Momix's latest production uses black light, acrobatics and puppets to give the illusion that dancers are floating.
An illusion is created so it appears that Momix dancers have no means of support
Moses Pendleton has received mixed reviews for his latest Momix dance production, "Lunar Sea." His response -- "You can't please all of the people all the time. You need to go in with an open mind."
The Boston Globe said: "Momix's dancers are excellent -- acrobatic, athletic, extraordinarily strong, and flexible. But unlike some of the company's other pieces, 'Lunar Sea' puts them to the service of too much gimmickry and not enough dance."
Presented by Momix dance company
On stage: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Place: Hawaii Theatre
Admission: $18, $28, $38 and $48. Discounts for students, seniors and military
Call: 528-0506 or visit hawaiitheatre.com
Pendleton, however, describes the production as "like watching a ballet on the moon."
"Lunar Sea" uses black light, acrobatic choreography, puppets, humor and costumes to create the illusion that the dancers have no visible means of support. "It offers another sense of gravity," Pendleton said.
Puppets created by Michael Curry move through the air and dancers glow in the dark and seem to float. A compilation of music, including pieces by Hans Zimmer, add to the experience. "There are 21 pieces stitched together -- a whole variety of music mix, from rhythm to rock."
Sometimes, Pendleton shades out certain body parts through "trademarked use of magical lighting and imagery." In some segments, male dancers in black become invisible as they support female partners, in white. "The male partners are manipulating the women, making them appear as dolphins, jumping on the moon," he said.
"Many times in ballet, we are watching an illusion, as a dancer is flying through the air partnered by a male. I've just erased the male."
The use of black light makes things "surreal and adds to the dream," according to Pendleton. "It's more magical when you can't see how it is being done."
Pendleton was one of the founding members of the Pilobolus Dance Theater and is now artistic director and choreographer of the 35-member troupe Momix, established in the 1980s.
Half of the fun of "Lunar Sea" is finding out how the illusions are created, Pendleton said. "Then people can sit back and just enjoy the show."