What’s more impressive than athletic dancers? Athletic dancer-illusionists, of course.
The MOMIX dance company will take the stage at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday afternoon. Known for its athletic and visual choreography, the company will perform “The Best of MOMIX,” featuring selections from the group’s 25-year history.
MOMIX was founded by Moses Pendleton, an internationally renowned choreographer whose other works include the closing ceremonies to the 1980 Winter Olympics and numerous other dance and ballet-oriented productions. It began as part of Pendleton’s earlier dance company Pilobolus in 1971, and officially became MOMIX after Pendleton’s performance at the Olympic Games in 1980.
MOMIX is described as visually stunning and surreal, focusing on lighting, acrobatics and the human body. Its displays of light, illusion and imagery can be compared to other large-scale dance companies like Cirque du Soleil.
“For me, MOMIX crosses the boundaries between dance and science,” said Camille Spaccavento, director of marketing for the Mondavi Center. “There’s something wonderfully rhythmic about it – MOMIX has a scientific background that merges the two together with the human body.“
The company is performing throughout the United States in October, and despite the careful designs of light and visual-oriented shows, MOMIX has performed in multiple sorts of venues.
“I think [our venues] vary, especially in the United States,” said Carla Ruiz, company manager of MOMIX. “When we tour abroad, especially in Europe, we play outside and in town squares. In the United States, [it’s a balance] between college campuses and other mid-sized venues.“
MOMIX will be performing as part of the Mondavi’s Marvels Family Series, sponsored by Target. Other performances in the series include ScrapArtsMusic and Cirque Éloize – two similar visual and acrobatic shows.
“The Marvel series offers an entry point for anybody who wants to see a fun and beautiful physical performance,” said Jeremy Ganter, associate executive director for the Mondavi Center.
This is the second time MOMIX will visit Davis, and many are expected to attend. Unlike the company’s other evening stops scheduled throughout its tour, MOMIX will perform at 3 p.m. on Sunday. This, according to Spaccavento, was partly intended to attract a broader audience to the hall rather than any specific crowd.
“[MOMIX] has been here before of course, and our audiences adore them,” Spaccavento said. “We’re selling our tickets very well.“
When asked about the differences between MOMIX and other dance performances held at the Mondavi Center, Ganter noted the company’s approachable nature.
“Some of what we do is a little bit more challenging, a little darker and a little bit more abstract,” Ganter said. “[MOMIX] overall is a little bit more surreal, a little bit more fun and a bit more appropriate for all ages.“
Though the event is intended for a wide audience, UC Davis students are encouraged to attend.
“It is really a good show for anybody,” Ganter said. “It’s a unique way to spend a Sunday afternoon.“
JUSTIN T. HO can be reached at email@example.com.