Here's a riddle:


What's both a barnyard fungus and a dance troupe so brimming with kinetic energy that it makes audience members feel like they themselves are in motion? Answer: Pilobolus. The 30-year-old company's website says it takes its name from the fungus that "propels its spores with extraordinary speed, accuracy and strength." When the curtain comes up on Thursday, Nov. 13 at the Van Duzer Theatre at 8 p.m., it'll all make sense ($45, $25 kids, $10 HSU students).

See the troupe run through moves from tango to circus acrobatics and choreography that goes from fevered drama to cool optical illusions. One number features a prism's worth of Technicolor costumes, while another piece has the dancers in spare, minimalist greys. Dancers stretch, leap and tumble, using props like enormous hoops and simple wooden chairs to transform the stage and their own movements with inventive choreography that will change the way you look at a dining set. The human towers and sculptural shapes they build together make Cirque du Soleil look, well, a little Vegas.

At the show's end, when you're done applauding and you rise creakily from your seat, be kind to your far less flexible self. These people are professionals.

— Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

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