Arts & Culture » Stage

MOMIX: Botanica Takes Center Stage at the Morrison Center

Friday, Jan. 13


There's more to dance than just ballet. The avant-garde troupe Momix proves that with performances that push the boundaries of modern choreography. While Cirque du Soleil is often the modern dance inception point for most, Momix's production Botanica does it one better, taking the movements of dance and bringing them back to nature.

Botanica morphs the human body into organic forms--the dancers become the building blocks of plants, animals and other natural, living things. In provocative costumes with colorful props, their bodies become the ribs of leaves and trumpets of daffodils, and float with butterfly wings.

The company operates under the tutelage of renowned choreographer Moses Pendleton and associate director Cynthia Quinn. The pair have crafted numerous other performances, directed dances for national and international feature films and won an International Emmy for Best Performing Arts Special. Their work was broadcast in 55 countries on PBS's Dance in America series.

Botanica dancers were recently featured in a Target commercial that aired during the 2010 Golden Globe awards, their movements blending with the stage in a fluid tapestry of red and white. They've also done commercials for Mercedez Benz and Fiat motor companies.

Using lighting, shadow, minimal props and the malleable forms of the human body to create its illusions, Botanica defies what is normally thought possible with dance. The motions become shrouded in mystique as they move through beams of light and pockets of shadow, pulling the audience into whimsy.