Pilobolus began in 1971 as an outsider dance company, and quickly became renowned the world over for its imaginative and athletic exploration of creative collaboration.
Forty years later, it has evolved into a pioneering American arts organization of the 21st century. The company now revolves around three nuclei of activity: PILOBOLUS DANCE THEATRE, the umbrella for a series of radically innovative and globally acclaimed concert dance companies; PILOBOLUS CREATIVE SERVICES, a division specializing in a wide range of movement services for film, advertising, publishing, commercial clients, and corporate events; and THE PILOBOLUS INSTITUTE, unique educational programming for schools, colleges, and public arts organizations as well as a series of classes and leadership workshops for corporate executives, employees, and business schools.
Our 2011 season marks Pilobolus’ 40th year. In keeping with the energy and spirit of our biological namesake, the company has continued to grow toward the light, expanding and refining its unique methods of collective creative production to assemble a repertoire of over 100 choreographic works, and while it has become a stable and influential force in the world of dance, Pilobolus remains as protean as ever, looking forward to the next 40 years-collaborating on the future.
PILOBOLUS DANCE THEATRE Pilobolus is based in Washington Depot, Connecticut and performs for stage and television audiences all over the world. The company has appeared late at night on the Tonight Show, early in the morning on Sesame Street, and in primetime as a feature on CBS’s 60 Minutes. Pilobolus has performed live shows in 63 countries and has received a number of prestigious honors, including the Berlin Critic’s Prize, the Scotsman Award, the Brandeis Award, a Primetime Emmy Award for outstanding achievement in cultural programming, and, in 2010, the Dance Magazine Award, which recognizes artists who have made lasting contributions to the field. Pilobolus works also appear in the repertories of major American and European dance companies, and, in June 2000, the company received the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for lifetime achievement in choreography.
In 2005 Pilobolus transferred its archive to Dartmouth College, where the company originated. Dartmouth College has been growing the “living archive” with a series of new work commissions.
To expand its collaborative practices, Pilobolus launched the International Collaborators Project in 2007, a series of collective choreographic projects with multi-disciplinary artists, such as writer and illustrator, Maurice Sendak; the Israeli choreographic team, Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak; the remarkable American puppeteer, Basil Twist; Steven Banks, head writer for SpongeBob SquarePants, and singer-songwriter David Poe who collaborated on a full-evening movement-theater piece, SHADOWLAND; Pulitzer Prize winner, comic artist Art Spiegelman; and the Grammy-winning American composer and musician Dan Zanes. This year’s ICP guest artists include the band OK Go, the MIT Distributed Robotics Laboratory directed by Professor Daniela Rus, and the Japanese choreographer Takuya Muramatsu.
The physical vocabularies of Pilobolus works are not drawn from traditions of codified dance movements but are invented, emerging from intense periods of improvisation and creative play.
PILOBOLUS CREATIVE SERVICES
The second arm of the company’s activity is Pilobolus Creative Services, a choreographic and performance collective providing movement design and production for commercial applications in business and advertising. PCS has made television spots for Mobil, Ford, Toyota, Opel, Hyundai, Multicentrum, BBVA, Bidvest, and Proctor and Gamble, and created live events for IBM, McKinsey, United Technologies, Dupont, Merck, and Google. In 2007 the company created and presented 6 acclaimed performances during the 79th Annual Academy Awards, as well as producing a series of original segments for the “Oprah Winfrey Show” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”.
PCS has also produced two books for national distribution, Twisted Yoga and The Human Alphabet, and releases an annual calendar of dance photography in collaboration with a number of noted American photographers. In Spring 2009, one of eight spots created for the NFL Network was nominated for an Emmy Award in Sports, and the company’s website was nominated for a Webby Award in Best Photography.
THE PILOBOLUS INSTITUTE
The Pilobolus Institute was founded to articulate, preserve and propagate the underlying values that drive this work and its creative methodology, offering classes, workshops and extended residency programs for children and adults. The Institute also makes a particular effort to provide its services to non-dancers of all ages, including a variety of leadership workshops for corporations and business schools around the country. The range of activity is broad, yet each of the Institute’s programs is grounded in the company’s fundamental belief that skilled collaboration in small groups is a uniquely powerful mechanism for invention and efficient production. Pilobolus has now spent 40 years engaged in a uniquely collective creative process. It is the success of that enterprise that brings you all here this evening. Institute programs are designed to explore the necessary conditions for this success, and use the art of collaborative choreography as a model for creative thinking in any field.
Through this process we begin to understand more generally the way groups can organize themselves to do things more efficiently and well. Recent projects include a series of workshops for Avon Corporation in partnership with Deloitte, classes at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, and a program at the Babcock School at Wake Forest University. Every summer, the Institute offers several week-long adult workshops, as well as a kids camp, at our home in Washington Depot, CT, and this year will include a week-long, advanced partnering technique intensive in New York City.
We are also proud to count 2011 as our 14th season of Movin’, a unique partnership with the Shubert Theater in New Haven, offering monthlong choreographic programs for middle school boys and girls. The work of the Pilobolus Institute is rigorous. It requires participants to enter into an authentically challenging collaborative experience, not a theoretical description of it. It also provides the rare opportunity to explore creative relationships of genuine emotional depth and to discover in the process things about yourself and others that can change your life.
More informationabout how you can be a part of the Institute’s work can be found on our website: www.pilobolus.org. Come and join us soon.