CULTURE

Celebrated Momix meld corporeal, surreal in dance

Momix, the iconoclastic dance troupe from the United States, returns to Greece for a series of shows this month after a three-year absence. The athletic, gifted troupe is known for its gravity-defying, dreamy performances, during which bodies appear to fly and exotic figures flow through a story in motion. Momix has already begun its series of sold-out performances, presenting its latest production, «Lunar Sea.» The act’s third and final show in Athens is scheduled for today at the Athens Concert Hall. Momix then travels north for two performances, on Wednesday and Thursday, at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall. Known around the world for their originality and grace, the Momix dancers are led by Moses Pendleton, a renown choreographer who founded the group in the 1980s and also choreographed the closing ceremonies of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. Momix performers have earned a reputation for creating surrealistic imagery through the innovative use of stage props, lighting techniques, shadows, humor, and, above all, the human body. Pendleton, a native of Vermont, was also a force in the Pilobolus dance group, which shot to fame in the 1970s, performing on Broadway and international stages. He remained firmly attached to Pilobolus as one of the group’s five artistic directors. Pendleton spoke to Kathimerini about creativity and how it inspires his work with Momix and beyond. What inspired «Lunar Sea»? The perfection of light, as described in [Italo] Calvino’s book «Six Essays for the New Millenium.» My need to fly, to feel the experience of another type of gravity. How do you find new ways to express yourself? By fiddling about, improvising, and bringing new stage props, lights and costumes to the studio. Has your work changed since the time when you first began? I wouldn’t say that it’s changed that much. Sometimes, I create projects for other teams and later on rework them for Momix, as was the case with «Lunar Sea,» which I first did with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet team. The creative process remains the same. I depend heavily on the ideas and imaginations of the dancers I collaborate with, no matter who they are. How does it feel returning to Greece? I think of Greece as the home of the heroic, free, and creative body. So, as a team, we’re always happy to return. Our performance in the rain, on our previous visit to Athens, will remain unforgettable. The audience did not leave, so we danced on in the rain at the Herod Atticus. It was almost a primal experience. What are the new plans for Momix? In the summer that just passed, we prepared lots of material for a big show in Las Vegas. Something very botanical. A flower exhibition!