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Renowned Dance Troupe Pilobolus to Appear at Philadelphia’s Annenberg Center

Pilobolus Dance Theatre * Photo Credit John Kane

I don’t want to hear any complaints from the Peanut Gallery about being dragged to a dance performance by a significant other.  The Pilobolus Dance Theatre is not your grandmother’s dance troupe, and, for you individuals who would rather gouge out your eyes with red-hot pokers than sit through “Swan Lake”, it completely blurs the line between traditional performance and one-of-a-kind innovation involving the audience in unique choreography and true athleticism.  Philadelphia is lucky enough to be graced by the presence of these artists at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts from Thursday, March 3rd, until Saturday, March 5th, 2011.  Thursday night’s show commences at 7:30, while Friday and Saturday evening shows begin at 8:00.  For those of you who prefer a good Saturday afternoon matinee, the show starts at 2:00 pm.

So What is Pilobolus…Some Kind of a Rash?

Pilobolus is a fungus.  That’s right, a fungus.  Want more detail?  It typically grows on herbivore dung…aren’t you glad you asked?  What, you’re probably still asking, is the connection between this mutant mushroom and a sextet of dancers able to defy the laws of gravity?  It all has to do with stretching the limits of what typically defines an organism and how it interacts with nature.  Pilobolus spores are actually launched a distance of up to two meters from their original source upon reaching adulthood, guaranteeing that they will attach to other vegetation and complete their life cycle.  Pilobolus dancers are equally as capable of amazing athletic feats, employing strength and balance to create human mobiles that seem to challenge normal physicality.  Just as the fungus grows in a symbiotic relationship with its host, the dancers rely on the interaction between one another’s bodies to create something greater than the sum of its parts.


If I Could Have Contorted Myself Like That in High School, I Would Have Been Much More Popular

Pilobolus Dance Theatre originated out of Dartmouth College in 1971.  Since then, it has received worldwide acclaim through international touring and televised performances.  Since that time, Pilobolus has developed a unique style and choreographic vocabulary that sets it drastically apart from other modern dance companies.  Relying on improvisation, partnering and lifts, and a physical collaboration between the dancers, the troupe creates visual and auditory illusions that define the singular style of movement it has created.  Tickets for the March shows range from $38 and $58…an incredibly reasonable price for a performance of this caliber by an internationally celebrated company.  They can be purchased here and should be obtained well in advance.  Check out members of Pilobolus performing the piece “Symbiosis” below, and ignore the protests of anyone you’d like to accompany you to the performance who believes he or she is not a dance fan.  If anything could lead to a conversion, it would be Pilobolus.