The Best of Momix
Twenty-five years ago, Moses Pendleton, artistic director of Momix, formed his own company dedicated to his surreal athletic dance genre, where objects get personified and people get objectified.
It resulted in a long string of works where ingenuity and clever use of props such as cloths, poles and balls met with illusory techniques to create treasures of visual delights for the young and young at heart.
The company has come over here several times since then, so by now, The Best of Momix turned out to be old news.
It was quite a chore to follow 14 different pieces while keeping the enthusiasm up, as each centered around a single trick or one new gimmick. It was even more difficult when the gimmicks have been played repeatedly over the years, getting flatter each time.
For some reason, despite all his exceptional talent, Pendleton chose to stick to the same athletic showmanship and dancing props and stay in his safe zone, dealing with entertaining performance products.
Unfortunately, all the effort of this group of sturdy athletes who took part in the fragmented works could not help to layer or supply depth to a work such as Medusas, based on the movement of a dancer holding an umbrella under a long, white sheet. All that resulted was a lovely movement of the cloth as he turned, hopped and skipped. How much inspiration, human interest or intellectual challenge the dancers or audience members gain from that is anyone's guess.
The two-hour program seemed much longer than its 120 minutes.