Working as a Collective with “Shadowland” Creative Director Mark Fucik

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NYU Skirball Student Insiders participate in a Pilobolus-inspired workshop with Shadowland Creative Director, Mark Fucik

On Thursday November 19, students gathered in NYU Skirball’s Studio where they met with the Creative Director of Pilobolus’s Shadowland, Mark Fucik, for an interactive workshop focusing on working as a collective to create new movement.

From dance to sociology majors, students were given the opportunity to connect their own interests of study to this creative process of working. For Pilobolus, it’s not so important that students are technically trained dancers as long as they have the willingness to move and work collaboratively, skills which benefit students of any major.

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Mark began the workshop with spacial awareness exercises to get students familiar with their surroundings and familiar with the idea of using their bodies to fill empty space. Next, they played with the concept of leading and following and in groups they practiced seamlessly transferring movement from one person to the next.

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Mark explained the importance of the ensemble within the Pilobolus company. Since the success of their shapes and formations are tied to each member in the group, when one person is leading they also have to be following. The workshop participants then observed and imitated each others’ movement with the goal of making the sequences as precise as possible. Pilobolus performers often move as one unit and not individually. If one person is out of sync it is noticeable.

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The workshop ended with the participants working in pairs to create interesting shapes using each others’ body weight.

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One person acted as a base while the other partner perched on top. Partners played with using different points of contact to see how that affected their strength. The result: pure magic! Take a look at some of the interesting moments that came out of this final exercise:

Student Insider Eugenia commented on her experience of the workshop saying, “It’s always so nice to see people from different backgrounds come together to create something unexpectedly beautiful out of trust and imagination”.

Pilobolus’s Shadowland will run at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts from Nov.20-Dec.6

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