Known as an enchanting spectacle of invention, beauty, sensuality, and humor, MOMIX is a captivating company of dance-illusionists. Under the direction of Moses Pendleton, the internationally renowned company will showcase its dazzling, Alchemia performance at Thursday, October 22, at the Granada Theatre.
Put simply, the performance is all about the art of alchemy, and the alchemy of art. It explores transmutation and manipulation of the four classical elements of earth, air, fire, and water. “We have been practicing the art of transmutation since we started,” Pendleton said in a recent interview with The Independent. “Some of the ideas for Alchemia came from books and pictures, some from the gardens in my own backyard, some from within.”
The company is known for it’s creative use of phantasmagorical multimedia rich with inventive costumes, props, and illusions. One of the more whimsical costumes the crowd can expect to see is a set of hoop skirts worn by female dancers, which transform into flowers and shells. “I leave it to [the audience] to guess how they appear to glide frictionlessly over the floor,” Pendleton said.
Of some of his favorite props, Pendleton said, “In Alchemia, it might be the sticks with fabric that the women use to start a fire with. The means are so simple, but the effect is — you’ll see.” All Pendleton would share for now was that the sequence begins with twitching flames and ends in a whirling wildfire.
The fanciful performance invites viewers to open their minds and their imaginations. “[It’s] a theater of dreams,” said Pendleton when asked how he might describe the company. “We tell stories, but not in a linear or literal way. Calvino wrote a book called Six Memos for the New Millennium in which he talked about lightness, quickness, visibility, multiplicity, exactitude. Add beauty, illusion, humor, and surprise and you have MOMIX.”
A visually arresting theatrical experience, Alchemia is an imaginative elixir of life. Full of tricks, sensuality, beauty, and intrigue the show is sure to be an excellent exhibition of MOMIX at its most magical.
UCSB’s Arts & Lectures presents MOMIX Thursday, October 22, at 8 p.m., at the Granada Theatre, 1214 State St. Call (805) 893-3535 or see artsandlectures.ucsb.edu.