It’s all about the moving image.

OK, maybe it’s stating the obvious to say that about a dance company, but Moses Pendleton’s MOMIX really works to create something picturesque. That’s because this visionary choreographer uses the human body — sometimes with a few props, or even black light — more like a tool, re-creating shapes or structures or life forms he has found in nature, or drawing something entirely new.

“My working method is to create, almost more like a sculptor or painter creates images first,” he explains, “and then add music, lighting, costumes and props, the details that fill out the overall effect.”

Opus Cactus, the show that marks MOMIX’s Alberta debut, originated about 15 years ago when Pendleton was commissioned to do a piece for Ballet Arizona. After being raised on a dairy farm in Vermont, taking in the landscape of the Sonoran Desert felt entirely alien to the choreographer. Since then, he has re-worked and expanded the piece to create a celebrated new full-length work.

He recalls being especially drawn to the cacti.

“In the half-light as the day turns to night, they were mysterious and magical and became kind of a muse for the ballet. They almost looked like a dance company. Part of the esthetic for this show is the contact made between the human and non-human, and to see how we’re connected through dance-theatre. For me, it’s always been an interesting exploration of the plant and animal worlds, to see how they connect with each other.”

Art and science meet in Pendleton’s ingenious series of modern dance illusions, often using athletic moves to sketch the flora and fauna of the American southwest. All that is tied to a broadly eclectic, atmospheric set of tunes running from Brian Eno and Dead Can Dance to Mickey Hart and Transglobal Underground, from classical …read more

Source:: Calgary Herald


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