A Postcard from MOMIX Artistic Director Moses Pendleton About the Company's Upcoming Season at The Joyce

A Postcard from MOMIX Artistic Director Moses Pendleton About the Company's Upcoming Season at The Joyce

Published on July 20, 2018
Photo: Charles Azzopardi

Momix will be at The Joyce Theater from July 24-August 12 with its self-titled production “MOMIX.” For ticket information, click HERE. The performance will feature hits from the company’s expansive repertory including Dream CatcherPole Dance and Marigolds, along with the New York City premiere of three works: Daddy Long LegLight Reins and Paper Trails.

What the audience can expect from this year’s program: (see video at top of article!!!)

As I always say, with MOMIX, you can expect the unexpected. The word “Momix” implies a certain kind of controlled nonsense and visual poetry with amazing bodies doing amazing things; it’s highly physical visual theater. If you enjoyed the World Cup or appreciate fine art, then you’ll probably enjoy MOMIX.

We use props and imagery and take the human body to make connections to the non-human. This is dance that takes in and absorbs nature. MOMIX is also about escaping the so-called “real world” to experience the surreal. When people come to see a performance, it is an uplifting experience. We offer a mix of dance and movement theater along with special lighting, sounds, and costumes, creating a fantasy which is an integral part of our reality.

Three men holding long sticks. One man is holding himself in the air by leveraging himself with his pole.
MOMIX's Morgan Hulen, Jon Eden, and Steven Ezra in Pole Dance; Photo: Charles Azzopardi

How I Find My Inspiration:

To me, inspiration comes from anywhere. I never know when I’m going to be attacked by an idea. I live in the country, surrounded by gardens and light, infused by the magic of the natural world.

This season, we will be premiering three pieces in New York: Light ReinsDaddy Long Leg and Paper Trails

For Light Reins, I was inspired during a recent ski-trip to Beaver Creek, CO. I had just finished my last run on the slopes and was captivated by a tree streaming with lights. The next day, I went there with my headphones to observe it with a soundtrack, and I thought it would be a great idea to make costumes out of those lights. It developed into a piece that involves dancers interacting with rods of shifting light.

A woman in a cascading white paper gown that resembles a flowering orchid.
MOMIX's Jennifer Chicheportiche in Paper Trails; Photo: Max Pucciarello

Paper Trails was something that grew out experiments using large pieces of crumpled paper. We were exploring paper as both costume and sculpture. Later, by applying lighting and projections, the dancers mixed with paper and created a magical and hypnotic image.

Daddy Long Leg is based on the idea of lengthening one leg by use of a single stilt in order to create changes of level and consequently new movements. It gives an interesting visual look. To give it a comic twist, we turned the three stilt walkers into Argentinean gauchos, drunk and lost on the pampas.

These pieces are part of a compilation of highlights from our various repertoire. It has the dynamics of a surreal vaudeville show.

Music is an integral element of the overall effect of MOMIX. I often think that if you close your eyes and listen to the music, you can see the dance. So, I listen to a lot of music (with my eyes closed). 

Three men dressed as cowboys.
MOMIX's Jonathan Eden, Jason Williams, and Jake Stainback in Daddy Long Legs; Photo: Max Pucciarello

MOMIX in the Future:

MOMIX is coming up on its 40th anniversary (in 2020). To be honest, I don’t think too far ahead but rather focus on the “now.” Currently, there’s a lot happening; we have a show going to Italy while this show will run at The Joyce Theatre in New York City. In addition to all of this, there is the inevitable creative pressure of sowing the seeds for a new work to be premiered next winter. Operating the nuts and bolts of an international dance company is challenging enough, to say nothing about having time to grow the roses and even being able to smell them.

I’ve always described the process of MOMIX in alchemical metaphors: It doesn’t much matter what you’re doing, as long as you are doing it with the energy to spin (or mix) disparate leaden elements into gold. 

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