Saturday, February 11, 2017

Day 193 Pilobolus-Collaborative and Inventive Dance

My Blog inspiration book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book  reminds us to, “use your imagination.” The  dance company, Pilobolus does this by pushing  the limits of  creativity and imagination to tell a story with movement.  I experienced this company in the 80’s as a high school and later as a college dancer. I loved how they contorted, formed, and molded, the body with an element of pantomime to express feelings and to tell stories with humor. This show, Shadowland,  uses dance and  shadows formed by the body, by its parts (hands, feet and legs), and by the collective dancers, to produce an explosion of screen images.  These images, are far better than the bunny or bird shadows  that  we all have made to amuse
 ourselves or entertain our children.

I love how this group dances as a unit  in that no one dancer takes a lead moment.  Opening, the group transports the main character, a young girl, lifting her in such a way that she is floating or riding a wave, as other bodies become the stepping stones of the ground or the motion of the air.

Shadowland tells the story of a young girl  with  life fears, insecurities and conflicts, who gets stuck in the shadow box. (That part reminded me of the movie Poltergeist where the girl got sucked into the TV). In the shadow world, the young girl has an  adventure of life discovery.

A shadow big hand  (looked like the hand of God to me) molds her into a “dog human” creature as she sets off  on her adventure. The big hand (to me, God) helped and protected her throughout the journey.

This show is  really a visual fantasy.  There are continual  formations of  cars, tables, building, things in nature, creatures, and more. This is all done by using the dancers combined bodies  and some props.  You will think, “how did they all move together like that, or how did they  make that shape, flower, or building? “ Then  you feel a little pride when  you figure out how some of it is done. I whispered  to my friend, “the hand is the ear!”   
(see Shadowland video here)

This blog is about finding your personal best  and trying new things. Pilobolus seems to do that by not having limits to dance and by trying new things in dance.  

I will  keep dance theater in my toolbox of survival. I look forward to seeing what other shows the Pittsburgh Dance Council  and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust  will bring to Pittsburgh.

(See Pilobolus Feb 10 and 11, 2017 at the Byham Theater or catch them on tour)

Spiritual Source
Then the Lord gave me this message:"O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter had done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand." (Jeremiah 18:5-6)

Other Sources
 Pilobolus web site