January 01, 2013
Q: How would you describe the Pilobolus dance workshops? What can people get out of the kind of collaborative, creative movement process that Pilobolus specializes in?
A: Pilobolus workshops are about sharing our way of creating collaboratively with others. We focus on getting people to move and think creatively, on their own and in groups. We start by warming up the body and mind to new ways of moving, continue with exercises that allow students to improvise and rapidly solve problems, and end with a creation and performance by those in attendance. When you attend a Pilobolus workshop you begin to see that you are creative. That saying "yes" to an idea can open up new possibilities. That you can express with your body as well as your words.
Q: How do the workshops benefit young adults?
A: Young adults can be filled with self-doubt. Pilobolus workshops emphasize that there are many solutions to a problem. We impress upon each young person that his or her unique voice is integral to the process of creating collaboratively. We create movement from the student's own movement vocabulary and ideas, as opposed to teaching everyone pre-existing choreography. Students can gain confidence from ownership of the work they create.
We also spend time giving and receiving feedback, a skill that will be used in other parts the of their lives.
Finally, the workshops are an incredible exercise in team-building. Students learn to bring groups together, gaining an understanding of each other as they work toward a common goal.
Q: Will I be learning specific Pilobolus repertory?
A: You will not be learning Pilobolus repertory. However, the Weeks II and III may use repertory as examples of fundamental weight sharing techniques and styles. These exercises are used to learn skills, which will be applied to creating your own Pilobolus-style movements.
Q: What is a typical day like?
A: A typical day begins with an organized group warm-up, exploring movement as a group, as well as movement through space, and time and the ability to recognize non-verbal communication within movement. Next, the group explores Pilobolus principles and methods for creating through exercises and physical improvisations. These exercises, directed by veteran Pilobolus dancers and teaching artists, develop our physical language for further discussion on the material developed by the group and individuals.
After lunch, small groups will create original work together based partly on the lessons learned through the morning's explorations. You will be putting the Pilobolus collaborative philosophy in practice: making art together demands a mutual commitment from the group to the individual and the individual to the group. Showings of the work will be presented to the full group after which everyone will make observations on what they have seen.
Q: How physical is the workshop?
A: You will be moving all day. The principles are both explored and utilized through movement. Some exercises are taught through basic partnering, which brings you into direct contact with other participants. Strenuous physical exertion is not necessary but there will be opportunities for those who wish to challenge themselves physically at their own level. The physicality is self-regulated, but you will break a sweat several times each day. And you will have fun doing it!
Q: What should I wear?
A: Wear comfortable clothing, e.g., sweatpants, t-shirts, and bare feet or very lightweight running shoes.
Q: Is anyone interested in sharing accommodations?
A: Participants frequently share accommodations here in Washington. We'd be happy to connect you with those who are looking to share.