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Carmel, IN
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Pilobolus

by Rita Kohn
October 1, 2011
The Tarkington
The Center for the Performing Arts
355 City Center Drive
Carmel, IN 46032
317-843-3800
5 stars

This review was originally published in NUVO Newsweekly, Indianapolis, IN.

Rita Kohn is a member of the Board of the Dance Critics Association.
Pilobolus choreographers and dancers perfect athleticism in movement as a twining of flowing water and floating clouds. Adding a third strand of intellectual curiosity invites audience members into a collaboration to go beyond 'what's the story?' and 'who's involved?' to get personal with 'why is this important to me?' Opening with the exuberant, physical "The Particle Zoo," we [re-] experience 'odd-man-out' realities. Three men, comfortable with each other, don't readily make room to include a fourth who desperately wants "in." It's a witty exploration of personal needs, trust in others and rejection. When it looks like the floor of the stage is juggling bodies you know you've been transported into a different level of dance performance. "The Transformation" totally changes pace as a quiet silhouette work during which a young woman undergoes a series of changes until she isn't what she was. Is transformation physical, mental, emotional or…? "Kokoroko" was explained during the after show Q-A with the company as a Japanese word meaning something 'rolling constantly.' The Pilobolus website states, "We are creating a world of surreal physicality that is interested in the making and unmaking of heroes." Uh-huh. Act two opened with "Duet," brought back after a decade of absence to celebrate Pilobolus's 40th anniversary. Two women, whose tender caring for each other suddenly erupts into a power struggle, have to find their way back to a nurturing love. Relational at its core, is it equally a metaphor with what we face in daily struggles for unity with self? The program closed with "Rushes," which thrusts us into a community of misfits whose fractured dreams are manifested into repetitive anxiety. Humor and pathos line up and encircle like a clutter of white chairs. Delivering exceptional performances were Shawn Fitzgerald Ahern, Winston Dynamite Brown, Mat Del Rosario, Eriko Jimbo, Jordan Kriston, Jun Kuribayashi and Nile H. Russell. Pilobolus last was seen at Clowes with a different company of dancers.
Pilobolus members Nile Russell, Jun Kuribayashi and Shawn Ahern perform in The Particle Zoo.

Pilobolus members Nile Russell, Jun Kuribayashi and Shawn Ahern perform in The Particle Zoo.

Photo © & courtesy of Unknown

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