Northrop Dance at the University of Minnesota Presents Pilobolus 2/12, 2/13

February 12
2:00 2010

Northrop Dance at the University of Minnesota Presents Pilobolus 2/12, 2/13

Northrop Dance at the University of Minnesota presents Pilobolus, the provocative dance company of today's art world, with adult programming on Friday, Feb 12 and a family-friendly version on Saturday, Feb 13. The mass appeal of Pilobolus has stemmed from their physical vocabulary that blends art with transforming acrobatics, molding it into a rousing poetry. Named after a feisty fungus that can grow over eight feet tall, their unique multi-bodied weight sharing and creation of clever visual illusions are the hallmarks of this group.

Related Events

Pilobolus Family Fungi Fest - Sat, Feb 13, 10:00 am - 1:30 pm
Bell Museum of Natural History

Families are invited to stop by the Bell Museum of Natural History before the Pilobolus show for a fungi festival. The name Pilobolus spurs from a type of fungi known for their obscure shape and ability to shoot spores with water cannon-like force. Kids and family will marvel at the fungi from the Bell Museum's collections and talk with members of the Minnesota Mycological Society, a club dedicated to mushroom and fungi hunting, collecting, cooking, and crafting. Museum admission fees apply.

Dinner and Lunch at Northrop - Fri, Feb 12, 6:00 pm & Sat, Feb 13, 12:00 pm
Northrop Gold Room
Prices Vary.

Fungi Dance Party - Sat, Feb 13, 3:30 - 5:00 pm
Northrop Lobby

University of Minnesota dance students will teach the kids how to groove while Pilobolus dancers will show off a few of their moves at a funky fungi dance party after the show.

Fri, Feb 12, 8:00 pm

Laterna Magica (2008)
A full company work that immerses us in the luminous spirit of the natural world and uses ritual and mythology to create a mysterious and irresistible sensual celebration of the supernatural.

Choreographed by Michael Tracy in collaboration with Andrew Herro, Jeffrey Huang, Jun Kuribayashi, Jenny Mendez, Manelich Minniefee, Edwin Olvera, Annika Sheaff

Performed by Winston Dynamite Brown, Matt Del Rosario, Eriko Jimbo, Nile Russell, Annika Sheaff, Christopher Whitney

Music: Tycho; Red Moon, composed and performed by Jami Seiber, is on the album Hidden Sky and is used courtesy of Out Front Records; Transcontinental Saxophone Quartet, Stephan Micus, Sigur Ros
Costumes: Liz Prince
Lighting: Neil Peter Jampolis
Laterna Magica is the fourth in a series of new works generously commissioned by Dartmouth College. It was also made possible in part by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Pseudopodia (1973)
A tumbling tumbleweed solo set to an all-percussion score.

Choreographed by Jonathan Wolken

Performed by Jun Kuribayashi

Music: Moses Pendleton, Jonathan Wolken
Costume: Malcolm McCormick
Lighting: Neil Peter Jampolis
Gnomen (1997)
One of Pilobolus' classic men's quartets, Gnomen lyrically explores emerging relationships using an unusual and inventive physical vocabulary.

Choreographed by Robby Barnett and Jonathan Wolken in collaboration with Matt Kent, Gaspard Louis, Trebien Pollard, and Mark Santillano.

Performed by Matt Del Rosario, Jun Kuribayashi, Nile Russell, Christopher Whitney

Music: Paul Sullivan
Throat Singing: Matt Kent
Costume Design & Construction: Eileen Thomas
Lighting: David M. Chapman
This piece is dedicated to the memory of their friend and colleague, Jim Blanc. It was made possible in part by contributions from his family and friends as well as by a commission from the American Dance Festival with support from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Philip Morris Companies, Inc., New Production Fund.
Hitched (2009)
Choreographed by Jonathan Wolken in collaboration with Eriko Jimbo, Jenny Mendez, Christopher Whitney

Performed by Eriko Jimbo and Christopher Whitney

Music: Michael Rodach
Costumes: Liz Prince
Lighting Designer: Neil Peter Jampolis
Associate Lighting Designer: Shane Mongar
Rushes (2007)
The first of Pilobolus's collaborating partners projects, Rushes is the result of Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak's collaboration with Pilobolus Artistic Director Robby Barnett and their company. The result-an isolated community of broken dreams. Jacques Tati meets Gogol in a breakthrough for Pilobolus's constantly morphing aesthetic.

