Press Release: MOMIX

For Immediate Release: September 12, 2019

Contact: Beth Whelan

5620 SW Edgemont Place, Portland, OR  97239  

(503) 245-1600  | elizabeth@whitebird.org

www.whitebird.org

WHITE BIRD SOARS INTO ITS 22ND SEASON OF DANCE, BEGINNING WITH MOMIX’S VIVA MOMIX! 

A CELEBRATION OF THE COMPANY’S 35 YEARS, DRAWING FROM SIX OF THEIR LATEST SHOWS, VIVA MOMIX BLENDS DANCE AND ILLUSION WITH PHYSICALITY, HUMOR, SENSUALITY AND SPECTACULAR IMAGERY.

Who: MOMIX – VIVA MOMIX!  Artistic Director Moses Pendleton

Presented by: White Bird

When: Thurs- Sat |  October 3- 5 | 7:30pm PLUS Saturday Matinee at 2pm

Where: Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, Portland, OR

Sponsors: Ken & Ann Edwards 

Media sponsor: The Oregonian

Tickets: Starting at $30, available at whitebird.org and Portland’5 Box Office, 1111 SW Broadway with NO added fees. Or, call 503-245-1600 ext. 201 (note: Addition $3 per ticket charged for processing over the phone). Discounts available for groups/students/seniors and professional dancers

"Illusion and reality, apprehension and excitement"

-The New York Times

White Bird’s 2019-20 season kicks off with the world-renowned MOMIX, celebrating 35 years of innovation in dance with an exciting mix of their most widely loved works alongside special new creations in their program Viva MOMIX! The show, perfect for all ages, comprises excerpts from Botanica, Alchemia, Remix, Opus Cactus, Lunar Sea, and MOMIX Classics. It also features three new creations for the 35th anniversary work. Small vignettes make up the 2-act performance, illustrating MOMIX’s unique attributes of illusion, beauty, magic, fun, and inventiveness. Running Thurs-Sat, October 3-5 at the Newmark Theatre, White Bird will present four performances of Viva MOMIX! with shows each evening at 7:30pm and a 2pm Saturday matinee. 

Viva MOMIX’s derives from the vast imagination of artistic director and choreographer Moses Pendleton, who began the company in 1980 after spending 9 years with Pilobolus, which he co-founded with Jonathan Wolken and Steve Johnson at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. In addition, many of the design elements and puppetry throughout the evening are by Michael Curry, famed theatrical designer based in Scappoose, Oregon. 

The magic of the American Southwest is sprinkled throughout the program in Cactus Wren/Morning Star, Pole Dance, and Dream Catcher, all sections from the full-length Opus Cactus, which premiered as a 20-minute piece  in 2001 set on Ballet Arizona. Pendleton saw the connection between the landscapes of the Sonoran desert and the fantasy world of MOMIX as a sinuous relationship. The work mirrors the cacti, rolling tumbleweeds, the desert nights, and peculiar desert animals while blending MOMIX’s signature fantastical set and costume design into the mix.  

Marigolds, Aqua Flora, Echos of Narcissus and Man Fan, sections from MOMIX’s Botanica, journey into the illuminating world of nature’s changing imagery.  Marigolds, in which the dancers wear layers of orange tutus stacked up their torsos and over their heads, embodies the playfulness of the remarkable  company. 

Snow Geese, from Lunar Sea, showcases ingenious lighting effects and gravity-defying physical imagery that explore the unique effects of black light. Also included in the Viva MOMIX! Program are MOMIX classics such as Brainwave, Tabletalk, Spawning and Pleiades (from MOMIX in Orbit) alongside remixes of Baths of Caracalla and If You Need Some Body. 

MOMIX, a company of dancer-illusionists, has been presenting work of exceptional inventiveness and physical beauty for 40 years. From its base in Washington, Connecticut, the company has developed a devoted worldwide following. In addition to stage performances, MOMIX has also worked in film and television, as well as corporate advertising, with national commercials for Hanes and Target, and presentations for Mercedes-Benz, Fiat, and Pirelli. With performances on PBS’s “Dance in America” series, France’s Antenne II, and Italian RAI television, the company’s repertory has been beamed to 55 countries. The Rhombus Media film of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition with MOMIX and the Montreal Symphony was winner of an International Emmy for Best Performing Arts Special. MOMIX was also featured in IMAGINE, one of the first 3-D IMAX films released in IMAX theaters worldwide. MOMIX dancers Cynthia Quinn and Karl Baumann, under Moses Pendleton’s direction, played the role of “Bluey” in the feature film F/X2, and White Widow, co-choreographed by Pendleton and Quinn, was featured in Robert Altman’s movie The Company. With nothing more than light, shadow, fabric, props, and the human body, MOMIX continues to astonish and delight audiences on five continents.

MOSES PENDLETON (Artistic Director) has been one of America’s most innovative and widely performed choreographers and directors for almost 50 years. A co-founder of the ground-breaking Pilobolus Dance Theater in 1971, he formed his own company, MOMIX, in 1980. Mr. Pendleton has also worked extensively in film, TV, and opera and as a choreographer for ballet companies and special events. Mr. Pendleton was born and raised on a dairy farm in Northern Vermont. His earliest experiences as a showman came from exhibiting his family’s dairy cows at the Caledonian County Fair. He received his BA in English Literature from Dartmouth College in 1971. Pilobolus began touring immediately, and the group shot to fame in the 1970s, performing on Broadway under the sponsorship of Pierre Cardin, touring internationally, and appearing in PBS’s Dance in America and Great Performances series.

By the end of the decade, Mr. Pendleton had begun to work outside of Pilobolus, performing in and serving as principal choreographer for the Paris Opera’s Intégrale Erik Satie in 1979 and choreographing the Closing Ceremony of the Winter Olympics at Lake Placid in 1980. In that same year he created MOMIX, which rapidly established an international reputation for inventive and often illusionistic choreography. The troupe has now been creating new work under his direction and touring worldwide for four decades. Mr. Pendleton has also been active as a performer and choreographer for other companies such as Paris Opera Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Munich State Opera, Arizona Ballet, and the Romanian National Gymnastics Team. Most recently, Mr. Pendleton choreographed The Doves of Peace, featuring Diana Vishneva and 50 Russian ballerinas, for the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi.

Mr. Pendleton was a recipient of the Connecticut Commission on the Arts Governor’s Award in 1998. He received the Positano Choreographic Award in 1999 and the 2002 American Choreography Award for his contributions to choreography for film and television. In 2010, Mr. Pendleton received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts (HDFA) from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and delivered the commencement address to the graduates. He was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1977.

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White Bird’s 22nd season (2019-20) is supported by the Regional Arts & Culture Council, including support from the City of Portland, Multnomah County and the Arts Education & Access Fund; James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, , M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, National Endowment for the Arts, Ronni Lacroute, Oregon Arts Commission, Starseed Foundation and WESTAF (Western States Arts Federation).