BWW REVIEW: Innovative Dance Troupe Pilobolus Returns To Australia With SHADOWLAND, A Mesmerizingly Whimsical Exploration Of Growing Up

Friday 2 September, State Theatre, Sydney

An intriguing and inventive amalgamation of dance, acrobatics and shadow acting, dance troupe Pilobolus returns to Sydney with a full length story SHADOWLAND. Lithe dancers utilise light and screens to tell a modern fairytale of adolescence and the wonderful and strange worlds that inhabit our dreams and desires.

SHADOWLAND (Photo supplied)

A collection of items, gathered like an opportunity shop or abandoned attic dress the rear of the stage behind a small screen whilst three outfits hang in mid air like disembodied characters. The premise of the work sees the troupe of performers, dressed in fitted costumes to ensure the body form is clear for shadow work, take on the roles of a teenage girl longing to grow up and her parents in one of the most intriguing on stage dressing sequences whilst the rest of the troupe form the characters and objects girl encounters in her dreams.

SHADOWLAND (Photo supplied)

Lead writer Steven Banks has paired with composer David Poe to create a whimsical story of the young girl's adventures as she steps into her shadows. They have created a beautiful transition from her embarrassing moment of being caught primping, preening and playing in front of the mirror by her parents who still see her as a little girl. With beautiful music and fluid movement Banks draws the audience into the girls dreams with whimsy, comedy, romance, suspense and mystery.

SHADOWLAND (Photo supplied)

SHADOWLAND continues Pilobolus' inventive and intriguing style that utilises hand held light sources along with dance and contortion to create an animation of fantastic creatures, giants, plants and places against opaque screens. Banks' story of the magical and mythical characters that inhabit the girls dreams allows the troupe to showcase their ingenuity and a combination of rear projected shadow work and front of screen performance ensure a degree of variety in the constantly moving work.

SHADOWLAND (Photo supplied)

Suitable for audiences of all ages, SHADOWLAND is a captivating night of dance and storytelling that allows audiences to connect on a variety of levels from the delicious storyline to the fantastic choreography and execution. It is also noted that it is well worth staying in your seat after the curtain call.

SHADOWLAND (Photo supplied)


Sydney: State Theatre, Sydney

2 - 4th September 2016

Adelaide: Her Majesty's Theatre

7- 10th September 2016

SHADOWLAND (Photo supplied)
SHADOWLAND (Photo supplied)

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