Saturday, December 11, 2010

Modern Dance in the Commercial World

Pilobolus has done what very few modern dance companies have ever done - they've entered into the commercial world. Pilobolus has been featured on television numerous times. They were part of the the 79th Annual Academy Awards in 2007. In shadow they created a logo or scene from Little Miss Sunshine, Happy Feet, The Departed, Snakes on a Plane, and The Devil Wears Prada. They also performed on Late Night with Conan O'Brien in 2008:

Pilobolus has also created commercials for several different companies including Ford, Hyundai, and Bidvest.

All of this work in the commercial world is possible because Pilobolus created Pilobolus Creative Services, or PCS. It is highly unusual for a modern dance company to have as much exposure in the commercial world as Pilobolus has had. I believe that this exposure has lent to their success and stability as a dance company. Obviously, this type of exposure to the general public isn't necessary for a dance company to thrive and be successful, but in Pilobolus' case, it works for them and has brought modern dance into the lives of many people who would otherwise never be exposed to any modern dance. They have made themselves extremely accessible to the public through this commercialization and also through their use of shadows. The scenarios they create through shadow are often humorous and easily recognizable by the audience. They create the world through using only the shadows their bodies create. They create dances without the use of shadows as well, but much of their work in the commercial world has been done with shadows. Overall, I find it impressive how they have been able to bring their style of modern dance into the lives of people across the United States.

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