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Unseen Collaborators

“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain,” the Wizard might say, and yet this playlist features important off-screen forces. It’s not just the choreographers who are often unseen, but other artistic collaborators whose efforts are vitally important.

11 performances

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Unseen Collaborators

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Adam H. Weinert

"Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen" from Four Dances Based on American Folk Music, 2016

This clip includes several phantom presences, starting with company director Weinert. Ted Shawn’s performance of this solo may be compared here, both accompanied by late great Pillow pianist Jess Meeker.

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Playing 1 of 11

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Ira Glass, Monica Bill Barnes, Anna Bass

Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host, 2016

This clip turns the theme on its head, as we’re accustomed to hearing Ira Glass’s voice on the radio without seeing him. His collaboration with Monica Bill Barnes uniquely blends dance and narrative.

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Playing 2 of 11

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Ko & Edge Co.

Improvisation, 2008

Choreographer Ko Murobushi was only seen in this preview of his group’s Doris Duke Theatre engagement – not in the performances themselves. At the very end, catch a brief glimpse of one of Ko’s dancers in the woods.

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Playing 3 of 11

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Dana Reitz / Jennifer Tipton

Necessary Weather, 1997

Lighting often plays a key role in dance, where it may be the only design element on a bare stage. The award-winning Jennifer Tipton is behind this clip, sharing a co-creator credit with Dana Reitz.

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Playing 4 of 11

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Lakshmi

Tillana, 1997

Daughter of the pioneering Indian dancer Balasaraswati, who had made her U.S. debut at the Pillow 35 years earlier, Lakshmi is joined onstage by six stellar musicians – who remain off-camera in this excerpt from Tillana.

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Playing 5 of 11

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Kidd Pivot Frankfurt RM

Dark Matters, 2011

The dancers of Kidd Pivot serve as puppeteers here, largely invisible as they create the illusion that this wooden figure is truly alive.

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Playing 6 of 11

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Bill Irwin

Post-Modern Studies, 1983

Who’s tugging on Bill Irwin’s leg in this priceless bit? It’s only Irwin’s masterful illusion, of course, but you’ll swear there’s an invisible gremlin at work!

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Playing 7 of 11

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Twyla Tharp

The One Hundreds, 2001

It’s not possible to see all of the 100 community members participating in this iconic work, but there’s no mistaking Tharp herself, front and center.

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Playing 8 of 11

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Martha @ The Pillow

Debate 2002 / Three Seascapes, 2002

The legendary Martha Graham is flawlessly evoked by Richard Move in this wonderfully witty impersonation, sharing the stage with Yvonne Rainer.

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Playing 9 of 11

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Jonah Bokaer

Why Patterns, 2011

Where did all those ping-pong balls come from? The design collective known as Snarkitecture worked with Bokaer – and LOTS of ping-pong balls!

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Playing 10 of 11

Carmen de Lavallade

The Creation, 2014

The ultimate “unseen creator” contributes to this finale from Geoffrey Holder’s The Creation, providing nature’s incomparable backdrop

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Playing 11 of 11

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