Pilobolus After Thoughts

Feb 13, 2010

Wishing you could tumble and twist like Pilobolus?  Have a whole new perspective on shadow-shows and body language?  Those of you who went to the Fungi Fest or the Fungi Dance Party, did you & the kids have fun shakin' it with fungus and the dancers?  Let us know your thoughts, concerns, and stories.

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This is the fourth time I have seen Pilobolus and every time it's just like the first time: they take my breath away with their creativity and fluidity. How did they do that? And that? I didn't know bodies could go together like that. So glad to see they still flow together so well.

After I got home, I checked their schedule and e-mailed my daughter and cousin to tell them to go see Pilobolus on March 25 when they get to Atlanta! This is the most amazing performance I think we have ever seen! It was fluid and beautiful and awe-inspiring, and I could gho again tonite and still be amazed. I sur ehope they are on the schedule in future years at Northrop!

This was my first time seeing Pilobolus and I was floored. Thank you for bringing such amazing artists to our stage.

We LOVED them!!! We have seen them several times, and each time they come up with such new and creative performances! We will go to see them every time they are in town.

A delightful show. I wish it had been longer and that we could have seen more shadow play. Thanks you so much for bringing this group in. It was a terrific show for all ages. Kudos to the dancers.

short on time here but just had to comment. ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT- Thanks Northrop!!

A delightful show. I wish it had been longer and that we could have seen more shadow play. Thank you so much for bringing this group in. It was a terrific show for all ages. Kudos to the dancers.

I saw Pilobolus at the Northrup about 20 years ago and was spellbound. Last night I wasn't. I enjoyed the show and appreciated the extreme talent but I have to admit I was somewhat disappointed (my husband, seeing them for the first time was not). A contributing factor for me were our seats. I asked for and paid for "best available" but Sec. 11, row 5 were not good viewing seats.

This was my first time seeing Pilobolus and I think it was one of the most visually stunning piece of performance I have ever seen. The fluidity of the dancers was breathtaking. I would drop everything to see them preform again!

Loved it! Some of the pieces like the piece about love, and the last one were stunning. I especially loved their work with the chairs..such effortless grace! The only issue I had was I was trying to but could not get a grasp of the story they try to tell sometimes. Overall, great show.

Such a moving, captivating group!

A great thought provoking and entertaining show. The music was great and the dancers did an excellent job. I only wish I could have seen them better. Even though we were in the 12th row it was still hard to see such a small group that had such intermingled moves. I had seen them some years ago at Northrup but this program was even better. Nice variety.

Great show. I have known of them for a long time, but this is the first time I see them. All of them are very powerful dancers who balance athleticism with gracefulness. The program was also very well balanced.

This was a marvelous show and we enjoyed it tremendously. As another patron commented, we too wish we could have seen the stage better. This group is perhaps better suited to a smaller venue than Northrop. Aside from this nit, a wonderful evening!

Absolutely amazing! The entire performance was breathtaking. Right after it started I was bummed I didn't buy tickets for both nights!

This was our first attendance to a live performance after seeing the 60 minutes TV special a few years ago on this unique dance troupe. It was a bit disappointing in that our expectations were that we would see more of what the show featured on TV. Overall, it was beautiful though. The waving, fluid, strength, of the dancers was at times mesmerizing. The music was fabulous. We missed not seeing more of their bodies entwining and creating shapes of objects sometimes behind screening as we had seen years ago in the TV special. The last piece Rush, did not capture our interest much as it did so many others around us. We were trying to hard to understand what the theme was and the dripping water. I would have preferred the ending with firefly piece. The first half of show was the best of the entire evening. As far as seating and viewing ability our seats in the 30 th row, center was really good.

I enjoyed bringing my family to the show. I agree that it was hard to see. We were in the first row and couldn't see anything towards the back of the stage and the kids were to short to see a lot. Otherwise, we loved it and wished it were 3 hours!

After searching for parking and trudging with three kids, I was very disappointed when the show lasted less than an hour and the house lights were on between dances. Great show, beautiful dancers but experience was quick and a bit confusing.

I wonder if the renovation of the Northrop will make it easier to see the stage in the first few rows. Amazing, thought-provoking and fun--what a combination!

I was deeply disappointed on Friday night. Pilobolus' performance was pallid compared with the troupe of years past. They lacked the energy, color, and style of the original vision. The evening was a waste of time and money.

Way too short. I enjoyed the dance pieces immensely, but the performance was too short and I was disappointed about that. Also the sightlines from row 14 were terrible. I was hoping that they would be great seats, but I ended up constantly moving my head around the head in front of me. The seating should be staggered to allow people in back to see between the people in front. The issue of sightlines will effect my decision to return to the Northrup. Let me know when you fix that problem.

