My daily quest for One Beautiful Thing (OBT)

Prop Masters



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…)

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

16 thoughts on “Prop Masters

  1. Stunning. And just the beautiful thing I needed this morning. Thank you!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That last video, “FLOW” was really something. As a former ballet dancer (amateur level) I’m pretty impressed by her performance. When I was young I had a much higher tolerance for spinning while dancing (there are techniques you can use to avoid dizziness), but that amount would have been too much for me even back then. Attempting to spin like that at my current age of 43 would have me vomiting all over the fancy dress and hat…but maybe that would only have added to the “flow.” 😉

    “Table Talk” was also really cool. You find the best stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know just what you mean about spinning. I lost my center years ago, and I can’t seem to spot properly anymore. I would have been borching all over the place. That table thing was ridiculous! Very glad you liked today’s things!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wonderful post for dance and ballet aficionados. Ah, but that last lady is the amazing Diana Vishneva, if anyone can spot forever more, then she. Look up any solo variation from her involving fast “chaines” “en manege”. Flawless. The part where one looks up to the ceiling is the puzzling one for me, not sure what you’d aim for as a centering point.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I was wondering about that, too! She’s a wonder.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Fully agree. And great blog, found it on the discover and just kept browsing through more posts. Duly added to the followed list.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you! I’m so glad you told me I was included in the Discover list! I’m somebody!!! Honestly, I’ve been trying to get their attention for three years. Whew! That explains why my numbers are so good the last couple of days.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The dance companies and productions you find might be my very favorite Beautiful Things and this one……..I am truly speechless! Thank you! (And my YouTube feed thanks you, too.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Granted, choreography and dance aren’t areas of great knowledge of experience in my part but I’ve never seen anything like these performances. The skillful use of props and the way the bodies move is fascinating and hypnotic.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Follow me and win a prize

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! Incredible – will be watching more of the videos later on today too!

    Liked by 1 person

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