Choreographed by Inbal Pinto. Avshalom Pollak and Robby Barnett, based on original material developed with Talia Beck, Otis Cook, Josie M Coyoc, Matt Kent, Renée Jaworski and Andreas Merk, and created in collaboration with Andy Herro, Jeffrey Huang, Renée Jaworski, Jun Kuribayashi, Jenny Mendez, Manelich Minniefee, Edwin Olvera, and Annika Sheaff

Performed by Winston Dynamite Brown, Matt Del Rosario, Jun Kuribayashi, Annika Sheaff and Christopher Whitney

Music: Eddie Sauter, Miles Davis, John Blow:
Big Noise from Winnetka, used by permission
Dukes of Dixieland (
Arvo Part
Costumes: Avshalom Pollak, Inbal Pinto
Lighting: Yoann Tivoli
Film Animation: Peter Sluszka
Rushes was co-commissioned by the American Dance Festival with support from the Doris Duke Awards for New Work and additional funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; by The Joyce Theater's Stephen and Cathy Weinroth Fund for New Work; and by Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, Florida. It was also made possible in part by generous contributions from the Office of Cultural Affairs, Consulate General of Israel in New York and from Jonathan M. Nadler.

Sat, Feb 13, 2:00 pm

Lanterna Magica
See above description.

See above description.

Walklydon (1971)
One of Pilobolus' very first works, Walklyndon is a silent dance owing much of its physical humor to slapstick and vaudeville. Six colorfully dressed jocks romping, bumping, kicking, and galumphing-Walklyndon is a classic.

Choreographed by Robby Barnett, Lee Harris, Moses Pendleton, and Jonathan Wolken

Performed by Winston Dynamite Brown, Matt Del Rosario, Eriko Jimbo, Nile Russell, Annika Sheaff and Christopher Whitney

Costumes: Kitty Daly
Lighting: Neil Peter Jampolis
Dog • ID (2009)
Created by Steven Banks, Robby Barnett, Renée Jaworski, Matt Kent, Itamar Kubovy and Michael Tracy in collaboration with Mark Fucik and Molly Gawler

Performed by Nile Russell and Annika Sheaff

Music: David Poe
Set Design: Neil Patel
Costumes: Liz Prince
Lighting: Neil Peter Jampolis
This work is made possible in part by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.
See above description.
About the Company
Pilobolus (crystallinus) is a phototropic zygomycete - a sun-loving fungus that grows in barnyards and pastures. It's a feisty thing - only 1/4 inch tall - that can throw its spores nearly eight feet, right over a cow. It is also a highly unusual dance company, now beginning its 39th year of evolution.

Pilobolus, the arts organism, germinated in the fertile soil of a Dartmouth College dance class in 1971. What emerged was a collaborative choreographic process and unique weight-sharing approach to partnering that gave the young company a nontraditional but powerful new set of skills with which to make dances.

Today Pilobolus is a unique American arts organization of international influence. It has not, however, forsaken its original impetus and remains a deeply committed collaborative effort with three artistic directors and over twenty-five full and part-time dancers contributing to one of the most popular and varied bodies of work in the history of the field. Nearly four decades of creative production testify to the company's position as an arts collective of remarkable fruitfulness and longevity.

Pilobolus is based in Washington Depot, Connecticut and performs for stage and television audiences all over the world. Pilobolus works appear in the repertories of major dance companies-the Joffrey, Feld, Ohio, Arizona, and Aspen/Santa Fe Ballets in the U.S., the Ballet National de Nancy et de Lorraine and the Ballet du Rhin in France, and Italy's Verona Ballet. The company has recently begun a series of major creative collaborations, including new productions with the famed writer and illustrator, Maurice Sendak; the Israeli choreographic team, Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak; and the remarkable American puppeteer, Basil Twist.

Pilobolus has received a number of prestigious honors, including the Berlin Critic's Prize, the Brandeis Award, the New England Theatre Conference Prize, and a Primetime Emmy Award for outstanding achievement in cultural programming. In June 2000 Pilobolus received the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for lifetime achievement in choreography and in 2004 the company was featured on CBS 60 Minutes. In 2007 Robby Barnett, Michael Tracy and Jonathan Wolken received the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Endowment Fellowship from Dartmouth College.

The physical vocabularies of Pilobolus works are not drawn from traditions of codified dance movement but are invented-emerging from intense periods of improvisation and creative play. This process has been the source of much interest, in response to which the company inaugurated the Pilobolus Institute, an educational outreach program using the art of choreography as a model for creative thinking in any field. The Institute offers sustained programs for both children and adults around the country, as well as a series of Leadership Workshops for corporations and business schools. Recent work includes programs at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business, and the Babcock School at Wake Forest University. The Institute also maintains an ongoing residency in the Theater Studies Program at Yale University.

