(photo credit: MAX PUCCIARRIELLO)
It’s no wonder this highly successful company keeps attracting audiences around the world. Audiences – particularly first-timers of all ages – are well entertained by the alluring surprises of visual illusions and little tricks that offer an innocent, childlike approach with clever, sometimes sophisticated execution. Whether it’s a flock of blue birds flying in the dark, an old cliché of the “black theater” or the amazing effect of a dancer and their mirrored reflection, they win you over with their simple, sheer aesthetics.
Moses Pendleton, founder and artistic director of Momix (1980), adopted most of his performance concepts earlier on, as a co-founder of Pilobolus (1971). It was then that he helped to create a unique hybrid performance genre, based on gymnastics, wild imagination and humor, spiced with spectacular effects. Since then, both companies compete on similar turf, and share audiences intrigued by this type of entertaining, easy to follow show.
This program, Viva Momix Forever
, is an evening compiled of bits and pieces of past successful works by Pendleton for Momix through the years, which is an opportunity to follow some of the many ways he found to use props. Often it’s done to achieve visual effects; like the huge frilled flowers morphing into dancers, soft poles into propellers, and long sticks that are used as springboards for impressive jumps.
In an old interview Pendleton said that unlike his rivals, who use bodies as props, Momix use props as bodies. I wonder. In one of the pieces the participants danced with life-size soft dolls which were manhandled for fun. The audience loved it.
Reminiscing about one of his earlier performance in Israel he mentioned a traumatic one. He was performing on the Golan Heights in front of soldiers, a day before the Yom Kippur war broke out. That changed his otherwise hyper-energetic mood. Consequently he told The Jerusalem Post
that he will bring Momix back here as soon as possible.