Litchfield County: Happening in the Hills
July 31 - August 2, 2020

The Third Annual Five Senses Festival

The Third Annual Five Senses Festival In Litchfield County Scheduled For July 31-August 2 With Resourceful Spin On COVID-Era Reality

Pilobolus to Present World-Class Cultural Experience in an Inventive, Respectful and Appropriately Socially-Distanced Manner

In a landscape of cancellations and postponements across the cultural calendar, the third annual Five Senses Festival will return to Litchfield County, Connecticut this Summer (July 31 – August 2, 2020).  In an effort to think creatively, expansively, and above all, safely within the stringent guidelines of life during pandemic reality, Washington Depot-based dance company Pilobolus, together with Spring Hill Vineyards and a group of strong community supporters, has reimagined the possibilities of this beloved festival while continuing to serve its community and provide families with creative exposure and interactivity while immersed in nature.

Previous years, the Festival served as a celebration of world-class dance, immersive and participatory art installation, multidisciplinary performances and concerts, talks, interactive workshops, recreational activities, a full calendar of wellness classes, and locally-sourced food offerings. This year, the Five Senses Festival will reposition ticketed events as a series of performative solos that attendees can enjoy primarily by car, foot, or picnicking six feet apart on the sprawling field. Evening programs will be likened to that of a drive-in movie theater where guests can experience culture from the secluded safety of their own vehicles.

The lens and theme of the 2020 event have long been “Crossing Borders,” initially contemplating physical, metaphysical, drawn or imaginary borders, and also the title of Pilobolus’s newest full-company piece intended to be created and performed along the US/Mexican border in 2021 during their fiftieth-anniversary year. As COVID-era reality deepens within the collective psyche, interpretation of the theme grows with significance.

“Our goal for this re-envisioned Festival is to create a more connected community under these stressful and unprecedented times, leading to a more connected world,” said Renée Jaworski, Artistic Director, Pilobolus.  “We are under new direction and leadership, and while simultaneously launching our ‘Big 5-Oh!’ season, celebrating Pilobolus’ 50th anniversary and providing spirit and gratitude for our community through this event, we are mindful of and will follow all guidance from the State of Connecticut, CDC and WHO to offer a safe, healthy and enjoyable environment for our guests.”

“Spring Hill Vineyards has been such an incredible partner and believer in bringing this new iteration of the Festival to life, with their property providing a vast landscape for structured gathering and collaboration that has allowed us to move forward with everyone’s safety and wellbeing in mind,” added Matt Kent, Artistic Director, Pilobolus.  “While we are usually traveling the globe sharing our belief that the human form links all of humanity, we have always felt that a ‘home season’ in our own Connecticut backyard helps connect our neighbors more deeply to one another.  Living in the time of this health crisis suggests that now, more than ever, communities all around the world need engagement, because, in engagement, there is hope.”

While the 2020 annual Pilobolus Ball initially scheduled for July 25 to kick off the Festival has been canceled, the company is currently planning an opening experience on Friday, July 31 that will serve to replace the Gala event in a safe and respectful way, while continuing to serve as Pilobolus’ major fundraiser for the year.

“As we are continuing to reconfigure this year’s programming, reimagining how to present shared experiences in ways that delight our community without stress, while within the boundaries of this new environment, we’re looking forward to sharing our confirmed schedule and appearances by creatives from many disciplines in the coming weeks,” said Emily Kent, Pilobolus Education, and Community Outreach Manager.  “Imagine a hike through the woods discovering hidden art installations, then stumbling upon a modern dancer performing through the trees. Picture driving through a scenic loop, windows down, being serenaded by world-class musicians. Think classic Americana, enjoying films and performances from the comfort of your own vehicle.”

The program site at Spring Hill Vineyards (292 Bee Brook Road in New Preston, Connecticut) houses a sprawling, grassy field, an outdoor granite amphitheater designed by artist Mark Mennin using 120 tons of pink Connecticut granite; a silo housing a mirrored grotto raised 60 feet in the air created by artist Randy Polumbo; a wine cave; and other visual delights for visitors.

The full programming lineup and tickets will be available on the Company’s website in the coming weeks (www.pilobolus.org).  Rain dates are being held for the following weekend on the chance of inclement weather (August 7 – 9, 2020).

ABOUT FIVE SENSES FESTIVAL

The Five Senses Festival, founded in 2018, presents dance, immersive art installations, multi-disciplinary performances and concerts by world-renowned musicians, yoga and wellness classes, interactive workshops, screenings, talks and panels, recreational activities for the whole family, and locally-sourced food in an intimate setting amidst nature on a working farm.  Produced by Pilobolus, an internationally-celebrated dance company celebrating its 50th Anniversary in its 2020-2021 season, and in collaboration with Spring Hill Vineyards, the re-imagined 2020 event will feature one summer weekend of safe, socially-distanced programming on the sprawling grounds of the Vineyard in Washington (Litchfield County), Connecticut.  For more information, tickets and the full schedule, visit www.pilobolus.org. 

ABOUT PILOBOLUS

Since 1971, Pilobolus has tested the limits of human physicality, exploring the beauty and power of connected bodies. They bring this tradition to global audiences through post-disciplinary collaborations with widely influential thinkers and creators from all over the world. Seeking to reach beyond performance, they bring storytelling expertise to diverse communities, brands, and organizations, through designed experiences showing how nonverbal communication can maximize group creativity, solve problems, create surprise, and generate joy. Pilobolus has created over 120 pieces of repertory, touring to more than 65 countries – performing for 300,000+ people worldwide each year. Pilobolus has been recognized with honors including a TED Fellowship, a Grammy® Nomination, a Primetime Emmy® Award, and several Cannes Lion Awards at the International Festival of Creativity. Pilobolus has collaborated with over 75 brands and organizations in finance, retail, media, fashion, sports, and more, creating bespoke performances for television, film, and live events. Pilobolus founded the Five Senses Festival in 2018 in partnership with Spring Hill Vineyards.  For more information, visit pilobolus.org/.

ABOUT SPRING HILL VINEYARDS

Spring Hill Vineyards, founded in 2006, rests on a historic farm dating to the 18th century along the banks of the Shepaug River in New Preston, Connecticut. Among rolling hills and hayfields, Spring Hill benefits from its valley location contributing to a unique micro-climate, featuring southwestern facing slopes with rocky, well-drained soils. The results have been outstanding, yielding award-winning reds and a chablis-like chardonnay. As winemaking progressed, Spring Hill invested in a wine-tasting experience that celebrates the act and art of making and tasting wine, engaging artists Mark Mennin and Randy Polumbo in site-specific undertakings including Mennin’s hand-carved, stone amphitheater and cave, and Polumbo’s reimagining of one of the farm’s original silos into a mirrored, luminescent grotto. Spring Hill offers a truly unique, immersive, must-see experience for relaxing days of wine tasting. In 2020, the Vineyard will inaugurate its latest feature, a state-of-the-art tasting barn, marrying centuries-old framing with modern technology.

The farm has long collaborated with the world-renowned and locally headquartered modern dance troupe, Pilobolus. This collaboration led to the launch of the Five Senses Festival in 2018. The amphitheater and grotto are an ideal backdrop for the community and its visitors to experience internationally-acclaimed music and dance performances, workshops for children and adults, outdoor classes led by area artisans, and teachers, and dramatic creative expressions. The new tasting barn will eventually provide an indoor main stage to host Festival and other community events. For more information visitwww.springhillvineyards.com/.

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