Pilobolus—named after a barnyard fungus that propels its spores with extraordinary speed, accuracy and strength—is a dance company founded by a group of Dartmouth College students in 1971. Based in Washington Depot, Connecticut and New York City, in recent years Pilobolus has transformed from avant-garde dance company into an international entertainment brand featured on the likes of Oprah, Late Night with Conan O’Brien and the Academy Awards. The company has engaged in activities as varied as making circuses, creating television advertising, publishing books, breaking world records, teaching in schools, and producing music videos. Pilobolus continually forms diverse collaborations that break down barriers between disciplines and challenge the way we think about dance. All of this is achieved without ever losing sight of the company's core mission: to make art that builds community.
Pilobolus—named after a barnyard fungus that propels its spores with extraordinary speed, accuracy and strength—is a dance company founded by a group of Dartmouth College students in 1971. Pilobolus 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 propels itself in a variety of directions to reach these goals. The original company, Pilobolus Dance Theater, has been touring its 115 pieces of repertory to more than 64 countries over the last 42 years. Pilobolus Shadowland, the company’s evening length show that has toured extensivley in Europe, the Middle East and Asia and has been seen by more than a million people in the five years since it was created, will be touring in N.America for the first time in the 16/17 season.
Pilobolus’s collaborative creative and educational work takes place through the Pilobolus Lab, in which the company both convenes diverse artists in the development of new work and teaches its creative method to individuals and institutions. To date, the Pilobolus Lab has produced collaborations with Penn & Teller, the MIT Distributed Robotics Laboratory, Art Spiegelman, Maurice Sendak, OK Go, Radiolab, and many others.
The Lab's educational programming—which applies Pilobolus’s unique collaborative process to help all kinds of groups work better and achieve common goals—includes workshops, master classes, residencies and children’s programming. Educational partners include Brooklyn Academy of Music, and NYC and CT Public Schools.
Pilobolus Creative Services applies this same method of invention to business, offering a wide range of educational, directorial, design and movement services for film, advertising, publishing, and corporate groups and events. The company has collaborated with clients such as Avon, UTC, Wharton Business School, Google, the US Olympic committee, the NFL Network, Pfizer and many others.
Pilobolus has been featured across the world at the 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007), and on Sesame Street, Oprah, 60 Minutes and Late Night with Conan O’ Brien. It has been recognized with prestigious honors, such as 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 presenting at the TED conference in 2005. Pilobolus holds the 2011 Guinness World Record for fitting the most people into a Mini Cooper (26); and in 2012, the company was nominated for a Grammy® Award for its interactive music video collaboration with OK Go and Google Chrome Japan, “All is Not Lost.” Recently, Pilobolus was honored as the first collective to receive the Dance Magazine Award, which recognizes artists who have made lasting contributions to the field.
In Pilobolus @ Play, Pilobolus partners with select presenters to go out into their respective communities: in schools, senior & community centers, libraries, & dance schools. Over five days, Pilobolus Teaching Artists teach approximately 12 workshops and reach 200-300 community members. P@P workshop weeks take place immediately prior to Pilobolus performances. All workshop participants are invited to attend the show and meet with the cast afterward. Participants learn the improvisation and movement creation skills that have made hundreds of thousands of people love Pilobolus for over 45 years. Through partnering, collaborative choreography, and peer-to-peer feedback, the class stretches personal limits and cultivates creativity.
Want more Pilobolus? Join us at our CT home this summer for a weeklong adult workshop or kids camp. Check our website for more info and programs near you! pilobolus.org
"It’s as if we’re being given a fleeting glimpse of the inner workings of the universe."Alastair Macaulay, The New York Times
"Pilobolus isn't like most dance companies. Their performances feel almost like rock concerts....On Tuesday, they delighted the sold-out audience at the Fine Arts Center at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst....By the end, the audience was standing on its feet, giving Pilobolus a well-deserved standing ovation.....Personally, I was more excited by the fact that some of the group's most recent pieces were some of their best ones. Just goes to show - Pilobolus still knows how to make great dances, even if they never learned how to play by the rules."MassLive
"Grace meets physical agility to create movement that is as lyrical as it is astonishing."The Sunday Oregonian
"[Pilobolus dancers] are a vibrant, self-sufficient vision that challenges us to see the world — and art — anew."Claire Messud, Departures
"If the dance world has a summer movie blockbuster equivalent, it must be Pilobolus."Associated Press
"There are other companies that take art to extremes, but Pilobolus proves once more that it does it best."Philadelphia Inquirer
"Pilobolus embodies a large part of what the best in contemporary dance is all about: discovery. Making something new with the same standard body parts the rest of us have."The Washington Post
"Although formed way back in 1971, Pilobolus still exudes an aura of freshness and often revolutionary concepts that other dance companies don’t even approach"Classical Voice of North Carolina
"They [Pilobolus] made it OK to be funny, quirky, and silly… this performance was a perfect and stunning mix of every human emotion"Classical Voice of North Carolina