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Pilobolus: Symbiosis Critique Essay

The Pilobolus performance began on a medium sized stage with low lighting set and slow classical violin music, which gave me a intriguing feeling. There are two dancers in this performance, a male and female that are dressed in minimal clothing that exposes both of their backsides. The dance starts off with the male dancer sitting on the floor with his head positioned in between his knees and the female not more than a foot away, laying flat on the floor face up with her legs bent towards the ceiling in a lifeless fashion. The male dancer acts as if he is linked to the female dancer and draws her near to his hand to give her life. As the female dancer is revived she lies on face up slowly crawling into the males arms in which the form together in a ball like fashion. The focus then switches to the female, who climbs on the males’ backside and is carried by the male who continues to roll his body in various circular shapes. The relationship between the two dancers is an obvious symbolization of intimacy through their use of unison movement.

Next, the female slides off the males backside and reaches up as if she is stretching and falls backwards on the males backside and comes back up again to a squatting position with her legs wrapped around his neck facing forward. The beginning of the dance continues on with a variety of movements that involve weight shifting and flexibility on behalf of the female dancer which move her up and down the male dancers body eventually leading her to sitting up on top of his head.

As the dance continues, the unique movements separate and pull them together creating a symbolic relationship that almost looks like they are linked together by an invisible string. The dancers movements in relation to the floor and the pace of the music mark the time periods of the dance. The middle section of this dance is picks up with a faster rhythm of violin music and the female dancer being twirled around in fast pace circular direction. The dancers then move to the floor to perform intricate body circles shifting their weight back and forth upon one another, the male seems to be a dominating force over the female through out the majority of the dance. The male begins to lift and toss the female up high, down low, through and over his body twirling only in a circular direction. The music then slows down and the dancers are faced their back towards one another for a brief period that turns into the male gaining control back over the female body.

The male continues to toss and roll the female dancer and making large arm movements, which lead him into holding the female in a cradling position and rocking her back in forth and eventually placing her in a squatting position on his shoulders. Near the end of the dance there are continuous circular movements but without the female actually being latched onto the male’s body. The dance ends just as it began, with the female sitting on top of the male who is on the ground rolling in circles.

This dance performance gave me several feelings that all revolved around a need to feel dependent on someone or something. This dance really reminded me of the creation of Adam and Eve and how the American society started off with the idea that a woman is to be dependent on a man .The movements in this dance reminded me of animalistic shapes and matter that resembled a creative postmodern style of dancing. The performance consisted of mostly of circular movements executed by twirling, weight baring, weight shifting, rolling, tossing, and body contorting. The movements flowed with the classical music and impressed me the most with the creativity that was communicated through movement.

The dancers danced in an open space creating enough room for each other to roll, toss and twirl their bodies around one another. The floor patterns created by the dancers as they traveled through space were mostly large and circular moving from one level to another. The tempo of the dance moved to slow then fast then slow again representing the changes in time through out the dance. The lighting was intimate and the costumes were revealing which reminded me of the how people may have dressed in the very beginning of time.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed this creative form of post modern dance that I have never seen before. I also found this performance by Pilobolus to be astounding by the strength and grace of the performers that were beautifully presented in a simplistic way. The creative movement of the performance
seems to demonstrate so much emotion and meaning without any verbal communication. I think that the title of the dance Symbiosis (a relationship of mutual benefit or dependence) demonstrates the true nature of a female which is to place her dependence into the hands of a male figure.


This performance is based off the youtube video linkhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOZ6KnVPvIU

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