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Watch: Inside the Creative Process With Pilobolus

Our cameras shot freely inside the Washington Depot studio for a segment capturing the joy, passion, and explosive energy of the Pilobolus dancers.

Regarded as one of the most imaginative and athletic dance companies on the planet, Pilobolus thrives on taking audiences where the rest of the dance world dares not.

In this new WNPR video segment, our Spotlight on the Arts producing team visits with the legendary Connecticut-based dance theater over a six-month period, to capture the evolving creative process in making a new dance piece, "On The Nature of Things," which premiered at New York’s Joyce Theater this past summer.

Unlike most dance companies whose works are shaped by a specific choreographer’s vision, or often stamped with the company’s signature style or movement-language, Pilobolus refuses to pre-determine the look, feel, or outcome of a new work. Instead, they believe in a highly communal and collaborative approach, allowing the piece to unfold organically, especially the characters and relationships which emerge as a result of actions and feelings that grow from a story concept, or theme they wish to explore.

With our cameras freely shooting inside the big studio in Washington Depot, this docu-segment also captures the joy, passion, and explosive energy of the Pilobolus dancers as they work out every day, often beginning early in the morning to create new work, and rehearse existing pieces from their famous repertoire.

Credit Grant Halverson
"Automaton" by Pilobolus Dance Theater.

To create "On the Nature of Things," you meet ErikoJimbo and Shawn Fitzgerald Ahern, and go inside the process as they work intimately through physical contact to create a special, visceral relationship; one they believe will connect with audiences while communicating a very human and universal story.

Perhaps best put by Associate Artistic Director Matt Kent: "When you see that emotion conveyed to an audience through only a body, to me it sort of speaks to the fact that… it’s in all of us. Like, we have something in common."

Ed is an Emmy Award-winning producer and arts writer.

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