- Gil Vaknin
When many people hear the words modern dance, they tend to give a shiver or a shrug.
This is something that Pilobolus Dance Theatre knows all too well, even going as far as to acknowledge it in their unofficial tagline, calling themselves a dance company for those that like dance and also for those that dont.
Its roots are in the early 70s modern dance scene at Dartmouth College. Pilobolus was started by a group of dancers who wanted to explore every facet of body movement, mixing it with elements of theatricality and comedic elements. Its an artistic mélange that Lemuel Bardeguez, director of cultural programs for Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC), believes is beautifully accessible.
Pilobolus incorporates a lot of humor, Bardeguez said. In traditional modern dance, a lot of it is about the choreography, and some of it is quite abstract. But Pilobolus does a lot more with multimedia and the incorporation of video techniques and lighting techniques that make the production a little more theatrical.
Its a show comprised of vignettes one features dancing on top of a clear surface with cameras positioned below, presenting the upward view on screen to create a juxtaposition that also features homages dedicated to Greek sculptures and the experiences of life in a circus. Pilobolus specialized worldview regarding modern dance has earned the company spots on Oprah, Conan and 60 Minutes, showcases at events like the Academy Awards and even a special collaboration with Penn and Teller, allowing it to have commercial appeal while still maintaining its artistic sensibility.
Pilobolus will engulf the stage in one of its few American performances this year 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at OCCCs Visual and Performing Arts Center Theater, 7777 S. May Ave.. Tickets are $25 to $45 and can be purchased online or at the OCCC box office.
Print headline: Accessible beauty, A modern dance company brings its theatrical and comedic moves to OCCC.