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The Statesman

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The Statesman

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    Pilobolus brings innovative dance moves to Staller

    Max Wei/The Statesman

    Gnomen
    Four men tumble onto the bare, green-lit stage in the shape of one gigantic ball. As three of the men begin to stand, one stays down. The dancers mix fluid extensions with abrupt inflections as they help their friend rise. Their stories begin to unfold.
    “It was like a combination of Cirque du Soliel, So You Think You Can Dance and the silhouette dance from America’s Got Talent,” Genie Ruzicka, a Coram local, said.
    The Pilobolus dance company brought their innovative creations to life at the Staller Center for the Arts this past Saturday, Feb. 4. The company performed five pieces.
    The Transformation
    The curtain rises and shows a screen with the shadow of a girl laying down. The silhouette large hand that takes up nearly half of the screen moves down from the top of the screen towards the girl. As the audience starts to grow anxious about the strange hand reaching toward the seemingly smaller girl, they begin to laugh as the mysterious hand begins to tickle the girl.
    Then the hand literally takes away her head, and her headless body stands center stage, emoting confusion. The hand gives the girl her head, covers up her silhouette on the screen and turns her into a dog. After giving a few commands, the hand gives the girl her body back. The man jumps over the screen and leaves the girl with a dog’s head. She joyfully wanders off the stage.
    Sextet 2012
    According to associate artistic director, Renée Jaworski, this piece was inspired by “celestial bodies,” and its name is subject to change until it officially debuts later in the year. Pilobolus’ performance of this piece at Staller was a preview.
    All is Not Lost
    A large white screen is featured stage right. A Plexiglas table with a live camera underneath sits a few feet across the stage. Dancers in light blue, skintight jump suits lay down on the table. The dancers look at each other and make humorous faces. The dancers smile at each other as the camera underneath them catches their movements. They contort into symmetrical shapes.
    All is Not Lost was created as a collaboration between Pilobolus and the Grammy Award-winning band OK Go in 2011 and was recently nominated for the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Short Form video.
    “I think they’re amazing,” Chris Schmitt, a local from Suffolk country, said, who has seen Pilobolus in the past. “I always like to see them.”
    Rushes
    Orange lights brighten the stage with a circle of chairs in the center. The audience hears a combination of water droplets and R2-D2 from the Star Wars saga. It appears as if the dancers are waiting for something. As the dancers huddle around a suitcase, another dancer covers his colleagues with a white sheet. Pictures of nature are projected onto the white shirt.
    The dancers come out from under the sheet. After spinning the chair on one leg, one of the dancers finds himself caught under a pile of chairs. He emerges, covered in chairs. The mood suddenly transforms from its original upbeat self to extremely somber. Two dancers walk on top of the chairs that are continuously placed in front of them. The recital ends.

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