Author: Michelle Vendegna, A&E Spotlight

DAILY CAMERA: Momix brings dreamlike dance to Boulder

‘Opus Cactus’ elevates desert magic to the stage

The imagery of the Sonoran desert and deserts worldwide come through a dance called “Opus Cactus,” presented by Momix.

“When day goes into night you really see the magic of that area,” said Moses Pendleton, founder and artistic director of Momix.

Pendleton grew up on a dairy farm in Vermont. The name Momix, derived from a feed supplement, honors his farm days. He was an avid skier, and his dream was to pursue downhill skiing. A broken leg led him to try a dance class.

“I liked her better than my ski coach,” he said of his dance teacher.

He started his first dance company, Pilobolus, in 1971 followed by Momix in 1980. Pendleton said part of his move into dance had to do with the political and socioeconomic climate in the late 1960s, early ’70s.

“Music and dance and art was in the air and I was just part of that movement,” he said.

He feels fortunate that he was able to carry it on as a career.

“Opus Cactus,” Momix’s latest show, will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins and at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2, at Macky Auditorium in Boulder.

“Opus Cactus” was originally a 20-minute show, commissioned by Ballet Arizona.

“I am interested in the subject, another one of those nature pieces I liked,” Pendleton said. He had more ideas for the show than were possible for the Ballet Arizona production. The original piece drew from the Sonoran desert and featured mainly Native American music. The expanded version includes Native American, Arabic and Aboriginal music.

“It gives you a sense of travel through deserts worldwide,” Pendleton said. The show uses visual illusions to portray plants, scenery and animals through lighting, props and dancers.

“It’s how the human body…

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