public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:11 pm

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Momix in London 2005
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 7:28 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 6778
Location: Estonia
Quote:
Momix
by SANJOY ROY for the Guardian

Opus Cactus is glossy and entertaining; if only it were more transporting.

published: September 16, 2005
more...


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 7:39 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 6778
Location: Estonia
Quote:
Opus Cactus, Peacock Theatre, London
by ZOE ANDERSON for the Independent

Pendleton's best illusions have a nice sense of detail. As the women jump, they open and close the fans in time with their lifting legs - just the way fabric shifts over a moving body.

published: September 16, 2005
more...


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2005 1:33 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Opus Cactus
By Jann Parry for The Observer:


Momix's Opus Cactus (at the Peacock for another two weeks) is unlikely to make the heart race. It's a mildly pleasant experience, less freaky than arty circus. Moses Pendleton, who set up the American troupe some 25 years ago, is more of a dreamer than a showman. Opus Cactus is a series of reveries inspired by a visit to the Arizona desert. There's no story line: the creatures he saw among the giant cacti simply provide a pretext for dancers to create ingenious shapes. They combine bodies to make an ostrich, a lizard, a scorpion; they carry out synchronised routines with poles, skateboards, fans.

click for more

*************************************

Gila, queen of the desert
Momix brings Arizona to London with a visual treat in Opus Cactus. By David Dougill for The Sunday Times:


The underground Peacock Theatre, on Kingsway, owned by the LSE and run by Sadler’s Wells, has never been high on my list of the capital’s most enticing dance venues, with a dingy auditorium that could put a dampener on anything. But the current show, Opus Cactus, by the American company Momix, on its first London visit for nearly a decade, transforms the space with colour and magic.

click for more


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 9:41 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:01 am
Posts: 142
Location: London
On Wednesday, 14th September, Momix presented “Opus Cactus” at the Peacock Theatre.

The piece took as inspiration the flora, fauna and folklore of the Arizona desert, and the resulting work, through the visionary eyes of the group’s main choreographer, Moses Pendleton, was a stunningly visual piece that transported the audience at certain moments to the realms of dream like imagery.

The work flowed through its different passages effortlessly, bringing out imagination and colour, a spectacle that combined music, stagecraft, choreography and acrobatics in the recreation of landscapes and the different moods that these provoke through our senses.

Since the opening number in which a woman seemed to float in a dreamlike state to the closing moments in which the dancers floated across the stage with the aid of ropes, the whole piece sailed through a range of visual feasts that at no moment tried to disguise the physicality of the whole work. For if there was one thing that was apparent at all times, this was the physical precision and power of all the performers. There were moments when it was difficult to discern if what one was watching was applied physics or choreography or simply sheer brilliant skill in the combination of both.

There were so many interesting choreographic ideas that could be worth exploring in pure choreographic terms. Passages in which the combined effort of human movement and machines provided images whose impact and beauty are difficult to see in new choreographic work. I specially recall one moment in which women crossed the stage as if floating by using their male partners legs as platforms on which to enact the action of walking on water or simply float. Their male partners were, at the same time, lying on skate boards that rendered the whole movement the kind of dynamics that bodies alone could never achieve. Perhaps it would be interesting for choreographers working in integrated dance to explore those possibilities that wheels have to offer in the creation of new dynamics into pure dance.

There were other moments in which the pure athleticism of the dancers were the main focus of attention for both audiences and choreographer. The beauty of human bodies in the pure display of their physicality was something that, far from negated, was celebrated and showcased to the dancers’ limits.

It was a wonderful evening of discovery of how different elements can be integrated and enhanced by their simple use on the stage in unexpected combinations. “Opus Cactus” was fun, enjoyable and, at some moments, magical to watch.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:28 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 223
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Thanks a lot Ana! I've liked your review very much, I saw Opus Cactus in Peralada (Spain) 2 or 3 summers ago but now I have revived that night very clearly. I still remember it as magic :D


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 12:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
A Momix mixed bill was one of my early dance experiences and set me on a journey of discovery of dance art. So, I will always have a soft spot for the company and I'm looking forward to seeing "Opus Cactus" next week.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 4:38 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Opus Cactus
By Katie Phillips for The Stage


