Talking to Moses Pendleton, it’s clear that he’s a man with the kind of drive one needs to create an international dance company. The day we talked to him, he told us that he had just finished with a session of deep chanting. “Singing, especially at your lowest octaves, has many wonderful health benefits,” he explains right before diving into a stirring account of his current show and his artistic passions.
Pendleton is the the artistic director and founder of MOMIX, a dance production company with worldwide reach. MOMIX’s newest show Viva MOMIX heads to the Gaillard this Saturday.
The show celebrates MOMIX’s 40th anniversary and pulls a variety of performances from various other productions MOMIX has created. “There’s a mix and blend of elements. I wanted to create a show like a compilation album,” says Pendleton. “I wanted to draw excerpts from 40 years and several productions and put them together into a new mix, like you would put together songs in an album.”
Described by Pendleton as “physical visual theater” the show uses a variety of elements such as props, lighting, music, and special effects to build upon the dancers and choreographed routines in the show. “It’s a very visual show with elements of many different things that give it a fantasy [feel]. I would love [it] if people had fun trying to figure out what they’re seeing.”
“It’s magical, fun, and positive, expect the unexpected,” Pendleton says. “The show consists of nine men and women. [They] use props and costumes to extend the range of the human body and add some new motion.”
Many of the pieces were selected for the show based on the company’s current dancers and their abilities. “The acts included depends on who will be in the show and who can handle the pieces. We have much to choose from and these pieces take a long time to perfect.”
To gain inspiration for a new project, Pendleton has many creative outlets, including photography. He describes himself as an avid nature photographer who takes pictures every day, especially around his home in northwestern Connecticut.
“Ninety-nine percent of my active day is photography. I like the pleasure of going off and discovering the magical connection of the human to the non-human, like nature,” he explains. When starting to create a new show, Pendleton says that he often turns to sequencing photographs he has taken as an initial start to his creative process.
What should audiences expect of Viva MOMIX? Pendleton says, “I think you should expect the unexpected, sit back, and let MOMIX give you a little ride into their fantasy world. It’s kind of an escape from reality, we welcome people to come explore it and enjoy the mix.”