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“Shadowland” star Heather Jean Favretto

By Kristy Johnson of Dance Informa.

The international theatre sensation that is Pilobolus, direct from the USA, has been performing in Australia and New Zealand for the first time. Part shadow act, part dance, part circus and part concert, Pilobolus’ Shadowland is a theatrical event of its own kind to tour the globe, incorporating multiple moving screens of different sizes and shapes to create an evening-length performance that merges projected images and front-of-screen choreography.

Prior to the Melbourne premiere, Dance Informa caught up with Shadowland star Heather Jean Favretto.

Without giving too much away, what can Australians expect to see in Shadowland?

“They can expect an invitation into another world! I won’t say anymore...

How excited are you to be performing this production in Australia for the first time?

“I cannot tell you how excited I am to be performing in Australia with my Shadowland family. It is a place that I always wished to visit, but never imagined that I would be able to perform here in such a crazy awesome show. In fact, we are so jazzed about our tour in Australia, we added a little surprise into the show for our audiences here!”

Pilobolus’ Shadowland

Heather Jean Favretto in “Shadowland”

Can you tell us briefly about your dance background?

“Sure! I was a kid with a lot of energy and a lot of creativity. My parents thought that I had better find an outlet soon, so I started dancing at age five. I immediately fell in love. Movement and happiness are synonymous for me. So naturally I majored in dance and got my B.F.A. from Rutgers University in New Jersey near where I grew up. The program was rigorous and I continued that work ethic outside of school until I got hired by Pilobolus.”

Shadowland appears to be a mix of dance and live theatrics. Would you say this is what sets it apart from other dance performances?

“Yes, that and many other components. To me, what is really cool about Shadowland is how the characters kind of run the show, I mean physically push and pull the story around the stage. We are manipulating props, distorting light, shifting your perspective and breathing life into wild creatures right before your eyes.”

What has the audience’s reaction been like so far?

Pilobolus’ Shadowland

“Shadowland” with Heather Jean Favretto

“We have had the most lovely and generous audiences! In many cities we are lucky enough to be interrupted mid-scene by applause! It is the best feeling to really be able to hear and connect with your audience in that way.”

What do you enjoy the most about performing in this particular production?

“Every single night I get the opportunity to appear larger than life onstage. When I was younger, I always wanted to be a cartoon character, and in Shadowland I get to help animate another world.”

For more information on ‘Shadowland,’ visit or read the article in Dance Informa’s May edition.

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