MOMIX, a dance-illusionist company, brought their latest work “Botanica” to the Staller Center on Friday March, 11th. The performance roused a well-deserved standing ovation from the audience but was too eccentric at times.
One of the 24 pieces called “August of Wind Storms” involved dancers spinning with massive flags in order to create the illusion of tornadoes. This was not the only instance in which the illusions overpowered the dancing and left me wondering if I was at a magic show or a modern dance performance.
A piece that had the crowd roaring was a reverse shadow-puppet scene. The dancers’ arms were glowing neon green and they created everything from a smiley face to swans and a full dancing ballerina. It had the crowd chuckling at the humor but the dancing was buried in the dark.
The dancing was not completely lost and came through strong during a piece in the second act where four women used sunflower fans to create a gorgeous, visual spectacle. They performed a balletic port de bra. At some point during this performance, two men strapped on roller blades and performed arabesques across the stage. It was startling, but the amazing lines created by the dancers’ body was enough to make up for it.
The illusions were all possible because of outrageous props. Everything from a skeleton of a triceratops to orange pool noodles were brought on stage during the two-act performance. I cannot give enough praise to the people behind scenes keeping all these props organized.
Overall, the strong technicality and creative aspects of the dancing trumped the magic-show feeling of the performance. MOMIX wowed the crowds surprised dance fans in the best way possible.