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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


MOMIX dance group dazzles Staller audience

Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts allowed students free entry into the MOMIX Dance: Alchemia show on Sunday, Nov. 2. (BASIL JOHN / THE STATESMAN)

It was another success for the MOMIX Company. More than 300 people gathered in the Staller Center auditorium on Saturday, Nov. 1 to enjoy the latest show from the company. For most people, it was a real feast for the eyes.

“It was a spectacular performance and those people are very strong and fit,” David Grady, a resident from Long Island, said. “I wish I could do stuff like that.”

MOMIX is a company of 10 dancer-illusionists originally based in Washington. Moses Pendleton, a founding member of the Pilobolus dance group of 1971, established MOMIX in the early 80s.

“I work very sculpturally…and we use highly trained physical dance bodies, but it’s more than just dance,” Pendleton said. “Hence the name MOMIX, it’s a real mixture of various ideas. You might almost think you are looking at a series of sculptures and paintings.”

According to the MOMIX website, for more than 40 years, Pendleton has been considered one of America’s most innovative and widely performed choreographers and directors.

Even though Pendleton mentioned that creating a show takes a year and a lot of “trial and errors,” the director already worked on seven different shows, entitled “Remix,” “Passion,” “Opus Cactus,” “Lunar Sea,” “Botanica,” “Baseball” and “Alchemia.”

“I don’t think that much,” Pendleton said. “I want the free-mind.”

For over 30 years, his work has amazed audiences all around the world, especially in Italy, where the dance group is already well-known.

In addition to performing worldwide,  the company has also regularly worked on special projects and in film and television. Their shows have been broadcast in 55 countries.

“With MOMIX, I think you should expect the unexpected,” Pendleton said.

In his last show “Alchemia,” the company managed to manipulate and fuse “the four elements—earth, air, fire and water,” in the form of dancers lighting and even music. Pendleton produced a show full of remarkable metamorphoses and artistic thrills that left the audience speechless.

“There are a lot of different elements in there that makes it unique, it’s not just a modern dance concert, but it’s a visual spectacle and it’s very inventive and powerful and kind of sexy and beautiful and positive,” Pendleton said.

From the beginning of the show, when a fish was swimming across the stage, until the moment when the dancers manipulated a red cloth to represent flames, the show was captivating.

“We use lights and music and special costumes and props to create, hopefully a dream state that might stimulate the senses…and hopefully it’s not a nightmare,” he said jokingly

Every piece of  material the dancers used during the performance had meaning. For instance, the lights formed shapes in the dark and the large poles on the stage that represented sea grass.

The dancers worked well together as the men often held and helped the women swing higher and higher in the air. The absolute sensuality of the show was stunning and was definitely an invitation to open one’s mind and look at things differently.

“Don’t expect too much, there’s no story, other than whatever comes out of your own mind from all the work that we do to create something that gets your imagination spinning,” Pendleton said.

People came from all around New York to watch the show. This was the case for Louise Hanson, who came from Wading River.

“I really enjoyed it, I’ve seen that group before in New York and I knew they did very great things with lighting and special effects,” Hanson said. “I found it fascinating, I loved it.”

Latrell Johnson came all the way from Brooklyn to enjoy the show and support one of his friends on the stage.

“I thought it was a great show,” Johnson said. “I found it very elegant.”

The dancers were also very satisfied with their performance on Saturday night. Graci Meier and Jerrica Blankenship are two dancers who are part of the MOMIX Company. While Meier joined the company in 2010, Blankenship joined a year ago. They both shared the same opinion on their overall performance.

“I think we felt pretty good tonight,” Meier said. “We were rehearsing last week pretty hard with our director. Its been a while since we performed so this week I feel like we had a lot of notes to put into action and it felt pretty good and fun because we had a nice audience.”

For Blankenship, the amount of rehearsal time was definitely a plus. It helped Blankenship feel comfortable on the stage.

“We had a nice amount of time to rehearse today, more than what we normally do when we are on the road,” Blankenship said. “We felt pretty comfortable.” MOMIX also performed on on Sunday, Nov. 2, exclusivly for Seawolves.

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