With shadows as its backdrop and main medium, it calls upon ingenious physicality and imaginative use of props, limbs and more to create the dream state world of a young girl.
It follows a nighttime adventure in which the teenager at the centre of the story dreams her way beyond the confines of her bedroom – namely becoming a 'dog girl hybrid' and embarking on a curious, otherworldly journey of friendship, love and danger.
Their routines happen both behind a selection of large and smaller shadow screens and through non-projected, non-screen choreography.
While the activity on stage is enough to keep most age groups engaged, there are occasional unsettling moments, or mellow spells, that may leave very young ones restless.
Essentially a coming of age love story, the turn of events might also prove slightly baffling to younger eyes - but the cartoonish spectacle and the eclectic soundtrack will keep most, as well as parents and other adults, thoroughly entertained.
While the format and cunning and strategic use of shadow is front and centre of what makes Shadowland unique – and surreal - it would be nothing without the agile and athletic cast of men and women from Pilobolus performance dance company.
Their mix of dance and acrobatics, ballet and circus – drilled into a perfectly timed sense of positioning – brings the action to life.
Honed from years of experimentation in short-form shadow theatre, the company has taken an ancient entertainment technique and turned it into a modern multi-media spectacle.
Essentially conceptualising the power of dreams, Pilobolus created the show in collaboration with musician, actor, comedian and writer Steven Banks and singer-songwriter David Poe.
Heather Jeane Favretto is faultless as the dog girl at the tale’s centre, bringing innocence, curiosity and playfulness as she slips from her bed – itself comprising other dancers – into a world of ruthless chefs, opportunist hunters, walking cooking pots and scary cave creatures.
All the while, her fellow dancers animate and physically create much of the shadow scenery, ranging from huge talking heads and performing elephants to crabs and the Statue of Liberty.
Robby Barnett, Charter Artistic Director of Pilobolus, says: “It is amazing that shadows, something we thought we always knew, have emerged at this point in Shadowland’s life as a new medium and storytelling form.
“It makes me proud to have had the chance to be a part of something that was really a global phenomenon. Shadowland is Pilobolus’s first evening-length show, and we are really excited to stage our show for the Dubai audience.”
SHADOWLAND continues in Sheikh Rashid Hall, DWTC tonight and tomorrow (Saturday, September 15). Show times are 3pm and 7.30pm.
TICKETS start at AED230 for Silver, AED400 for Gold, AED650 for Platinum, and AED1000 for Platinum (inclusive of DTCM and VAT taxes).
YOU can buy tickets at www.shadowland.ae