Reaching in to the heart of the earth’s vast and most exotic desert regions, choreographer and artistic director Moses Pendleton has managed to capture the essence of the area’s indigenous creatures and natural beauty for his stage creation, Opus Cactus.

click for more


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 7:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat May 24, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 270
Location: Birmingham Uni / UWM Milwaukee
Well i've gone and made the biggest mistake I'm going to make all week by watching the video clip of Opus Cactus on the Sadlers Wells site, because now i really want to see it but I can't afford it! :(


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 2:36 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Momix, “Opus Cactus”, The Peacock Theatre, Thursday 29th September, 2005

Momix changed my life. In the mid-80's I was attending dance performances from time to time, but films remained my principal arts obsession. Then a rave review for Momix in The Guardian spurred me to go and I was bowled over by the beauty, imagination and humour on display. As a result, I became a friend of Sadler's Wells and with half-price tickets for many performances (the current schemes are not as generous), I saw most of the shows: London Contemporary Dance Theatre, Preljocaj, Merce Cunningham and eventually Birmingham Royal Ballet. But it all started with Momix: my route into the art form.

In the early days, all the shows, now called "Best of Momix", consisted
of a series of unconnected dances, underpinned by the strength of the performers and the fecund and wacky imagination of Founder and Artistic Director, Moses Pendleton. The next step was a full-length piece, "Passion", also made up of short sequences, but with a score by Peter Gabriel and front projection onto a scrim to give a consistent overall feel. Another full-length work followed, "Baseball", but this left London audiences and critics cold, perhaps due to the lack of resonance of the central theme for a nation of cricket lovers.

And now, after an overlong absence, Momix returns to London with “Opus Cactus”, inspired by Pendleton’s explorations of the Arizona Desert. We see an 8-legged Gila monster, small animals zipping around flat on coasters, pairs of dancers pacing like ostriches and Pendleton’s on-going fascination with flight. It might be called “A Treatise on Diverse Methods of Locomotion”, but I guess that’s less catchy.

The performers are called dancer-illusionists, an apt description, and they execute the characteristic Momix style with power and fluid movement. In a quiet opener, a girl in a hammock wriggles, almost falls out, ties herself in knots and spins like a top. Next, in “Desert Storm”, we see a black stage and tumbleweed skittering back and forth, tightening and expanding. It took me some time to figure out the mechanics of these images and then I realised that it was another of Pendleton’s regular devices: decorated umbrellas spinning and opening and closing - even when I’d realised the trick, it remained a delight.

There are 19 varied scenes, so even if one doesn’t quite hit the mark, we’re soon onto the next one and the recorded music ranges from The Swingle Singers to Brian Eno and exotic sounds from around the world. One highlight was the first UK sighting of sculptor Alan Boeding’s double gyre; the single version is a long-time favourite and images of Boeding himself atop the metal structure as it rolls around the stage, first in one direction and then at 90 degrees, are unforgettable. The double version also works well, although the choreography for the woman was a little cutesy for what has always been a male preserve. Nevertheless the final scene as the two dancers lie still at opposites sides of the stage and the gyre rolls between and over them, almost in an embrace - a true Momix moment of wonder.

Beauty was served by “Cactus Wren” for a dancer on point, reflecting that this piece started life with Arizona Ballet, with one arm stretching backwards and the other pointing back over her head, a simple, but very effective form. Props have always been a corner stone of Momix productions and one dance here uses giant fans with grace and symmetry. The closing scene sees girls in simple harnesses giving the impression of flight in a tightly choreographed sequence, exploring the space fully, including excursions over the heads of the first few rows of the stalls.

At the end of a two-week run, The Peacock Theatre was almost full and I had the impression that this was not a typical dance audience; the rousing applause at the end suggested that Momix can still work as a fine and accessible introduction to dance art. The good news for aficionados is that the Company website shows two new programmes: “Sun Flower Moon” and “Lunar Sea” and, hopefully, the success of this visit will ensure a speedy return. I’m digging out my old Momix T-shirt, despite the holes and severe shrinkage.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
The messages in this forum are posted by members of the general public and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of CriticalDance or its staff.
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group