What is Pilobolus?


is a fungus

Pilobolus is an internationally acclaimed collective, renowned for its unique, diverse collaborations that ignore preconceived barriers between creative disciplines. The company is committed to constantly making things, always creating collaboratively, and always exploring ways of using the human body as a graphic and expressive medium. Pilobolus was founded in 1971 by a group of Dartmouth College students with no training in dance and no interest in playing by the rules. They employed an inventive naïveté that the contemporary “Pilobolus 2.0” energetically applies to the diversity of opportunities in today’s world. The company puts its intense creative energy into action in the communities where it performs, teaching groups of people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities new ways of thinking independently, forming genuine human connection, working collaboratively, and finding beauty in unexpected places.


Pilobolus currently performs its work for over 300,000 people across the U.S. and around the world each year. Pilobolus was featured around the world on the “79th Annual Academy Awards Broadcast,“ and on “60 Minutes,” “Sesame Street,” “Oprah,” “Ellen” and “Late Night with Conan O’ Brien.” Pilobolus has been recognized with many prestigious honors, including a Scripps Award in 2000, a Dance Magazine Award in 2010, a TED Fellowship, a 2012 Grammy® Award Nomination, 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 propels itself in a variety of ways:

Pilobolus Dance Theater has been touring more than 100 repertory works to more than 64 countries over the last 45 years.

Pilobolus’s Shadowland, the company’s evening-length show, which toured Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and South America from 2009-2015 has been seen by more than 1,000,000 live audience members since its creation.

For more than 40 years, Pilobolus has worked to cultivate creative togetherness through uniquely collective programs that bring people of all kinds together to do more, work smarter and make a difference. Via the International Collaborators Project and Educational Programs—we use our process to understand and influence the way groups organize themselves, work together and meet goals.

International Collaborators Project was launched in 2007 as a laboratory for creative innovation. Through a curatorial process, the company invites a wide range of artists and thinkers to join the directors and dancers in the studio and use the distinctive Pilobolus choreographic practice to create new works together. This developmental process fosters cross-pollination between artists, disciplines, cultures, and eventually audiences, leading to artistic works that push the limits of the body, bend traditions, and broaden the audience for dance. Current and past collaborators include Javier de Frutos, Bo Gehring, Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen, Penn & Teller, the MIT Distributed Robotics Laboratory, Art Spiegelman,  Maurice Sendak, OK Go, Radiolab, and many others.

Educational and community engagement programs apply Pilobolus’s collaborative creative process to help all kinds of groups work better and achieve common goals. Programs offered in the company’s rural Connecticut studio, in New York City, and around the U.S. include master classes, residencies, children’s camps, kids shows, professional development opportunities for young people in the performing arts, consulting, and workshops for dancers, families and older adults.

Pilobolus Creative Services applies this same method of invention to business, offering a wide range of educational, directorial, design, and movement services for film, advertising, publishing, and custom events. The company has collaborated with clients such as Boston Consulting Group, Wharton Business School, Google, the US Olympic committee, Hermés, the NFL Network, and many others.

Photo by Robert Whitman  Video Filmed and Edited by Oriel Pe’er