We saw the Friday night performance. I think Northrop is too big for this, hard to connect with the pieces. I remember them from the early 70's, they were exciting and innovative. Fri night seemed less about dance and more about interesting shapes we can put our bodies into. Walk walk, make interesting shape. Pause for applause. (what was that about?)And I thought the music felt added on - and some of it was like theme music from Epcot - just background weirdly triumphant noise.

It was delightful to see the newest manifestation of Pilobolus, having been intimately familiar with the original company. However, several critical comments on Northrop: 1. The box office represented the show as completely different performances. This was not accurate: an overlap of 3/5 pieces for the two performances. This was a very expensive misrepresentation. 2. Northrop is too large a facility for these intimate performances. On Feb. 13, we were able to move into the first row, after intermission. This was because Northrop was barely 1/2 full for this performance (shame). Sitting so close to the stage, it was apparent that facial expressions were important to the performances, but were almost totally lost to anyone sitting in the middle of the orchestra section, even with binoculars. 3. Visibility was severely limited for short (all?) members of the audience seated in the orchestra, because of the gradual (almost unnoticable) pitch. This resulted in many people bobbing and weaving throughout any performance. Reconstruction, with greater slope, would relieve this problem. 4. Northrop's sale of food and drink, which is taken into the auditorium, is truly unfortunate during the performances. The odors and sounds from individuals consuming their goodies is distracting / annoying / offensive to many in the audience. If you insist on sale of comestibles, please exclude them from the performance space.

The performance was incredible and I look forward to seeing Pilobolus again. My disappointment was not with the dancers or the show as a whole, but with the management of the audience. I was so disappointed that the ushers continued to seat people after the dances had begun. Considering how many breaks there were it would have been easy to wait for the piece to finish before allowing late people into the theatre. Through the entire first piece they were opening the doors, which flooded the hall with light, and pointed flashlights in the aisles, they utterly destroyed the spell of the dance. If people are not on time to the performance the rest of the audience should not have to suffer. Cell phones should be banned from the building. I know this is out of your control, but it was insufferable to see the blue screens lighting up throughout the show. I absolutely loved the dances and was so disappointed that the experience was not more respectful to their art!

Good performance, but as others have mentioned, not as engaging as other times I've seem them. I am so glad to see people complaining about sight lines at Northrup. I sincerely hope when renovation is done that they will modify the orchestra floor to give it more cant. I am always one of those people bobbing and weaving in order to see. I also HATE that latecomers are allowed to be seated during a performance. I have never seen that in large venues in other cities. If they're late, they should have to wait for intermission to take their seats.

The performance was very good - was fun to see some pieces that I had seen in the 70s. But I felt the length of the performance was much shorter than I expected. My biggest complaint for the afternoon was the seating of latercomers during the first half. If you are late for a symphony, you expect to have to wait for the intermission to be seated. Yesterday's seating was very distracting to those who were seated before the dance started.

Excellent show but way too short for the cost.

I am a long time fan, but I just sat there with a smile on my face the whole time. So wonderful, fluid and witty.

I was disappointed by Friday night's performance. I felt that, other than the soloist in piece #2, we were seeing the B-team. They all looked new to the troupe according to the program. Also, I bought tickets to both performances based on the implication from the advance info that there would be different pieces performed the second day but there was a huge overlap (3/5) in the pieces. This was very disappointing and very expensive. I remember Pilobolus as being truly wonderful from the last time they were here and so was disappointed by the pieces performed. Maybe my expectations were too high?

Before intermission, every number was disrupted by light falling on the stage as the doors were opened to admit late arrivals. I mentioned this to the director of Northrup programming when I saw him during intermission. Such crowd control and processing is amateur at best and totally destructive of practically any artistic performance. I doubt that Dale Schatzlein would have allowed people to enter the auditorium during a performance, or he would have made sure there was a dark room created with curtains outside to stop lighting up the darkened stage with sunshine. Frankly, I felt robbed of my enjoyment before intermission. I have followed and attended Pilobolus performances since 1972 or 1973 when the first appeared at St. Kates. They are unique and deserve better than they got at Northrup.

