“A triumph of ingenuity.” – The Huffington Post
“Stunning and brilliant! The remarkable quality of the Pilobolus dancers is that they can fulfill dual roles as both storytellers and athletic dancers.” – Broadway World
For 45 years Pilobolus has tested the limits of human physicality to explore the beauty and the power of connected bodies. They have created and toured over 120 pieces of repertory to more than 65 countries, and they perform for over 300,000 people each year. Recently Pilobolus was featured on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, NBC’s TODAY Show, MTV’s Video Music Awards, The Harry Connick Show, ABC’s The Chew, and the CW Network’s Penn & Teller: Fool Us. Pilobolus has been recognized with many prestigious honors, including a TED Fellowship, a 2012 Grammy® Award Nomination, a Primetime Emmy® Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cultural Programming, and several Cannes Lion Awards at the International Festival of Creativity. In 2015, Pilobolus was named one of Dance Heritage Coalition’s “Irreplaceable Dance Treasures”.
Performance Proudly Sponsored by
Pilobolus began at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire in 1971. Moses Pendleton, an English literature major and cross-country skier; Jonathan Wolken, a philosophy science major and fencer; and Steve Johnson, a pre-med student and pole vaulter were enrolled in a dance composition class taught by Alison Becker Chase. In that class, they created their first dance, which they titled “Pilobolus” —and a legacy of movement and magic was born.
Pilobolus crystallinus is a phototropic (light loving) fungus. Commonly known as “Hat Thrower,” its spores accelerate 0–45 mph in the first millimeter of their flight and adhere to wherever they land. The father of Jonathan Wolken was studying pilobolus in his biology lab when the group first formed. The name was apt, and stuck.
The group then went on to create dozens of dance works with its founding members Robby Barnett, Alison Chase, Martha Clarke, Lee Harris, Moses Pendelton, Michael Tracy, and Jonathan Wolken. In the more than four decades since, Pilobolus has performed on Broadway, at the Oscars, and the Olympic games, and has appeared on television, in movies, in advertisements, and in schools and businesses and created over 120 dance works. The company continues to propel the seeds of expression via human movement to every corner of the world, growing and changing each year while reaching new audiences and exploring new visual and musical planes.
B'ZYRK (2007) - B’zyrk brings to life the quirky, funny, yet poignant world of an obscure Eastern European circus, complete with a dusty audience of country folk. It is a warm and energetic piece, ripe with the exaggerated bravado of circus performance, stirred by the hand of human limitation.
ON THE NATURE OF THINGS (2014) - Performed by three dancers balanced on a two foot wide column rising above the stage, Trio 2014 explores the power of iconic bodies to tell a story about the birth of desire and its intertwined connection to shame and revenge. Set to vocal music inspired by the classical baroque, Trio is both graceful and riveting to watch.
BRANCHES (2017) - BRANCHES premiered at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Inside/Out Series, June 21, 2017, and was commissioned by Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes a great nation deserves great art.
[esc] (2013) - 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.
RUSHES (2007) - The first piece to come out of Pilobolus’s International Collaborators Project, this collaboration with world-renowned dance-theatre makers Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak explores an isolated community of broken dreams. Jacques Tati meets Gogol in a breakthrough for Pilobolus’s constantly morphing aesthetic.