CULTURE

Spectacular Pilobolus at the Herod Atticus Theater

Athenians are in for a treat over the weekend: The Washington-based Pilobolus Dance Theater will perform some of their spectacular choreographies, which combine modern dance with circus elements and acrobatics, at the Herod Atticus Theater on both Saturday and Sunday night. The performances are part of this year’s Athens Festival events. The Pilobolus Dance Theater, named after Pilobolus crystallinus, a fungus which has the ability to scatter its seeds over a distance of 2.5 meters, was founded in 1971 by Moses Pendleton and Jonathan Wolken, when they were both students at Dartmouth College. The group’s aim was to create something new in the field of choreography, which it achieved by combining dance and gymnastics. Pilobolus gave a new meaning to body language, since its choreographies, which are created collectively and always include a subtle sense of humor, involve various body patterns, where the dancers support each other and build striking «structures.» The group’s originality lies not only in the choreographies, but also in the way that the company is run, based as it is solely on the collaboration of the artistic directors and six dancers, who apart from choreographing and dancing, are also in charge of the program. In the first part of their Athenian performances, Pilobolus will present the following three choreographies: «Tsu-ku-tsu,» «Symbiosis» and «Walklyndon,» choreographed in 2000, 2001 and 1971 respectively. After the intermission, the troupe will perform the 1980 choreography «Day Two.» All four of them are collective works, with chief Pilobolus choreographer Moses Pendleton participating in «Walklyndon» and «Day Two.» Momix Pendleton is also the founder of the New York-based dance group Momix, which performed in Greece earlier this summer, staging the production «Opus Cactus,» a show focusing on the strange natural features of the Sonoran desert. Performances took place at the open-air Lycabettus Theater in Athens and the Gis Theater in Thessaloniki. Pendleton is well-known for playfully mixing elements of dance, the circus, pantomime and acrobatics. The Pilobolus Dance Theater is the recipient of many prestigious awards in the USA and abroad, including the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for lifetime achievement in choreography in 2000 and a Primetime Emmy award for outstanding achievement in cultural programming. The Pilobolus Dance Theater at the Herod Atticus Theater, Dionysiou Areopagitou, tel 210.323.2771. Performances take place on Saturday and Sunday at 8.30 p.m. Tickets are also available at the Hellenic Festival box office, 39 Panepistimiou, tel 210.322.1459.