Pilobolus is a modern dance company that began performing in 1971. They were named after a fungus that grows on cow dung and propels itself with extraordinary speed, accuracy and strength. Yes, you read that right! The descriptive words are spot on for the group. I’d seen videos of Pilobolus and when I heard they were making a one night stop in St. Paul at the Ordway, I knew I had to see them.
The show featured five segments with video transitions in between. My favorite part of the opening number “Automaton” was the use of locking feet between the dancers and foot to neck. The mere strength of the group was phenomenal. “Skyscrapers” featured the song by the same name from the group OK-Go. It was a tango with colorful costumes where some functioned in multiple forms. Four men rolled onto the stage bound together during “Gnomen”. The trust factor is off the charts for these performers. At one point three of them cradled one man with their feet. It was very soothing and beautiful. “The Transformation” focused on shadows. There was a screen set up and they created humans, animals and more. In the final piece “Sextet” ropes were used. It was more of a new age piece and very interesting.
Combining dance, video and music all together made Pilobolus a true work of art. The music that was used in each piece was perfectly matched to the dance. The costumes were simple (besides the “Skyscraper” piece) which was nice. Many times the dancers wore minimal clothing so their movements were the focus and not what they were wearing. If you have a chance to see this group, I would recommend it. Learn more about Pilobolus here: http://www.pilobolus.com/home.jsp