Press Release: Pilobolus

“A mind-blowing troupe of wildly creative and physically daring dancers.”

– Newsday (New York)

Kicking off its 21st season, and third decade of presenting outstanding dance from around the world, White Bird is excited to bring back Pilobolus after a 7-year absence. They will bring to the Newmark Theater, October 4-6, their newest work Come to your senses. Dating back to 1971 at Dartmouth College, where co-founders Moses Pendleton, Jonathan Wolken, and Steve Johnson met, Pilobolus, now based in Connecticut, maintains its wildly creative and magically transformative nature to this day. Over four decades later, Pilobolus “still knows how to make great dances, even if they never learned how to play by the rules.” (Masslive) Now co-directed by Renée Jaworski and Matt Kent, Pilobolus thrills audiences with their shapeshifting performers who are as much super athletes as dancers.

The name Pilobolus references Pilobolus crystallinus, a phototropic (light loving) fungus. Commonly known as “Hat Thrower,” its spores accelerate 0-45 mph in the first millimeter of their flight and adhere to wherever they land. At the time of the company’s creation, Jonathan Wolken’s father was studying Pilobolus in his biology lab. The name was used for the group’s first project and stuck as they formed into a dance company.  Since then, Pilobolus has created over 120 dance works and has performed on Broadway, at the Oscars, and the Olympic games, as well as making appearances on television, in movies, advertisements, and in schools and businesses. Their work propels the seeds of expression via human movement to every corner of the world, growing and changing each year while reaching new audiences and musical planes.  “There are other companies that take art to extremes,” says The Philadelphia Inquirer, “but Pilobolus proves that it does it best.”

For their long-awaited return to White Bird and Portland, Pilobolus’s 7 gifted dancers will perform their latest program, Come to your senses. This piece is comprised of five sections, three new pieces by Artistic Directors Renee Jaworski and Matt Kent in collaboration with the company as well as two classic Pilobolus works “Gnomen” (1997) and “Symbiosis” (2001). Come to your senses guides audiences through a multi-sensory experience that explores the connection between the human body and the analog world around us, The Washington Post praises, “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 that the rest of us have.”

Pilobolus is led by Renée JaworskI and Matt Kent. Renée received her BFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Upon graduating she began work with MOMIX, performing and teaching throughout the world as well as creating her own work in Philadelphia. She began performing with Pilobolus in 2000. Renée has served as choreographer and creator for exciting projects and collaborations such as the 79th Annual Academy Awards, the Grammy® nominated video for OKGo’s All is Not Lost, Radiolab Live: In the Dark, and has worked with myriad outside artists through the International Collaborator’s Project. Matt Kent has worked with Pilobolus since 1996 as a dancer, collaborator, creative director, and choreographer. Past Pilobolus projects include Head Choreographer for Andre Heller’s Magnifico, a large-scale circus production; choreographer for a Sports Emmy-nominated teaser created in collaboration with the NFL network; and choreographer for a television appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. His work for Pilobolus on Shakespeare’s The Tempest was nominated for Best Choreography by the L.A. Drama Critics Circle.

White Bird’s 21st season (2018-19) is supported by the Regional Arts & Culture Council, including support from the City of Portland, Multnomah County and the Arts Education & Access Fund; Work for Art; The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust,  and Oregon Arts Commission,

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Press Release: Pilobolus