I went to see Pilobolus with Clarie and Erik last night. Pilobolus the word is a name for a sun-loving fungus (more on Pilobolus website). They are a happy bunch of dancers. I liked the performance very much, and this is something I wouldn’t have said even half a year ago. Pilobolus is a very small company of 7 dancers. Their choreography are quite experimental, fun to watch. Sometimes I don’t grok it, can’t connect to it emotionally or understand why or what they are doing. Sometimes, you just think, wow, that’s really cool, but you still can’t grasp anything. It’s great! The dances don’t use the traditional vocabulary from ballet. That’s amazing to me and gives a sense of natural freedom and expressiveness to movements. When a dancer has been trained for so many years in ballet, they become the only way to convey messages through movements. Pilobolus showed me how many more amazing ways to express emotions, tell stories, without having to jete across the floor, or pirouette.
I particularly like their use of counter weight in movements. A simple exmaple is a swing of an arm from top of one’s head downward and then to the back can continue to cause the rest of the body to swoop back with the arm. My favorite piece called “Pseudopodia” in the show was an epitome of this concept. It was a solo piece with a guy wearing a red body suit. He moved, or rolled, throughout the whole dance as if he was an amoeba like creature. He moved by tossing his limbs (legs or arms) in a direction, and his body follows in a roll. He was flexible and contorted in amazing forms. The only couple of times when he did stand on his two feet, they were as if by random accident. Then he’d quickly collapse down to the ground. He moved not with pretentious “prearranged” purpose, just like some kind of life form. It was … organic. See more review on NYT)
I really love the lines and movements that accentuate a human body and the extend that one pushes her body in ballet. However, I am taking on a different appreciation for dance. Dance is an art form with physical movements to music. A recent research found that our brains’ motor cortex is active when listening to music lying down. The two go hand in hand apparently. For me to appreciate most music is to see myself dancing to them. And movements in themselves are beautiful and enjoyable to watch. I am in awe with the images, emotions, and stories that the movements tell, without words.