Innovative Research Symposium to Culminate With Performance by Pilobolus, April 22

Innovative Research Symposium to Culminate With Performance by Pilobolus, April 22

Photo of Pilobolus Dance Company performers

Members of Pilobolus performing “Branches.” Photo by Christopher Duggan.

Enjoy the Pilobolus dance troupe's choreographed work Branches, to be performed outdoors at the site of the on-campus bird sculpture installation by artist Todd McGrain, "The Lost Bird Project."

This year, April 22 marks several important events at Fairfield: the Innovative Research Symposium, STAGiving Day, and also Earth Day — a day to honor the earth and raise awareness about environmental issues. To culminate this year’s Innovative Research Symposium with a celebration of creativity, innovation, and nature, Pilobolus Dance Company will perform Branches, their choreographed piece scored with natural sounds that explores the competition and struggle between animals.

“Art-making begins with noticing, but also listening and questioning the things we think we know,” said Pilobolus Co-Artistic Director Matt Kent. “We think we know what birds sound like, but it’s more than ‘tweet tweet’ and ‘caw caw.’ Branches incorporates a natural soundscape and challenges us to get lost in nature.”

Branches will be performed outdoors in front of the DiMenna-Nyselius Library where the Fairfield University Art Museum has installed sculptures from artist Todd McGrain known as “The Lost Bird Project.” McGrain’s sculptures are a series of public memorials to birds that have been driven to extinction in modern times.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in nature observing,” said McGrain. “I selected the five birds to represent a range of species — from a flightless sea bird to a flocking migratory bird — each one representing a different absence of our extinction crisis. Though the sculptures are still, stillness is an essential element to understand movement. I am looking forward to seeing the dancers in motion around the quietness of my sculptures.”

This unique performance will be pre-recorded and will debut at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 22. At its conclusion, viewers will hear from McGrain, alongside members of Pilobolus, in conversation with Fairfield Visual and Performing Arts students about the relationship of art to creativity and innovation as reflected in the work of the artists represented in the performance. This online event is free and open to the public; participants are encouraged to register in advance.

To learn more about the 2021 Innovative Research Symposium, including how to watch faculty-moderated research presentations from more than 300 students, how to tune in to the NEW Live Show, and how to hear writer and media relations professional Melody Serafino ’05 speak about environmental sustainability, social justice, and public health, visit

Innovative Research Symposium: Concluding Performance by Pilobolus Dance Company

Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Time: 4:30 p.m.
Location: Online

Additional Details:

Celebrate Earth Day with a performance of  Branches by Pilobolus Dance Company, followed by a conversation about innovation and the arts with Pilobolus members, "The Lost Birds Project" artist Todd McGrain, and Fairfield students.

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