Review by Mia Carlin
MOMIX is a company of dancer-illusionists under the direction of Moses Pendleton. For over 25 years, MOMIX has been celebrated for its ability to conjure up a world of surrealistic images using prop, light, shadow, humor & the human body.
With its hypnotic imagery, fluid movements and overall mysticism, MOMIX is both provocative and mesmerizing. Hypnotized by each piece in the program, you forget that you are watching the actual dancers live. Some of the pieces are so magical that you wonder how on earth they pulled it off. Being in the 2nd row you would think that one would be able to identify a little bit of realism, but not me. Everything about the performance completely stunned me, leaving me awestruck about what I had just witnessed. From a very wide & creative range of ideas, MOMIX had the ability to re-invent snakes, fire, galaxies, mythology & body part separation from just a few pieces of gym equipment, lights, one screen & ribbon.
The lighting & sculpture props spellbind you in such a way that you really feel part of the story – that somehow you have been transcended in time into this foreign hemisphere. And not only are the dancers skilled but they are beautiful. I mean, strikingly, angelically beautiful! Their bodies are perfectly sculpted and it feels as though you are viewing a real life God or Goddess in action. Zeus, Athena, Triton, you name it – these dancers look like the work of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel.
Not to mention the precise & captivating choreography. This is not just a dance performance of skill & acrobatics, but fluid movements of dynamics, muscle & strength.
The dancers use all of their body weight, holding it in mid air while being twisted, turned & glided for several minutes at a time, and for a moment you really feel as if they are actually flying. There are no strings involved – no tricks of any kind, just the dancers and their one prop – gliding them through mid air like mystified beings from another universe, another plain in time.
Although alluring in nature, MOMIX excerpts also found ways to humor the audience. In one piece, several dancers are connected head - to – ass, as they writhe on the floor to form a completely wacky centipede; making you wonder just how far one will go for the love of dance.. Another piece has the stage lit up by a black light, giving the illusion of flying seagulls, mouths, and television sets rather than dancers dressed in all black with white arms. One of the last pieces, 4 silhouetted dancers eventually morphed into one via the illusion of a giant screen & light projection. This piece went from a beautiful version of Adam & Eve to them morphing into one body & Eve’s head coming out of Adam’s crotch.
Imagination is a funny thing – a wonderful thing. It’s one of the most important outlets in life that keeps us centered when things to wrong or when life gets tough. Imagination is something that expands our minds while in the midst of boredom. It can be our friend when we have none, our teacher when we’re craving to learn, the lighted path from our hearts to our future. For Moses Pendleton, it was just that. An imaginative boy born & raised on a lonely dairy farm in North Vermont, who wanted to find a way to share his childhood fantasies with the world – and so he did.
This is not to say that we should escape from all responsibilities that adulthood has brought to our doorstep, but damn it if we can’t be excused for being absentee from it for a couple of hours.