The Pillow Project showcases emerging new choreographers with THE SWITCH | Pittsburgh City Paper

The Pillow Project showcases emerging new choreographers with THE SWITCH

click to enlarge An artfully blurry shot of Pillow Project company dancer Theo Bliss in a white tank and blue shorts
Photo: Pearlann Porter
The Pillow Project company dancer Theo Bliss
A Pittsburgh-based dance company will debut an experimental performance platform with an evening of new artistic works.

The Pillow Project, the local company led by Pearlann Porter and John Lambert, created THE SWITCH, described as enabling “movement artists to emerge onto the Pittsburgh dance scene as choreographers in their own right.” The platform will launch on Fri., Aug. 5 and Sat., Aug. 6 with the premiere of five short works, multimedia projection experimentations, and conceptual ideas by six of the company's “fledgling choreographers.”

The choreographers being featured as part of THE SWITCH are Theo Bliss, Amy Yatta, Weylin Gomez, Chezney Douglas, Caroline Alter, and Lennon Richison.


"We wanted to elevate the emerging creative voices of the exceptionally talented artists working with The Pillow Project right now," says Porter.

The name for THE SWITCH came from a corner ceiling light hanging up at The Space Upstairs, where Pillow Project performs. It was under this light, affectionately called “The Switch,” where, in 2010, the Pillow Project's “method of improvisational postmodern-jazz was born, and where so many dancers ever since have had their big moment of becoming something completely new before everyone's eyes,” reads a press release.
click to enlarge A dancer in a pink top and blue pants strikes a dramatic pose with her head thrown back.
Photo: Pearlann Porter
THE SWITCH performing artist Abby Baldwin
Pillow Project believes it “seemed fitting that an evening of artists presenting themselves as something new should be named after this iconic light.”

"The [Pillow Project] company has always been about pushing boundaries in creativity and performance, and I feel it's important to not only give opportunities and support for new artists to take risks, but to introduce them to the local dance community that they are choosing to invest in,” says Porter. “I remember how hard it was to get started as a young choreographer, and Pittsburgh has been so good to me over the years, I want to keep paying it forward to the next generation!"

THE SWITCH. Fri., Aug. 5-Sat., Aug. 6. The Space Upstairs. 214 N. Lexington St., Pont Breeze. $15. thespaceupstairs.org/home

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