Mark Horning | January 25, 2016
DANCECleveland's presentation of Momix was a night of alchemist magic
Everythingyes, everythingthat you perceive about contemporary dance changes with a single performance of Momix. The company performed to a sold out and enthusiastic Connor Palace audience on Saturday. Billed as "a company of dance illusionists", Momix uses motion, music, light, dark and various suspension devices to create a world onstage that few people could dare to dream exist. It is in fact a magical experience.
Saturday's performance (presented by Cleveland's own DANCECleveland) was titled "Alchemia" and was in fact the turning of a base material into a precious element. The show began very low key with various video projections being projected onto the curtain that then erupted into digital flame which was then doused with the same video element of water. The curtain rose to the sight of eight white 12' columns with images projected on them. Suddenly, a large fish appeared high on the left portion of the stage and slowly swam across. At this point you knew that you would be in for something extraordinary.
"Alchemia" is an extraordinary journey into the worlds of earth, wind, water and air that throughout the performance has you asking yourself if you can truly believe your senses. The director's notes in the program gives you clues such as, "Mercury's serpent swims", "the city of Atlantis sinks", "wild winds fan the anatomical furnace", "the sisterhood of the moon at the alchemical wedding is disrupted by male magnets" and "the white peacock soars."
The performance is a seamless blend of various vignettes with each one capturing a portion of the overall theme of the show. Of special note is the red silk fire storm, the sisters of the moon, the magnet men, the three suspended women, the soaring dancer dressed in white, the women in red, the sorcerer with the 12 floating light spheres and the five dancing light forms all of which are totally captivating.
It is of course the small army behind the scenes consisting of 32 hard working individuals who assist the ten performers onstage thus making the magic happen. This includes Tsarra Bequette, Dajuan Booker, Autumn Burnette, Jonathan Bryant, Aaron Canfield, Jennifer Chicheportiche, David Dillow, Simona Di Tucci, Eddy Fernandez, Rory Freeman, Jon Eden, Vincent Harris, Morgan Hulen, Catherine Jaeger, Jaime Johnson, Jennifer Levy, Elizabeth Loft, Nicole Loizides, Steven Marshall, Anila Mazhari, Emily McArdle, Danielle McFall, Graci Meier, Sarah Nachbauer, Cynthia Quinn, Quinn Pendleton, Rebecca Rasmussen, Cara Seymour, Matt Shanbacher, Brian Simerson, Ryan Taylor and Evelyn Toh.
The dancers featured are Jerrica Blankenship, Anthony Bocconi, Jennifer Chicheportiche, Gregory DeArmond, Steven Ezra, Jenna Marie Graves, Andrea Guajardo, Vincent Harris, Catherine Jaeger and Changyong Sung.
Additional talents are supplied by Michael Korsch (Lighting Design), Phoebe Katzin in collaboration with Moses Pendleton and Cynthia Quinn (Costume Design), Phoebe Katzin (Costume Construction), Michael Curry (Red Fire Silk Design), Beryl Taylor, Linda Durovcova and Kimberly Lombard (Costume Assistants), Moses Pendleton (Video Imagery and Direction), Woodrow E. Dick, III (Video Design), Moses Pendleton (Music Collage) and Andrew Hansen (Music Editing).
At the end of the "Alchemia" show, the company returned for a spectacular encore that they called, "The Cracking of the Alchemical egg."
It is sincerely hoped that upon seeing the sold out standing ovation response to this truly magnificent show that Momix will make plans to put Cleveland on their list of regularly scheduled tour stops in the years to come. Cleveland has over the years been a strong supporter of not only the fine arts but of contemporary dance in particular. Having performances such as this visit us is our reward for that support.
Dance Cleveland is thankful for their funders, sponsors and supporters that include The Cleveland Foundation, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The George Gund Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Anonymous, Akron Community Foundation, Eva L. and Joseph M. Bruening Foundation, John P. Murphy Foundation, Ohio Arts Council, PNC, The Reinberger Foundation, Eaton Corporation Charitable Fund, The George W. Codrington Charitable Foundation, The Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation, Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation, Arts Midwest Touring Fund, FirstMerit Foundation, Nordson Corporation, New England Foundation for the Arts and Sterling Jewelers.