Illusionists Penn and Teller collaborated with members of the inventive, outside-the-box-thinking Pilobolus dance company for [esc]. The work premiered in the summer of 2013 and is on the program for today’s performance along with other pieces from the company’s repertoire. As its title implies, the piece is about escaping from a variety of contraptions. During [esc], one dancer is sealed inside an oversize bag while volunteers from the audience assist in the assembly of a large wooden box. The dancer is put into the box, which is then secured with heavy-duty straps. Another dancer is tied up and crammed into a locked duffel bag while yet another is strapped to a chair using duct tape, a plastic bag tied around her head, and two other dancers are handcuffed and chained to a pole. (Penn and Teller created each of the devices.)

Pilobolus, founded in 1971, has often collaborated with artists from other mediums such as Penn and Teller. The company’s latest creative challenge to the definition of contemporary dance, [esc] has received mixed reviews. One critic objected to the fact that the woman taped to the chair found it necessary to rip open her blouse along with the plastic bag, for example. Others have enthusiastically embraced it as a sterling example of “don’t-try-this-at-home” choreography by a daring company. Decide for yourself at today's performance.

7:30 p.m. Friday. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-227-4772 or visit spahouston.org. $25 to $70.
Fri., Jan. 10, 7:30 p.m., 2014

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