THE MISSION OF PILOBOLUS IS TO:

Create, perform, and preserve dances
applying the collaborative creative methods of Pilobolus.

Expand and diversify audiences
through projects of all types and scales – in live performance, film, and digital media, characterized by the qualities of our namesake fungus— adventurous, adaptive, athletic, surprising and revealing of beauty in unexpected places.

Teach dancers, non-dancers, and organizations 
how to harness the creative potential of groups using Pilobolus’s methods.

 
 
 

HISTORY

Pilobolus began at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire in 1971. Moses Pendleton, an English literature major and cross-country skier; Jonathan Wolken, a philosophy science major and fencer; and Steve Johnson, a pre-med student and pole vaulter were enrolled in a dance composition class taught by Alison Becker Chase. In that class, they created their first dance, which they titled “Pilobolus” —and a legacy of movement and magic was born.

Pilobolus crystallinus is a phototropic (light loving) fungus. Commonly known as “Hat Thrower,” its spores accelerate 0–45 mph in the first millimeter of their flight and adhere to wherever they land. The father of Jonathan Wolken was studying pilobolus in his biology lab when the group first formed. The name was apt, and stuck.

The group went on to create dozens of dance works with its founding members: Robby Barnett, Alison Chase, Martha Clarke, Lee Harris, Moses Pendleton, Michael Tracy, and Jonathan Wolken.

In the decades since, Pilobolus has performed on Broadway, at the Oscars, and the Olympic games, and has appeared on television, in movies, in advertisements, and in schools and businesses and created over 120 dance works. The company continues to propel the seeds of expression via human movement to every corner of the world, growing and changing each year while reaching new audiences and exploring new visual and musical planes.


COMPANY BIO

Pilobolus is a rebellious dance company. Since 1971, Pilobolus has tested the limits of human physicality to explore the beauty and the power of connected bodies. We continue to bring this tradition to global audiences through our post-disciplinary collaborations with some of the greatest influencers, thinkers, and creators in the world. Now, in our digitally driven and increasingly mediated landscape, we also reach beyond performance to teach people how to connect through designed live experiences. We bring our decades of expertise telling stories with the human form to show diverse communities, brands, and organizations how to maximize group creativity, solve problems, create surprise, and generate joy through the power of nonverbal communication. 

Pilobolus has created and toured over 120 pieces of repertory to more than 65 countries. We currently perform our work for over 300,000 people across the U.S. and around the world each year. In the last year, Pilobolus was featured on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, NBC’s TODAY Show, MTV’s Video Music Awards, The Harry Connick Show, ABC’s The Chew, and the CW Network’s Penn & Teller: Fool Us. Pilobolus has been recognized with many prestigious honors, including a TED Fellowship, a 2012 Grammy® Award Nomination, a Primetime Emmy® Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cultural Programming, and several Cannes Lion Awards at the International Festival of Creativity. In 2015, Pilobolus was named one of Dance Heritage Coalition’s “Irreplaceable Dance Treasures”.  Pilobolus has collaborated with more than 75 brands and organizations in finance, retail, media, fashion, sports, and more to create bespoke performances for television, film, and live events.

 

Artistic Leadership

 

ITAMAR KUBOVY, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

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Itamar has overseen Pilobolus since 2004. He founded Pilobolus’s International Collaborators Project, inviting artists and thinkers from diverse fields to participate in Pilobolus’s collaborative choreographic process. He grew the business of Pilobolus Creative Services, developing custom movement and storytelling for film, advertising, and corporate events, and launched the Five Senses Festival. Itamar co-founded the Freeman Design Council on Live Experience. He grew up in New Haven, where he studied philosophy at Yale.

 

RENÉE JAWORSKI, CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

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Renée received her BFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Upon graduating she began work with MOMIX, performing and teaching throughout the world as well as creating her own work in Philadelphia. She began performing with Pilobolus in 2000. Renée has served as choreographer and creator for exciting projects and collaborations such as the 79th Annual Academy Awards, the Grammy® nominated video for OKGo’s All is Not LostRadiolab Live: In the Dark, and has worked with myriad outside artists through the International Collaborator's Project. In 2010, her alma mater honored her with the University’s Silver Star Alumni Award for her work as an artist in the field of dance. Renée lives in Connecticut with her husband and daughter.

 

MATT KENT, CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

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Matt has worked with Pilobolus since 1996 as a dancer, collaborator, creative director, and choreographer. Past Pilobolus projects include Head Choreographer for Andre Heller’s Magnifico, a large-scale circus production; choreographer for Sports Emmy-nominated teaser created in collaboration with the NFL network; and choreographer for a television appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien; His work on Shakespeare’s The Tempest co-directed by Teller and Aaron Posner was nominated for Best Choreography by the L.A. Drama Critics Circle. Outside of Pilobolus, he has worked as zombie choreographer for AMC’s hit series “The Walking Dead” and as movement consultant on the Duncan Sheik musical, Whisper House, and created family and children’s performances with Rob Kapilow. Matt lives in Connecticut with his wife and two sons.

 

Dancer Bios are available on our People page.