The Dartmouth undergrads who formed Pilobolus 40 years ago are in their 60s now — one of them, Jonathan Wolken, died last year. Boomers all, they started a minor revolution in the dance world, letting themselves steal moves from gymnastics and martial arts, be playful and take off their clothes. The troupe creates collaboratively; some dances credit choreography to a dozen people.
Younger movers, including women, carry the process into the 21st century, but the company’s repertory still has the unmistakable whiff of the Woodstock generation. Pieces that transfixed us 30 years ago now look staid.
One of this season’s premieres, “All is Not Lost,” includes music-video director Trish Sie on its creative team, and features the rock band OK Go. At barely five minutes long, its virtues are brevity and surprise. Six dancers in blue unitards clamber up onto a glass table, where a video camera on the floor shoots them from below. The kaleidoscope-like patterns their bodies make are projected on a big screen; they appear to be climbing a wall when in fact they’re moving horizontally. It’s a good visual joke, and it’s over before we tire of it.
But after all these years, there’s still something collegiate and unformed about the whole enterprise. Aikido rolls are cool, but they don’t substitute for developed dance ideas. Some of the posing and posturing is terminally cute. Nevertheless, the audience eats it up.