Pilobolus Returns Tonight; Program Features Collaborative Work with Penn & Teller

Pilobolus Returns Tonight; Program Features Collaborative Work with Penn & Teller

Pilobolus, the dance theatre troupe known for its performances that are part dance, part mime and part sculpture and filled with humor, athleticism and theatricality, returns to Houston tonight, Jan. 10, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. in Jones Hall.

The program will include [esc] (2013), a new premier work featuring escape artistry inspired by Houdini and created with American illusionists Penn and Teller; Rushes (2007), a collaboration with Israeli choreographers Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak that depicts an isolated community of broken dreams; The Transformation (2009), an excerpt from the company's full-length work Shadowland that features a young woman as she is transformed before audience members' eyes; Ocellus (1972), a classic Pilobolus work with four male company members; and Licks (2013), featuring 12 ropes and six dancers and choreography that is wild, rowdy, dangerous, sexy and absurd.

Named after a barnyard fungus that propels its spores with extraordinary speed, accuracy and strength, Pilobolus was founded by a group of Dartmouth College students in 1971. Based in Washington Depot, Conn., the company continually forms diverse collaborations that break down barriers between disciplines and challenge the way we think about dance. Physically and intellectually, the company engages and inspires audiences around the world through performance, education and consultation.

Pilobolus has transformed from an avant-garde Dance Company into an international entertainment brand featured on the likes of "The Academy Awards," "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Sesame Street" and "Late Night with Conan O'Brien." The company has explored worlds as disparate as advertising, publishing, film and music videos. Pilobolus was nominated for a 2012 Grammy Award for the video for OK Go's "All Is Not Lost." The company maintains its own singular style, evolving interplay with shape-shifting, shadow play and other explorations, while actively collaborating with the best and brightest minds from all conceivable professions the world over.

The recipient of numerous prestigious honors, including the Berlin Critic's Prize, the Scotsman Award, the Brandeis Award, a Primetime Emmy Award for outstanding achievement in cultural programming, the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for lifetime achievement in choreography, and a TED Fellowship for performing a TED Talk in 2005, Pilobolus has performed live in 64 countries. In 2010, the company was honored as the first collective to receive the Dance Magazine Award, which recognizes artists who have made lasting contributions to the field.

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by Barnett Serchuk