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Pilobolus to present performance, workshop in Canton on Aug. 27

Nat’l and Int’l Beat Poetry Festival also coming to town on Sept. 1

Staff Report

CANTON – Renowned Connecticut dance troupe Pilobolus is coming to Mills Pond Aug. 27 for an interactive performance and workshop designed for the entire family.

The 6 p.m. performance that evening is titled “Pilobolus is a Fungus," described as "an interactive performance for families based on Branches in which the audience takes a journey through nature, perceiving the sounds, shapes, colors, and movements of birds, water, trees, and of course, our namesake fungus, in new and unexpected ways. With the help of the Pilobolus dancers, audience members learn to express their deep connection to the world through movement and dance.”

At 5 p.m., community members of all ages and abilities are invited to a Connecticut with Balance Workshop. It will include movement and balance exercises designed to help participants improve their physical stamina while also thinking creatively and improve community connections.

Canton First Selectman Robert Bessel said he responded to an inquiry from the dance company earlier this year and loved the idea of a Canton performance. In turn, that led to some of its members touring the town, considering ideas and settling on Mills Pond Park.

“What we wanted was something that wasn’t just people looking at dancers performing, but also participating,” he said. “We were looking for something that was interactive, inclusive and just fostered the idea of community through movement.”

Earlier this summer, the Canton Board of Selectmen approved funding on up to $3,000, covering half the funding. Additional support comes from Canton Arts Council and The Mitchell Auto Group. Canton Parks and Recreation is also sponsoring the event with the town of Canton.

"Hopefully this is the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship with Pilobolus," Bessel said.

The Sunday, Aug. 27 event takes place at Mills Pond Park, 14 East Hill Road in Canton. The event and parking are free. Attendees are welcome to bring chairs or a blanket. Rain date is Sept. 10.

Nat’l and Int’l Beat Poetry Festival

Also coming to Canton a few days later is the National Beat Poetry Foundation’s Nat’l and Int’l Beat Poetry Festival, featuring internationally known poets from various areas of the country, including Canton’s own poet laureate Virginia Shreve, who was also state of Connecticut, USA Beat Poet Laureate from 2020-2022.

The event kicks off from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1 in the Canton Town Hall Auditorium, 4 Market St., Collinsville.

The first hour will feature readings from the guest poets, followed by a half-hour open mic at which participants will have three minutes to read.

Do it Know, a group consisting of former Massachusetts and National Beat Poet Laureate Paul Richmond, percussionist Tony Vacca and guitarist John Sheldon, will perform from 8:30 to 9:45 p.m. Their performance “combines poetry, story-telling, political commentary and musical improvisation to share the vision and hope for our planet and future generations.”

A suggested $5 to $10 in the “karma jar” will help cover event costs.


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