By Taylor Roberts
Beyond beautiful and athletic movements, world-renowned dance company Pilobolus continues to push the boundaries of dance with its newest creation Come to Your Senses. Combining dance, video, music and theater, Pilobolus will take you on a journey through unique and sense-provoking worlds on March 3 at The Lincoln Center.
“The concept of Come to Your Senses came from the idea that we just need to lift our shoulders up, lift our eyes up and look around and get back to what’s around us, not what’s through our screens, not what we have to deal with every day,” says Renée Jaworski, Artistic Director for Pilobolus. “We fully believe in the life experience and that we all need to get out and do that more, so we wanted to put together pieces from the past and the present that allow you to do that.”
Including works that span the last three decades of Pilobolus’s 50-year existence, Come to Your Senses serves as a showcase and look inside Pilobolus’s innovative creative process.
“I think one of the biggest things is that we’re not precious about making sure we look like one specific thing,” says Jaworski. “We definitely have an aesthetic but every time we go into the studio, it’s as if we try to go in with a beginner’s mind. We’re constantly trying to surprise ourselves with pushing things beyond what we thought was dance.”
“Incorporating many different elements is important to what we do as well. We invite people into our creative process that may, or may not, have any experience in making art through movement. We bring in graphic artists, literary writers, painters, video artists and musicians but we don’t really collaborate with them in a traditional way. We actually ask them to be involved in the choreographic process. It’s always exciting to me when we get to work with artists who come from different disciplines.”
Unlike most dance companies and performances, Pilobolus also lets their dancer’s abilities and personalities influence the movements and elements of a piece.
“We really like to play to the strengths of our performers,” says Jaworski. “We want them to own it in a way that is authentic. And we’re not precious about what the moves are. Each dancer is flexible in a different way. If we choreograph something for somebody who’s super flexible in one way, and then we hire somebody who’s not flexible in the same way, we just make sure that the move says the same thing that the original move was saying. It’s really about communication and less about doing the communication in a virtuosic way.”
While Pilobolus is synonymous with groundbreaking dance and performances, at Pilobolus’s core, it’s about more than dance.
“One of the most important things that we try to do with all of our projects—whether they be on stage or off—is to connect to people, and to connect people to other people,” says Jaworski. “That means that we’ll go to a football field with 200 light-up umbrellas and ask a bunch of people to help us make delightful images and film it from far above. We also have a program called ‘Connecting With Balance’ that we bring to senior centers. We get people together and we work on balance. All of these things feed the way that we make work that goes on the stage.”
Jarworski encourages the audience to be ready for anything and to connect with their surroundings when heading to a Pilobolus show.
“The show starts when you leave your house. Just notice everything around you. Take every opportunity to soak it in. Soak in the beauty that is around you that you might not see every day because you’re driving the same path. Maybe it’s a flower you didn’t notice that is growing and is in supreme beautiful bloom, the way that the snow is drifting up, or the way that the trees or the sky exists over you. Maybe it’s an interaction that you might have, a smile that you could give to somebody that you might miss because you weren’t looking up. And when you get to the theater, be ready for anything, because we’re here to surprise you and we’re here to put a smile on your face.”
Whether it is from the amazing strength, moments of illusion or feeling like you’re living in one of the worlds created by the dancers, each piece has a moment that is going to move the audience to awe. Come to Your Senses with Pilobolus on March 3. Seats from $15 at LCtix.com.