Friday, May 1, 2015

We're All Ears :: May Inspiration

One of the perks of having a daughter in a dance school is the chance to witness to some amazing performances. Last weekend was our own dance recital/spotlight showcase (which is truly the best amateur dance performance in Central Wisconsin), but on Tuesday evening about 25 of us traveled about an hour away to the Appleton Performing Arts Center to view an evening of dance from world renowned troupe Pilobolus.

It was thrilling to watch this troupe of about 8 dancers transform on stage. They did a total of five different dances that ranged from raw and gritty to a celebration of the beauty and power of the human form. There was heaven and hell represented along with a great dose of humor in an illusion of escapes through a collaboration with magicians Penn & Teller.

The most traditional piece that we saw was a tango with six of the dancers set against a backdrop of shifting video of colorful buildings in Los Angeles. The dancers were on stage for a total of about 8 counts and cycled on and off at quite amazing regularity, each time wearing something completely different. And I mean, completely different, right down to the shirts, pants, dresses, and jackets that would match the rainbow colors on the screen.

After doing a little research on this, I came to find out that the live version that we saw was inspired by a music video of the same name for a song called 'Skyscrapers' by the band OK Go (if you haven't seen their video for the song 'I Won't Let You Down' shot completely in one take with hundreds of extras, you really should watch it!).  Trish Sie, the choeographer (who is the sister of the lead singer) and dancer Moti Buchboot are shown in the official video against these ever-changing urban landscapes. This was translated to the sextet of dancers in the Pilobolus troupe with split-second timing - and a staff of three dressers just off stage and behind the screen making sure they don't sashay across the stage half-dressed. Considering that we just came off a weekend of dance and quick changes, this was most fascinating to us.

In the live performance there are six dancers... one 4 1/2 minute song... 32 costume changes... 43 pieces of clothing. It could be a train-wreck but it was completely mesmerizing, ground-breaking and electrifying.

I couldn't find a video of the entire live performance, so I will leave you with the official music video, plus a video that shows just a portion of the live dance that I saw, and the set of still shots you see throughout.

And a snippet of the live performace.....

I am intrigued by the color, the music, the give-and-take of the tango, the fluid movement and intense tension of their bodies. And those quick costume changes. 

What inspires you about this dance?


To participate in the We're All Ears creative challenge:

Make earrings inspired by this inspiration.
Write a post on your blog.
Add your exact blog post URL link to the
InLinkz code right here on 
Friday, May 15th.



  1. You always come up with the most interesting inspirations and this one is Amazing!!! I can't wait to delve in to this a bit more!! Thank you Erin for always opening our eyes to new and wonderful things!

  2. What a fun idea. I loved OK Go's video with the treadmills in it - that was amazing!

  3. gets the juices flowing....hmmmmmmmmm

  4. Cool cool cool! OK I come from the 70s so what! Color and motion! I can't wait to see everyone's designs!

  5. Cool inspiration! A real feast for the eyes and ears!

  6. This tango video is amazing..beautiful dancers, such control and passion! I went over to the Ok Go site and was further amazed by what they've accomplished in their other videos. WOW!

  7. Ok go has the best videos. this is so cool!