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Jul 12, 2005 - The fabulous "Pilobolus" visits Reno's Artown Festival and delivers the goods
By Jack Neal
It's all been said before. Pilobolus Dance Theatre, that fabulously quirky dance troupe that pretzelizes the human body into riveting presentations of form and movement, was back in town Thursday night (7/7/05) at Reno's Pioneer Center and it was better than ever.
What the company does is unusual, often beautiful to observe, sometimes funny to watch, and never, ever dull.
The display of the company of six dancers in various impossible poses - all of them fascinating - continues to boggle the senses. With Pilobolus modern dance collides handsomely with athleticism for a very different and engrossing dance expression. The best way to appreciate what this exceptional company does is to sit back, be amazed and enjoy.
"Pilobolus is a phototropic zygomycete," the program's notes proclaim expecting in a tongue-in-cheek fashion that fans would know what that is. "It's also a highly unusual dance company," the notes go on to say, "now in its 34th year of evolution."
The names of the works presented broadly hint at what the company is about. "Aquatica," choreographed by Michael Tracy in collaboration with what appears to be the entire cast and production crew is a 2005 piece that shimmers with intriguing lighting (Neil Peter Jampolis) and thrills with statuesque posturing and movement. "BUGonia," with choreography by Alison Chase with lots of contributors is a 2005 concoction that premiered at Wolf Trap on June 21. It's described as a "biomorphic fantasy" and is about bugs and plants and lots of moving things - a real blast of a dance.
"Monkey and the White Bone Demon" was created in 2001 by Alison Chase, with delightfully avant-garde music by Paul Sullivan, marvelous inventions of costumes by Angelina Avallone and whimsical lighting by Stephen Strawbridge. This is a stunningly simple, absolutely refreshing telling of an epic story through gesture, wit lyricism and charm.
The last offering was "Day Two," directed Moses Pendelton, choreographed by a cast of thousands (Daniel Ezralow, et al) and danced, as the entire program was danced, with exhilaration, great skill, and a consummate artistry that thrilled from beginning to end.
Being different is what gives the Pilobolous Dance Theatre its chutzpah. The chutzpah that matters is everywhere - with artistic directors who thrive on creativity, the sounds of its exotic music, the fantasy of its radiant lighting, the rapture of its costumes, the thrill of its movement, and of course, the exuberance of its six dancers who bring all these creations to exciting life.
The six fabulous Pilobolous dancers are Mark Fucik, Andrew Herro, Renee Jaworski, Matt Kent, Jerry Mendez and Monelich Minifee. They have presence galore and everything else it takes to be terrific at what they do.
For more about Pilobolous call 860-868-0538. For more about the Reno Sparks Artown Festival call 775-322-1538 or go online at www.renoisartown.com
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