The Paris Review

Visual Magicians in the Hills of Connecticut

On John Kane’s photography of Pilobolus and Momix.

John Kane, Where landscape becomes dreamscape, 2008. (All images copyright John Kane. Used by permission.)

In the hills of northwestern Connecticut there is a portion of the state, a rural and rural-suburban region, that I refer to as “Pilobo-land”: it includes Washington, New Milford, and other nearby towns, and has long been home to two of the world’s most celebrated dance-theater companies, Pilobolus and its sibling, Momix, as well as to a number of their most noteworthy friends, neighbors, and collaborators. It’s a community that tends to be on a first-name basis, even between individuals who have yet to meet directly. Pilobo-land, however, is more than a place; it’s also the overlapping worlds, on stages and in minds, that it creates. Just as Vladimir Nabokov dubbed his cherished intangible possessions “unreal estate” one might, in regard to Pilobolus and Momix, speak of “surreal estate.” It’s a place where landscape becomes dreamscape, where the ruralis now on display in the heart of the territory it documents at the Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens, in the village of Washington Depot.

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