News Archive

Pilobolus Comes to Campus

Summer Dance Workshop open to males and females ages 16-25

5/6/2005 1:32:07 PM


LYNCHBURG— Randolph-Macon Woman’s College will host a six-day residential dance workshop taught by the Pilobolus Institute June 19-24. The workshop is open to males and females between the ages of 16 and 25. Some older students may be accepted. Some dance background is encouraged.

Named after a fungus that grows on cow dung and propels itself many feet in the air, Pilobolus is one of the most innovative dance companies in the world today. Using a collaborative choreographic process and a unique weight-sharing approach, members of Pilobolus are able to combine art, humor, athletic strength and physics to create dance numbers unlike anything in traditional or modern dance.

The R-MWC Summer Dance Workshop will feature Pilobolus members conducting intensive classes in modern dance technique, improvisation, and weight sharing. The workshop repertory will draw on a mix of Pilobolus classics as well as works created during the workshop. Becky Jung, a Pilobolus member who will help lead the instruction, has Lynchburgties. Her mother is from Lynchburgand is a R-MWC alumna.

Students may commute or stay on campus during the workshop. The cost for the workshop is $375 for commuter students and $550 for residential students. The residential fee includes meals and lodging.

Registration is due by June 1.

Pilobolus Facts

  • The Pilobolus Institute is the education arm of the group. For the past 10 years, members of the company have introduced experienced and non-experienced dancers to the Pilobolus techniques through residencies, master classes and workshops. This is the first Pilobolus workshop on R-MWC’s campus.

  • Pilobolus began back in 1971, when a small group of Dartmouthstudents began an experimental troupe. They quickly met with success and are still packing theaters around the globe.

  • The students named the group after a sun-loving fungus that grows on animal dung. The fungus grows on a stalk as a small bladder, pressurized by cell sap and topped with a tiny black cap filled with spores. The pilobolus builds up a pressure of 80 lbs per square inch and eventually will explode and propel the spores as high as 6.5 feet in the air. The spores will then fly more than 8 feet across to land on surrounding grass.

  • The dance company has been featured on 60 Minutes and numerous other television programs and has received many prestigious honors including an Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cultural Programming. The troupe also received the 2000 Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award, which honors choreographers who have made a significant lifetime contribution to American modern dance.

Registration information is available on the web at

For more information on Pilobolus go to: or

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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations