Inventive dance troupe Pilobolus to appear at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts


Image: PilobolusPilobolus, a dance company that strives to defy convention - and sometimes gravity, will take the stage Friday, Nov. 14, and Saturday, Nov. 15, at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. The Friday program is part of the Quick Center's Russian Arts and Letters Festival and is a joint performance with the acclaimed St. Lawrence String Quartet, which will play the music of Russian master Dmitri Shostakovitch. The Saturday performance is an evening of mixed repertory by the stellar dance company.

Both performances begin at 8 p.m. Each show will be followed by an Art-to-Heart question and answer session with the company.

Since its inception more than 30 years ago, Pilobolus has awed audiences with its unique mix of creativity, strength and humor. The troupe has received several prestigious awards and performed throughout the world, breaking down convention and taking dance to new and unusual heights.

"Pilobolus Dance Theatre most successfully engages its audiences with aha moments and ha-ha moments," wrote reviewer Lisa Traiger of The Washington Post. "Their chiseled bodies can contort and balance, spring and melt, flex and bend with an exquisite ease and sinewy grace inconceivable for the rest of us mere mortals."

Pilobolus formed from a dance class at Dartmouth College in 1971 and remains committed to its original format of four artistic directors and six dancers. Based in Connecticut, the company continues to add to one of the most popular and varied repertoires in the world. Their works also appear in the repertoires of the Joffrey and Arizona ballets, France's Ballet National de Nancy et de Lorraine and the Ballet du Rhin, and the Verona Ballet in Italy.

Among the company's awards are the Berlin Critic's Circle Prize, the Brandeis Award, the New England Theatre Conference Prize, the Scotsman Award for performances at the Edinburgh Festival and a 1997 Emmy Award for outstanding achievement in cultural programming. In 2000, Pilobolus received a Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for lifetime achievement in choreography.

Founded in Toronto in 1989, the St. Lawrence String Quartet has performed worldwide, winning raves for both its electric technical brilliance and its free-spirited personality. Since winning the Banff International String Quartet Competition and Young Concert Artists Auditions in the 1990s, the Quartet has been a mainstay at some of North American's most esteemed music festivals, including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Mostly Mozart in New York and the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival.

"Here is a young ensemble that plays with all the energy and fearless adventurousness of youth," wrote a reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle. "The string tone is deep and urgent, with a gritty edge that doesn't impede an underlying air of elegance."

The Quartet's 1999 recording of Schumann's first and third quartets won Canada's Juno Award for Best Classical Album and the coveted German critics award, the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. The ensemble has also released recordings of Tchaikovsky and the 2002 CD "Yiddishbbuk," which features the works of Argentinean-American composer Osvaldo Golijov.

The Quartet includes violinists Geoff Nuttall and Barry Shiffman, Lesley Robertson on viola and cellist Christopher Costanza, who joined the group this season. Their collaboration with Pilobolus will include "Sweet Purgatory," a work choreographed to the music of Dmitri Shostakovich, and other selections.

Tickets to either performance range from $25 to $40. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit the website, www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on October 15, 2003

Vol. 36, No. 96