Behind the Scenes with Pilobolus

Behind the Scenes with
Pilobolus, the international sensation, performing June 14 & 15 at the Aronoff Center for the Arts



BEHIND THE SCENES:  Introduction to Pilobolus  |  About the Program on June 14 & 15, 2013  |  Videos  |  Meet the Artists Reception  |  Dance with Pilobolus  |  More Photos  |  Press Quotes  |  Can’t Get Enough?  |  Support 

Who is Pilobolus?

Contemporary Dance Theater, Cincinnati presenter of modern and contemporary dance, closes its 40th Anniversary Season with its presentation of Pilobolus Dance Theatre, an international sensation.

Pilobolus is a modern performance company, founded in 1971, that to this day wears its revolutionary stripes on its sleeves.

In keeping with its fundamentally collective creative process, Pilobolus Dance Theatre now curates and convenes groups of diverse artists—including the MIT Distributed Robotics Laboratory, Art Spiegelman, OK Go, Radiolab, and many others—to make inventive, athletic, witty, collaborative performance works on stage and screen using the human body as a medium for expression. Pilobolus makes art to build community.

It teaches its group-based creative process to performers and non-dancers alike through popular, unique educational projects and programs. This collection of activities is called the Pilobolus Institute.

The 2013 season marks Pilobolus’ 42nd year. The company has continued to grow toward the light, expanding and refining its unique methods of collective creative production to assemble a repertoire of over 100 choreographic works.

Pilobolus performs for stage, television, and online audiences all over the world, including 64 countries. The company has appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Sesame Street, CBS’s 60 Minutes.  Pilobolus has received a number of prestigious honors, including the Berlin Critic’s Prize, the Scotsman Award, the Brandeis Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award, and a TED Fellowship.

In 2010, Pilobolus was honored as the first collective to receive the Dance Magazine Award, which recognizes artists who have made lasting contributions to the field.  Pilobolus works also appear in the repertories of major American and European dance companies.

The company performs Friday and Saturday, June 14 and 15, 2013 at the Aronoff Center for the Arts Jarson-Kaplan Theater.

Following Friday evening’s performance, Contemporary Dance Theater will host a free meet-the-artists and Q&A reception with Pilobolus.

An opportunity for the community to dance with Pilobolus will be announced at a later date.

*Advisory: the above image is from “Ocellus,” a male quartet that will be performed with minimal costuming.


About the June 14 & 15, 2013 Program

Click here to visit the Show Page

Pilobolus Dance Theatre will be performing:

Molly’s Not Dead
Sextet 2013

AUTOMATON (2012) — “Automation” is a new collaboration with the internationally renowned choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. The result is a cyborg of a dance that questions the difference between human and machine. Somewhere between Tron and Bladerunner, “Automation” takes place in a mirrored world that allows us to view multiple angles at the same time. Deep emotions punctuate the intoxicating rhythms of the machine as we experience a journey through a time that seems yet to come.

THE TRANSFORMATION (2009) — “The Transformation” is a shadow piece in which a young woman is transformed; it was created in collaboration with lead writer for the brilliant animated series SpongeBob SquarePants, Steven Banks.

OCELLUS (1971) — “Ocellus” is a classic Pilobolus men’s quartet revived for the 2008 season thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts’ American Masterpieces: Dance Initiative. (Advisory: “Ocellus,” a male quartet, will be performed in minimal costuming.)

Sextet 2013 (2013) — The 2013 collaborative work with Trish Sie is a high-octane romp, full of raw energy and berserk horseplay. Featuring twelve ropes and six dancers, the piece is at various times wild, rowdy, dangerous, sexy, and absurd. Tijuana’s Nortec Collective Presents: Bostich & Fussible has partnered to create the unique soundtrack, which fuses infectious modern rhythms and traditional Northern Mexican border music.

Videos of Pilobolus

Free Meet-the-Artists Q&A Reception

Following Friday evening’s performance, meet the artists in and of Pilobolus in a free after-concert reception. Donations are accepted to help Contemporary Dance Theater continue its work to bring dance to Cincinnati communities.

Your Chance to Dance with Pilobolus!

Take a dance class from Pilobolus! Saturday, June 15, 2013 from 10:30am-12:00pm. Click here for more information!

More photos of Pilobolus

Photo by Grant Halverson
Photo by Grant Halverson
Photo by Grant Halverson
Photo by Sara Davis
Photo by Grant Halverson
Photo by Grant Halverson
Photo by John Kane
Photo by John Kane
Photo by John Kane

Press Quotes

“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
“So the (Pilobolus) dance company turns out to be this ridiculously smart group of people — and I guess they dance for a living, but what I think they really think they’re doing is they’re telling stories. And the more complex a story is, the more interested they get.” — Robert Krulwich
“We use the word dance to describe movement that’s fluid, rhapsodic, lyrical, impassioned – motion with a certain flow of tension and release…Pilobolus Dance Theatre displayed a dimension of dance that has not yet been defined and can hardly be believed. The body has limitations, but not for this troupe of lusty contortionists. Gravity was defied, musculature taxed beyond conceivable limits, stamina ridiculed.” —The Durango Herald, Jeff Mannix

Can’t get enough?

CLICK HERE > Visit Pilobolus’s website at www.pilobolus.org
CLICK HERE > “Like” Pilobolus on Facebook and stay connected with them    



Louise Taft Semple Foundation


Crosset Family Fund
Warrington Foundation
Cincinnati Arts Association / Greater Cincinnati Foundation Rental Subsidy


The Contemporary Dance Theater Guest Artist Series is sponsored by THE OTTO M. BUDIG FAMILY FOUNDATION and is supported by the thousands of people who give generously to the ArtsWave Community Campaign. Generous support from the Louise Taft Semple Foundation also makes the Guest Artist Series possible. Support also comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education. Contemporary Dance Theater is also supported by The Ohio Arts Council, a state agency that supports public programs in the arts. The Crossett Family Fund also supports Contemporary Dance Theater.