New Orleans Ballet Association
2010-2011 Season of Dance Visionaries
MOMIX Kicks Off Season with its Largest Production Ever!
"Botanica is the IMAX version of dance theater…a savvy mix of puppetry, strobe lights and multi-media." – Star Ledger
Go green when the local favorite MOMIX bursts onto the stage of The Mahalia Jackson Theater of Performing Arts with the New Orleans premiere of Botanica on October 22 and 23 at 8pm. This magical theatrical experience in motion - the kind of provocative, whimsical entertainment that only MOMIX can deliver - is sure to seduce audiences and leave them enlightened and electrified.
With an eclectic score ranging from birdsongs to Vivaldi, Botanica is Artistic Director Moses Pendleton's latest creation for MOMIX. As one of the world’s best known companies of dancer-illusionists, MOMIX is famed for its ability to combine imaginative athletic dance, riveting music, inventive costumes and spellbinding choreography. Botanica is a brilliant exploration of nature with large scale puppets, projected imagery, and larger-than-life props designed by Michael Curry (The Lion King) to create a world of surrealistic images and childlike wonder.
“Botanica evokes humor, beauty, and the excitement of birth, life and change, and with excellent choreography, exquisite dancers, enticing music, and carefully selected costumes, backdrop, and props, conveys a message of ecological connection and evolution.” (Where Rome)
For Botanica, Pendleton drew his inspiration from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. The show is divided into two parts, Winter/Spring and Summer/Fall, represented through optical illusions combined with effective dynamic structures. The production not only follows the rhythms of the seasons, but also the evolution of the world and the passing of the day, all thrillingly brought to life by the magical, renewable energy of the MOMIX dancers.
Whether it’s birds, bugs, trees, dinosaurs or flowers; in Botanica, the illusionist-dancers play with the expert use of light to transform their bodies into a little bit of everything nature has to offer. “This is the very essence of MOMIX,” said Pendleton. “You have got to use your imagination, and in our shows we try to create what I call ‘optical confusion,’ designed to excite the brain cells and stimulate creativity.”
Since 1993, NOBA has presented MOMIX five times in New Orleans, and the company has performed a multitude of works, ranging from the classics like Baseball, Dream Catcher and Orbit to the theatrical extravaganza Opus Cactus. Botanica first debuted in Italy in 2009 and has since toured to sold-out houses around the world. With multiple companies performing seven full-length works by Pendleton, MOMIX is the most toured American dance theater in the world. It has maintained an environmentally conscious profile at its headquarters in rural northwest Connecticut since long before the current fashion for all things green.
The MOMIX performances begin at 8pm; ticket prices range from $20 to $125. Students and seniors (65 and older) receive a $6 discount off the regular ticket prices of $40 and higher. Group discounts also are available. For tickets or information, call the New Orleans Ballet Association Box Office at (504) 522-0996. Tickets may be purchased online through www.nobadance.com, or via Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com.
In addition to the performance, MOMIX will also conduct a community master class on Friday, October 23, at 10:30am at Tulane University’s McWilliams Hall. For more information about master class opportunities call (504) 522-0996 x 203 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Official Airline of the New Orleans Ballet Association is American Airlines, and the Official Hotel is Sheraton New Orleans.
MOMIX Company History
Known internationally for presenting work of exceptional inventiveness and physical beauty, MOMIX is a company of dancer-illusionists under the direction of Moses Pendleton. For over 25 years, MOMIX has been celebrated for its ability to conjure up a world of surrealistic images using props, light, shadow, humor and the human body. In addition to stage performances world-wide, the company has frequently worked on special projects, in film and in television, and was most recently seen in the premiere of a commercial for Target aired during the Golden Globes award ceremony in January 2010. They have also appeared in a national commercial for Hanes underwear. MOMIX has made five Italian RAI television features broadcast to 55 countries (including the USSR and China) and has performed on Antenne II in France. MOMIX was also featured in PBS’s Dance in America series.
