Experimental Troupe Pilobolus Turns Down the Lights for Dancing in ‘Shadowland’

click to enlarge Experimental Troupe Pilobolus Turns Down the Lights for Dancing in ‘Shadowland’
Courtesy of Pilobolus

Amusingly named after a type of fungus that thrives in cow dung, Pilobolus sprouted from a dance composition class at Dartmouth College circa 1971. Founded by a motley crew of non-dancers that counted a cross-country skier, a fencer and a pole vaulter among its members, the company takes an experimental approach to movement-based performances and routinely pushes the envelope with creative collaborations that have spanned the spectrum from magic duo Penn & Teller and Where the Wild Things Are author/illustrator Maurice Sendak to alternative pop-rockers OK Go and the MIT Distributed Robotics Laboratory. Developed organically, the company’s 100-plus original works fuse elements of acrobatics and improvisation, often employing bodies as canvases or building blocks for gravity-defying constructions. Penned by SpongeBob SquarePants lead writer Steven Banks, Shadowland expands on the Connecticut-based troupe’s memorable performance at the 2007 Oscars by placing silhouetted dancers behind a scrim. Landing at the Tobin for one night only courtesy of ARTS San Antonio, the touring production “merges projected images and front-of-screen choreography” within a surreal narrative that “celebrates the strange and wonderful power of the dark to show us who we are in unexpected and utterly thrilling ways." $16-$54.50, 7:30pm Wed, Tobin Center for the Performing Center, 100 Auditorium Circle, (210) 223-8624, artssa.org.


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