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Current events

Robert WhitmanThe Connecticut-based modern dance company Pilobolus performs Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 19-20, at the Aspen District Theatre.
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A recent Washington Post feature on Pilobolus made the point that critics dismiss the Connecticut-based dance company as lightweight entertainment. The comment probably wouldn’t bother Pilobolus much; they do aim for a mass audience, with a desire to enchant viewers. Pilobolus, founded in 1971, has been seen in recent years in such large-scale venues as the Academy Awards ceremony, the Olympics and TV commercials. As for their ability to explore substantial emotions, they can point to “A Selection,” a collaboration with writer Maurice Sendak, whose subject matter was the Holocaust. Expect a more pop-culture sensibility when Pilobolus returns to Aspen for performances on Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 19-20, at the Aspen District Theatre. The shows are presented by Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.

America’s current wars, it has often been noted, seem like remote affairs, having little to do with America itself – or at least with the Americans back on safe ground in the U.S.A. Which has a lot to do with why “The Hurt Locker” has not only gotten such positive critical attention, but also seems to be the rare film about contemporary warfare that has captured the minds of audiences. Director Kathryn Bigelow’s film, made from a script by Mark Boal, a journalist who was embedded with a bomb squad in Baghdad in 2004, puts the viewer on the ground in the middle of the action. “The Hurt Locker” avoids politics, but doesn’t flinch from depicting the danger, the moral dilemmas, the death, and above all the ambiguity of the situation these bomb technicians face in their daily routine. The camera barely pulls back from a small swath of Baghdad, yet manages to sharpen the big-picture issues of war. Picked as the film of the year by critics groups in both New York and Los Angeles, “The Hurt Locker” shows Wednesday and Friday, Jan. 20 and 22, at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen.


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