The company participated in the Homage a Picasso in Paris and was selected to represent the United States at the European Cultural Center at Delphi. MOMIX dancers Cynthia Quinn and Karl Baumann played the role of “Bluey” in the film FX II, under the direction of Moses Pendleton. The company is featured on a Decca Records laser disc, appearing with Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony in the Rhombus Media film of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, winner of an International Emmy for Best Performing Arts Special. In 1992, Pendleton created Bat Habits, developed with the support of the Scottsdale Cultural Council/Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Scottsdale Arizona and the University of Washington to celebrate the opening of the San Francisco Giants’ new spring training park in Scottsdale, Arizona. This work was the forerunner of Baseball, which was created by Pendleton in 1994.
MOMIX is featured in one of the first IMAX films in 3-D, IMAGINE, which premiered at the Taejon Expo 93 and was subsequently released at IMAX theaters worldwide. In 2004, White Widow, co-choreographed by Moses Pendleton and Cynthia Quinn, was featured in Robert Altman’s movie, The Company. MOMIX has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Spain, Greece, Italy, France, Germany, Russia, Denmark, Spain, England, Austria, Ireland, Holland, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. The company is based in Washington, Connecticut.
Moses Pendleton, Artistic Director
Moses Pendleton has been one of America’s most innovative and widely performed choreographers and directors for over 40 years. A founding member of the ground-breaking Pilobolus Dance Theater in 1971, he formed his own company, MOMIX, in 1980. Pendleton was born and raised on a dairy farm in Northern Vermont, and his earliest experiences as a showman came from exhibiting his family’s dairy cows at the Caledonian County Fair. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Dartmouth College in 1971 and immediately began touring with Pilobolus, which had grown out of dance classes with Alison Chase at Dartmouth. The group shot to fame in the1970’s, 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, Pendleton had begun to work outside of Pilobolus, performing in and serving as principal choreographer for the Paris Opera’s Integrale Erik Satie in 1979 and choreographing the Closing Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics at Lake Placid in 1980. In 1981 he created MOMIX, which rapidly established an international reputation for highly inventive and often illusionistic choreography. The company has made numerous special programs for Italian and French television and received the Gold Medal of the Verona Festival in 1994.
Pendleton has also been active as a performer and choreographer for other companies. He has staged Picabia’s Dadaist ballet Relache for the Joffrey Ballet and Tutuguri, based on the writings of Artaud, for the Deutsch Opera. He created the role of the Fool for Yuri Lyubimov’s production of Mussorgsky’s Khovanschina at La Scala and choreographed Rameau’s Platee for the US Spoleto Festival in 1987. He contributed choreography to Lina Wertmuller’s production of Carmen at the Munich State Opera in 1993, and choreographed new works for the Arizona Ballet and the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. He also teamed up with Danny Ezralow and David Parsons to choreograph AEROS with the Romanian gymnastics team.
His film and television work includes Moses Pendleton Presents Moses Pendleton for ABC ARTS cable (winner of a Cine Golden Eagle award), and he has made music videos with Prince, Julian Lennon, and Cathy Dennis, among others. Pendleton is an avid photographer with works presented in Italy and the United States. Images of his sunflower plantings at his home in northwestern Connecticut have been featured in numerous books and articles on gardening, and he is the subject of the book Salto di Gravita by Lisavetta Scarbi, published in Italy in 1999. Pendleton was a recipient of the 1998 Connecticut Commission on the Arts Governor’s Award, the 1999 Positano Choreographic Award, and was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1977. He is a recipient of a 2002 American Choreography Award, and in 2010 received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts and delivered the keynote address to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
New Orleans Ballet Association is celebrating 41 years of bringing dance to life and is the Central Gulf region’s premiere presenting and service organization dedicated solely to the art of dance. NOBA’s dynamic Main Stage season annually features a diverse array of world-class companies and artists. Each year NOBA provides concerts, classes, workshops and lectures to more than 25,000 area dance enthusiasts of all ages. In addition, NOBA’s nationally recognized award-winning education programs provide the youth of our community access to quality arts programs with 3,000 free dance classes and workshops annually at eleven sites throughout the Greater New Orleans area.
This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), which believes that a great nation deserves great art; a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered by the Arts Council of New Orleans (ACNO); a Community Arts Grant made possible through the City of New Orleans as administered by ACNO; a grant from the Louisiana State Arts Council through the Louisiana Division of the Arts and the NEA.