The third 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, and Hyundai, created live events for IBM, McKinsey, United Technologies, Dupont, and Merck, and has presented gala performances for Joe Boxer, Marithe Girbaud, MAC Cosmetics and Krizia. In 2007, the company created and presented six acclaimed performances during the 79th Annual Academy Awards, as well producing a series of original segments for the Oprah Winfrey Show. 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.

The 2009-10 season marks the middle of Pilobolus' 39th year. The company has continued to grow, expanding and refining its unusual collaborative methods to produce a body of over 100 choreographic works, and while it has become a stable and influential force in the world of dance, Pilobolus remains as protean and surprising as ever.
Company Roster

ROBBY BARNETT, Artistic Director, was born and raised in the Adirondacks and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1972. In addition to his work with Pilobolus, he has been variously employed as a technical metal worker, an instructor for Outward Bound, Inc., a garden and landscape designer, and has taught skiing and high school art. Barnett lives in northwestern Connecticut with his wife and two children.

MICHAEL TRACY, Artistic Director, born in Florence and raised in New England, met the other Pilobolus founders at Dartmouth in 1969, becoming an Artistic Director after graduating magna cum laude in 1973. He toured with Pilobolus for fourteen years, for eight as the only touring Director, and continues to choreograph and direct. He has set his work on the Joffrey, Ohio, Hartford, Nancy and Verona Ballets and choreographed a production of Mozart's Magic Flute with John Eliot Gardiner, the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists, and a national tour production for the National Theater of the Deaf. Tracy teaches at Yale University and lives with his wife and two sons in northwestern Connecticut.

JONATHAN WOLKEN, Artistic Director, co-founded Pilobolus in 1971. He is proud to have become acquainted with Pilobolus, the fungus, while researching its photoreceptor mechanism in his father's biophysics laboratory. Wolken graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in Philosophy. He has choreographed for the Glyndebourne Festival Opera's production of Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are," and created "Oneiric" featured in a jointly produced Danish Television feature for members of the Royal Danish Ballet. To find symmetry and mystery in his work, since 1991 Jonathan has led a secret second life as Pilobolus' Development Director. He lives with his wife, JoAnne, and their four daughters in Washington CT.

ITAMAR KUBOVY, Executive Director, has been producing, writing and directing since 1985. After graduating from Yale in 1988, he moved to Europe where he taught, directed and ran theaters in Germany and Sweden. Since returning to the US in 1998, Kubovy directed several new works by John Guare, co-directed the 2002 season finale of the West Wing, and made a film, Upheaval, starring Frances McDormand. He joined Pilobolus at the beginning of 2004 as the company's first Executive Director, overseeing the many moving parts that make up this great company.

RENÉE JAWORSKI, Rehearsal Director/Artistic Associate, originally from Long Island, NY received her BFA in Modern Dance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Upon graduating she fell directly into the hands of Moses Pendelton, performing and teaching throughout the world with Momix. In 1997, she took a brief hiatus to give life to her daughter, Anastasia Winter. Returning to her career she created and performed her own work in Philadelphia while working for Group Motion and touring part time with Momix. 1998 brought Renee to NYC where she soon began working with Carolyn Dorfman. She has been working with Pilobolus since the year 2000 and has had many exciting adventures with them over the past nine years, performing, creating, teaching, directing, associating and, most recently, coordinating residencies for the Pilobolus Institute. She dedicates all she does to her family, Mark and Anastasia. Thank you for keeping my vision clear.

WINSTON DYNAMITE BROWN, Dancer, a native of Kansas City, Missouri, started dancing at Smith Sisters Dance Studio. He continued his training at the Missouri State Ballet, the University of Missouri Kansas City, where he received his BFA, and The Center Dance under the mentorship of Tyrone Aiken. Brown has participated in numerous intensive programs - Kansas City Ballet, Alonzo King's pre-professional program, Ailey summer intensive as three time fellowship recipient and the Ballet and Modern programs at Jacobs Pillow as the inaugural recipient of the Lorna Strassler AwarD. Brown has worked with the Wylliams/Henry Danse Theatre, Deeply Rooted Productions, Albany Berkshire Ballet, Metropolitan Opera and Taylor 2. Brown is currently a freelance artist working with TU Dance, CorbinDances, Sean Curran Company and Ben Munisteri dance projects and joined Pilobolus' touring company in August 2009.


Become a Fan, Follower & Subscriber

           Facebook Like Follow

BWW Review: NEW YORK CITY BALLET's 'Classic NYCB II' Is a Reminder of Why the Company in an Artistic TreasureBWW Review: NEW YORK CITY BALLET's 'Classic NYCB II' Is a Reminder of Why the Company in an Artistic Treasure
by Sondra Forsyth