This was the first exposure that my adult daughter and I have had to Pilobolus. We were blown away by the physical strength and grace that the performers displayed. Loved their whimsical nature also. It made a great Valentine gift. We will see them again. We just couldn't understand the half-empty auditorium, but it alowed us a good view. Thanks for a very fun afternoon!Odp87

I was at Saturday's matinee performance with my niece, and we truly enjoyed every bit of the show - at least, the parts we could see... The first section of the dance was completely ruined by the massive amount of latecomers who were seated during the performance. One or two latecomers - no problem! But 10+ minutes of latecomers being shown to their seats during a 20 minute dance piece? Between the bright afternoon sunlight shining in through the doorways,to the flashlights of ushers looking at tickets and showing people the way, and people standing in front of our seats as they waited their turn to negotiate the stairways... it completely disrupted my ability to enjoy what looked like a very sweet dance piece. As the Northrop encourages patrons to turn off all cell phones and pagers so as to not disrupt others enjoyment, I would encourage the Northrop to adhere to a strict policy of waiting until between dance pieces to seat latecomers, for the very same reason of not disrupting the enjoyment of other (on time!) patrons.

I completely agree! I don't understand why they were allowed to walk in late and disrupt everything. My 5 year old turned around and asked me why "those people keep coming in!!!" It did really impact our ability to enjoy the first dance, which was extremely frustrating. I feel bad for the performers as well- I cannot imagine trying to perform the routines they did while constantly trying to let their eyes adjust to the blasts of daylight every minute. Kudos to them for performing perfectly under those conditions!

My daughters, ages 6 and 9, saw Pilobolus live for the first time this Saturday. They both loved the show! "They dance good!" and "I like your ideas for the dances!"

We saw the Saturday performance and were completely enthralled. I am amazed at the skill of the dancers and the fact that I was nearly unable to describe it to others after the fact. It was beautiful and filled us with joy. We will definitely seek tickets for Pilobolus again. We brought our daughters, 5 and 10, and were glad to be able to give them this experience. It was a wonderful opportunity to show them how wonderful dance can be.

I loved the show, although I agree with some commenters that it seemed pretty short. Northrop has a significant problem, however, with the issue of interruptions caused by latecomers being seated. Perhaps they are so considerate to the latecomers because Northrop staff are aware of how much a problem finding parking on campus tends to be. Whatever the cause, performances, performers, and paying audience members should not be penalized and interrupted by seating of latecomers. I agree that this was amateurish and, frankly, extremely rude to performers and audience members alike. Curiously, from my seat in the balcony area, I noticed that even during the latter portion of the performance, after the doors ceased opening constantly to seat people, there was significant light pollution through the cracks between the closed auditorium doors. Parking/traffic control wasn't very efficient. If these kinds of problems are typical for events at Northrop, perhaps there should be a notice posted somewhere during the ticket purchase process to alert people to come even earlier than they might otherwise consider necessary, along with a notice that latecomers WILL NOT be seated until intermission. I had great seats and no complaints about my view, but fifty-some dollars is a little pricey, particularly for such a short show. Throw in the disruptions and I'm inclined to want a refund. Perhaps if the ticket prices at Northrop were adjusted, events like this would draw more patrons and there wouldn't be so many empty seats.

I got to see the Saturday show and was completely amazed! I loved the 'tumbleweed solo' and can't believe how smoothly the dancers moved from trick to dancing to trick. It was enthralling! My pipedream is now to apprentice with them! I also loved having the opportunity afterwards to meet and talk to the dancers who were all really nice. All in all an amazing night I will say, thought, that I was incredibly upset when, after the show had started, people were being let late into the theatre for the entire first dance. I missed about half of that dance because people were being let in and walking in front of my seats and talking. I was appalled that the ushers were letting people in! I hope in the future the ushers are better trained. As a dancer I know this must have been incredibly distracting for the company as well as the audience which almost ruined the first piece.

I got to see the Saturday show and was completely amazed! I loved the 'tumbleweed solo' and can't believe how smoothly the dancers moved from trick to dancing to trick. It was enthralling! My pipedream is now to apprentice with them! I also loved having the opportunity afterwards to meet and talk to the dancers who were all really nice. All in all an amazing night I will say, thought, that I was incredibly upset when, after the show had started, people were being let late into the theatre for the entire first dance. I missed about half of that dance because people were being let in and walking in front of my seats and talking. I was appalled that the ushers were letting people in! I hope in the future the ushers are better trained. As a dancer I know this must have been incredibly distracting for the company as well as the audience which almost ruined the first piece.

The Pilobolus performance was amazing, although we'd have liked to have seen more! It seemed like a rather short recital. The main problem we had in enjoying the performance is the severe disruption of the first number. We were in the balcony and during the first piece no fewer than 100 people were let in by the ushers. We had flashlights and ambient light from side doors flashing in our face. We had motion and commotion going on next to us and in front of us. When we attend most other functions (Guthrie, Symphony, other Theatre performances, etc.) latecomers are made to WAIT outside in the lobby until there is a break in the action. In this case, latecomers should not have been seated until AFTER this first segment. Please train your ushers better so that those of us who arrive on time will not be penalized by those who don't. Thanks.

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