Tuesday, June 15, 2010

From DanceUSA, passing of Jonathan Wolken

It is with great sadness that we share the news about the passing of Jonathan Wolken, co-founder of Pilobolus Dance Theatre. He died Sunday night in New York after being ill for many years with myelofibrosis, a disorder of the bone marrow.

Pilobolus originated when Wolken, a Dartmouth philosophy major, and fellow student Moses Pendleton met at a dance class taught by Alison Chase. The men began performing after graduation in 1971 and were later joined by fellow students Robby Barnett and Michael Tracy and dance teachers Martha Clark and Chase in 1973. They would form an unusual artistic collaborative from which works emerged from a free-spirited group dynamic.

The company relocated to Western Connecticut in the mid-'70s. First Clark in 1978 and then Pendleton in 1983 would move on to create their own dance companies, but the quartet would remain for many years creating works that became known for their athleticism, sensuality and theatricality.

A brief obituary is available from the Hartford Courant.
Wolken was an inspiring artist and great pioneer of the dance field. He will be truly missed.

1 comment:

  1. Jonathan was an inspiration and then some. he pushed me hard in every aspect of my work with pilobolus. i loved him dearly and miss him. i am pleased that some many people have posted his passing. we have lost another great one.
    when i first met jonathan i was taking his workshop in maine, the only dance workshop i had ever taken. he asked me, over breakfast at the local diner, if i thought of doing "this" for my occupation and i laughed at him. seemed so far fetched. thanks jonathan. love you.

    matt kent