Referring to themselves as dancer illusionists, MOMIX is a 35-year-old American dance company founded and directed by Moses Pendleton. Falling somewhere between Alvin Ailey and Cirque du Soleil, MOMIX merges modern dance with acrobatics, props, projection, costumes, stagecraft. and bliss-out music for a “complete sensory experience.”
“I continue to be interested in using the human body to investigate non-human worlds…” -Moses Pendelton
After watching nearly all their videos, I’m convinced Pendelton is some kind of mad genius. The company’s YouTube channel is full of beautiful short clips from their pieces, and today, I’m going to share with you some of my favorites.
Perhaps best known for their use of grand-scale props, here is one of MOMIX’s most popular pieces, Man Fan, which was featured in last year’s annual Fire Island Dance Festival.
And here’s another of their iconic prop pieces, Table Talk, featuring eye-popping feats of strength. I think this dancer must be part cat, part yogi!
Another great example of their creative use of props is this excerpt from Botanica Opus Cactus Sundance, where the dancers employ large hand fans to take the place of tutus. Just lovely! (And definitely stick with this one. Things get wonderfully weird at about minute 2.5!)
One more prop piece, because this is one I can’t resist. Moonbeams may sound peaceful and tranquil, but this high-energy dance is the exact opposite. So fun!
As spectacular as their use of props is, the way they include their surroundings is equally impressive. This is Echoes of Narcissus which is deceptive in its simplicity. A single dancer, (artfully) writing around a polished floor. But use of dim lighting and the dancer’s reflection in the floor turn it into something else entirely.
Some of their pieces feel more solidly in the circus/acro genre, but they are nonetheless endlessly graceful and hypnotic.
And I’m positively obsessed with the dancers’ means of cooperative locomotion in this excerpt from Botanica Opus Cactus Caravan Duet.
Finally, I’ll leave you with an excerpt from the piece that first got my attention, F.L.O.W. (I wonder if this dancer needs to lie down afterward…)