Shadowland is a dance show by the Pilobolus Dance Company that mostly just shows the dancers’ shadows.
The story it tells is a bit of an Alice in Wonderland variation: a young girl comes to a magical world where a godlike creature gives her a dog head. She has to live through a few adventures and travel this world before she can be turned back into her own self. Or is it just a dream?
Shadowland works perfectly as long as they stick to the work with the shadows. There are breaks inbetween with more usual dance routines which fail to impress. But these are short and don’t dampen the overall enjoyment of the show.
I might be a little harsh with the normal dance routines. Fact is, we were sitting in row 30 or so and the people on stage were so small that I really needed the oversized shadows to see exactly what they were doing. As soon as that was missing, I just got the overall direction of their movements and no details. So, I’m not saying that they were dancing badly, but that the venue was too big for the smaller happenings.
If the tickets hadn’t been so outrageously expensive, I would have enjoyed getting a closer look at the dance scenes without the shadows. Then I’d probaby have more to say about them.
But the shadows were brilliant, especially when they didn’t use props, just their bodies. It’s just amazing what you can do with a bit of light and imagination. The way they made the dog head or the giant was so simple and yet so awesome. But if you’ve seen their Oscar appearance, you probably know what I’m talking about.
The story they told was sweet but obviously not the point. Though it is a very nice coming-of-age story, was quite touching in parts and had a nice sense of humor.
Summarising: Well worth seeing.