To reserve tickets, contact the box office at (434) 381-6120 or boxoffice@sbc.edu. Credit card orders may be placed starting Feb. 17 at www.lynchburgtickets.com. For more information, contact Shelbie Filson at sfilson@sbc.edu.

Jennifer McManamay

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Category: Dance, Performing Arts