Guilford Performing Arts Festival: Pilobolus

Pilobolus to Perform and Teach at Guilford Performing Arts Festival

The internationally acclaimed dance company Pilobolus will perform, teach in the public schools, and hold dance and movement classes for the public as part of the 2019 Guilford Performing Arts Festival.

Pilobolus will present a full-company performance of “Come to Your Senses” and other works at the Guilford High School (GHS) Performing Arts Center on Saturday, September 28, at 7:30 p.m. Like all festival events, the show will be free; online registration will be required for attendance.

Two Pilobolus dancers will be in residency in Guilford during the week leading up to the festival. They’ll work with students in GHS’ Theatre Arts Program, lead classes in movement and balance for seniors at the Evergreen Woods retirement community, and teach workshops for children and adults at Shoreline Ballet.

Shoreline Ballet is a major sponsor of Pilobolus’ participation in the festival, and the Guilford Fund for Education has generously supported this and other outreach efforts of the festival. The Guilford Foundation, Connecticut Humanities Council and Community Foundation for Greater New Haven have also lent crucial support to enable the festival to bring Pilobolus to Guilford.

Founded at Dartmouth College in 1971 and based since the 1980s in Washington, Connecticut, Pilobolus has remained among the world’s most innovative and rebellious dance companies—presenting unusually expressive works with otherworldly costuming and stunning theatricality. Pilobolus has tested the limits of human physicality for more than four decades, exploring the beauty and power of connected bodies and nonverbal communication through performance, education and facilitated experiences.

Central to Pilobolus’ mission is a commitment to education and community service, both of which are also core to the festival’s purpose. The in-school and public workshops will be conducted by dancers from Pilobolus@Play, an arm of the company that facilitates movement activities for all ages, abilities and communities.

Emily Kent, Pilobolus’ Education and Community Engagement Manager, will lead Pilobolus’ outreach program in Guilford. She says the workshops for high-school students will focus on movement for the stage, while public classes for adults and children will teach movement as well as the art of dance, and classes for seniors and others will address balance and issues specific to the needs of those groups. Common to all is the use of dance for physical well-being and fitness, self-expression, confidence and connection.

“The power of this work,” Kent says, “is that moving your body is a way of understanding and expressing yourself. Bringing increased awareness of yourself into creative collaboration with others improves communication skills, instills trust and creates fertile ground for heightened self-esteem and greater acceptance of others. Doing this work, people become more comfortable with themselves and others, and find joy in creating together.”

The 2019 Guilford Performing Arts Festival will present 70 performances, workshops and other events in music, drama, dance and spoken word in 12 Guilford venues from September 26-29.

For more information about the festival, visit or send an email to Classes at Guilford High School will be open only to GHS students and will be coordinated by high school staff.