Pilobolus to perform in Park City Saturday
One of the mantras for the Pilobolus Dance Theatre is "If it doesn’t hurt, you’re not doing it right."
So said Dance Captain Jun Kuribayashi, during an interview with The Park Record, last week.
"We’ll be rehearsing a move with someone and they’ll go, ‘My God, it hurts!’ and we’ll say, ‘That’s exactly how it should be. You hit it right on the spot,’" he said. "As they continue to stay in the company, they find their pain tolerance becomes incredibly high."
Kuribayashi should know. He’s been with the company for seven seasons.
"I found out that there are almost no limits to what my body can adapt to," he said. "I challenge myself with every step around every corner."
While physicality is a major element in Pilobolus pieces, they also display the dancers’ artistry, Kuribayashi said.
"It’s a challenge we step up to meet every time," he said. "There should always be a second layer to a piece. It can’t always be just fireworks. When we create something, we have to be sure there is something underneath the exterior movement that drives us as dancers.
"Sure, the movements in and of themselves are difficult, and unless we build a story or develop a character for ourselves, it’s hard for us to move forward because it is difficult to be athletic all the time."
When composing a work, Kuribayashi said Pilobolus dancers are encouraged to expand their creative horizons.
"One of the great things about being in the company is, I don’t feel like just a dancer," he said. "We come into the studio during a creation process and get to collaborate with choreographers from all walks of life.
"We also get to work with puppeteers, animators and musicians," he said. "You get to meet all these people and find out even though they are in a completely different field, there are so many similarities. There’s always the discipline to become an accomplished artist or group in our chosen fields, and while the way we all approach a project may be different, the goal is always to do something that is different. That’s been eye-opening and enlightening for us."
Creative freedom, said Kuribayashi, is one of the reasons why the company, which originated at Dartmouth College, has survived for more than 40 years.
"The company has been on this amazing journey," he said. "I think if (our founders) had a set goal of what we wanted to accomplish, Pilobolus, would not have the impact is does today.
"The company is an organism and can’t have just one shape," he said. "The moment it solidifies, then it becomes inflexible and incapable of meeting the creative demands of the things it wants to accomplish. It is important to have guidelines, but we use them as landmarks instead of solid, cookie-cutter borders."
For the Eccles Center performance, Pilobolus chose some of the company’s best-known signature works, Kuribayashi said. The program will feature "Tsu Ku Tsu," "Pseudopodia," "Duet," "Gnomen," "Transformation" and "Megawatt."
"These are six pieces that pack a punch," he said. "All of them are quite different, we make it a point to perform pieces that are eclectic and quite different from one another," he said. "Anyone who comes will, hopefully, see at least one thing they really like."
The program for the Eccles performance was custom made for Park City, isaid.
"Utah is like the sports capital of the country," he said. "So we scheduled a program that has a lot of kick to it. It shows off our athleticism as a company and I think the audience will relate to it."
Pilobolus Dance Theatre will dance at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, 1750 Kearns Blvd., on Saturday, March 12, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $18-$65 and available at http://www.ecclescenter.org or by calling (435) 655-3114.
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