From the Oscars to the Olympics: Check Out Pilobolus’ BIG FIVE-OH!

April 7, 2023
Three dancers make a striking tight shape with arching, bending and supporting each other's weight.

From the Oscars to the Olympics: Check Out Pilobolus’ BIG FIVE-OH! and Sensory-Friendly Matinee: Pilobolus Rules @ Play.  Learn about these two very different Apr 15 performances.

Top photo credit: Pilobolus in On the Nature of Things. Photo © Robert Whitman.

Pilobolus. Photo courtesy of artist.

Fabulous at the BIG FIVE-OH!

The rebellious and creative dance company Pilobolus is celebrating over 50 years of performing their boundary-breaking performances—touring a whopping 120 dance works to more than 65 countries.

Pilobolus. Photo courtesy of artist.

The Shadow Effect

People are enamored by Pilobolus’ trademark shadows that have been seen at the Oscars, on Oprah, in a car commercial, and playing on the billboard in Times Square.

top hat fungus

Pilobolus crystallinus sporangia. This image was created by user Sava Krstic (sava) at Mushroom Observer, a source for mycological images. You can contact this user here. - This image is Image Number 1013949 at Mushroom Observer, a source for mycological images.

Hat Trick

Pilobolus, founded by a group of Dartmouth College students in 1971, named their company after a barnyard “hat thrower” fungus that propels its spores with extraordinary speed, accuracy and strength.

A person's legs are on two cylinders completely spread apart and nearly doing the splits. They are wearing a black hat and holding a cane.

Empty Suitor. Photo © Ben McKeown.

Sensory-Friendly Performance

Pilobolous is bringing a sensory-friendly show to the Carlson Family Stage with an all-ages, choose-your-own-price matinee in a welcome and supportive environment that includes lowered sound, raised lights, a relaxed atmosphere, and more.

On a dimly lit stage, three dancers are held upside down in a circle while three other dancers hold them.

Pilobolus in, Branches. Photo © Ben McKeown.


Pilobolus' isn't your everyday dance company. They have been described as an “illusionist troupe of mime-acrobats” by The New York Times, where their “old symbiosis of strength, skill and shape glows into poetry.”


Pilobolus in, Megawatt. Photo © John Kanebug. 

You Will Be The First!

Northrop audiences will also be treated to a never-before-seen work by Pilobolus alum Gaspard Louis. It’s a world premiere! (You can say #iwasthere!)