MOMIX…dance illusion or illusion of dance?

10.30.06 | 7 Comments

MOMIX trio

Last night Justin and I went to the Marin Civic Center to see the not well known enough MOMIX dance company. They’re “dance illusionists” which really is an innovative idea in the dance world. Normally when we think of something beyond dance with effects and stuff, immediately we think more in terms of Cirque du Soleil, with they’re incredible costumes, sets, and “out of the box” numbers.

But the creations of Moses Pendelton definitely stays within the dance category. Only, he has an incredibly inventive approach to what moving and graceful bodies can do. His dancers are definitely dancers, not acrobats (…except maybe for one). And highly classically trained, I might add. His company has kind of a Pilobolus flair, but with even more visual effects created by either the bodies, lights, costume, screens, video art, or all.

MOMIX clump

In this show, Lunar Sea, the choreography was based on black light art. The dancers were wearing various costumes showing or hiding certain parts of their bodies creating almost mind twisting effects. How do they do that?…It looks like they’re floating! That’s what my mind constantly was asking, and as the piece progressed, I would figure it out. But at some point, after an hour of figuring out the techniques of the illusion, the mind gets tired and finally lets go. Weird feeling.

The result though was extremely fluid, creative, at times a little disturbing (but in a good way). A lot lot of subtleties, surprises and humor were on the menu. It occurred to me though, that the dancers were slaves of how they looked, to meet the extremely precise visuals. Where’s the feeling in all that? Nowhere, it’s purely visual excitement… Also, about 3/4 in the show, the music went from Buddha lounge electronic zenness, to Hans Zimmer intense movie music Batman Begins style, with full orchestra effect. Yeah. That didn’t really keep my amazement going…sometimes less is more. I also found that some music fades could have used a little more tweaking….but that’s just me being a perfectionist…of others people’s work :)

MOMIX tower
Lunar Sea left us almost speechless for a bit, because the brain wanted to talk so much! I guess that’s a really good sign.