MOMIX to perform their newest magical multimedia piece "Lunar Sea"

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 02/18/2007 - 15:57.
03/09/2007 - 20:00
03/09/2007 - 23:00


Photo: Max Pucciariello

MOMIX is returning to Cleveland to perform their newest magical multimedia piece Lunar Sea. The astoundingly creative mind of Moses Pendleton triumphs again with this exploration of the Lunar Sea and the other worldly creatures that inhabit.


Jack Anderson, dance critic for the New York Times says this is a performance that “defies concepts of weight and gravity – and everything is magical.” 

The L.A. Herald Examiner says about a MOMIX performance, “People shouted out, gasped and applauded furiously. 

MOMIX is ideal for turning audiences onto dance.”  Returning to Cleveland for their fourth DANCECleveland engagement, this performance features “glowing extraterrestrial Medusas, headless ballerinas and predatory spiders. 

Web site:


MOMIX performing Lunar Sea

Mar 9, 8 pm, State Theatre, Playhouse Square Center.

MOMIX Family Performance,

Mar 10, 2 pm, State Theatre. 


Lunar Sea features “glowing extraterrestrial Medusas, headless ballerinas and predatory spiders.  [It’s] an evening-length spectacle filled with optical illusions.” Newark Star Ledger.


Co-presented with DANCECleveland
and Cuyahoga Community College Performing Arts




State Theater
1501 Euclid Ave Playhouse Square Center
Cleveland, OH
United States

MO mix tix discounted

Tix are pricey for this show, but you can get them discounted here.

The Preview

Venture Into the Great 'Lunar Sea'

  • By Lisa Traiger

  • Special to The Washington Post Friday, January 19, 2007

Moses Pendleton spends his days outdoors, walking, gardening, chopping wood. That's no surprise. He was raised on a Vermont dairy farm.

"It's always been a joy for me to be outside," Pendleton said by phone as he watched the sun set behind the hills of Litchfield, in western Connecticut, where he lives on a two-plus-acre spread. "I try to make a living the best I can by being outside, maintaining my farmer attitude toward the great outdoors and finding my roots in the soil and the sun."

When he does venture indoors, it's to create fantastic and whimsical dance-theater pieces -- of all things -- for his 25-year-old dance company, Momix. Pendleton never took to the citified dance world where everyone hurries up and waits for the next audition, rehearsal or performance. Yet his company, based in rural Connecticut, employs 35 to 40 dancers touring the world in five shows at any one time. He has done just fine, thank you, away from dance-centric New York.

A founder of the innovative modern dance collective Pilobolus, which itself grew from a Dartmouth College modern dance class in the early 1970s, Pendleton set out on his own in 1980. Since then he has choreographed works for the closing ceremonies at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., and for the Joffrey Ballet, operas in Europe, dances for music videos and on Broadway, even a touring show with the Romanian national gymnastics team.

By Max Pucciariello/Washington Post

You may have caught a few of his superhuman dancers, in their skivvies, bounding with giant exercise balls in a recent Hanes underwear commercial. Momix -- the name is taken from a nutritional supplement Pendleton fed to the Holstein cows of his youth -- returns to George Mason University's Center for the Arts this weekend with "Lunar Sea," which Pendleton describes as his most challenging piece to date.

The 85-minute work is a trippy, psychedelic homage to anti-gravity with 11 dancers-cum-gymnasts twisting, torquing, curling and supporting one another in mind-boggling configurations. Clad in body-hugging half-black, half-white unitards, the dancers appear as glowing androgynous creatures, levitating above the Earth or disappearing into inky blackness, waxing and waning like the cycles of the moon.

"It's very whimsical," Pendleton said about the Rorschach-like shapes he has assembled to a pulsating mostly techno score. "It might be surprising or somewhat disturbing, but it paints a picture not of how the world is but of how it might be in a more fantastic way. It's one of our most illusionistic, our most magical pieces."

And the day-glow body stockings lit by retro blacklights lend an otherworldly aura to the proceedings: bodies as lines and angles, concave and convex curves, floating as if disconnected from the Earth's gravitational pull.

"People don't realize how difficult it is," Pendleton added, explaining how he has hidden some of the dancers by clothing them head to toe in black. There are few props and wires, and the suspension is accomplished the old-fashioned way: by dancers holding other dancers.

If you don't have that knowledge or feeling for what highly trained bodies can do, he noted, audiences can come away thinking they saw computer tricks or video technology. "Sometimes audiences just don't believe what they're seeing. Nowadays people are used to seeing special effects in movies and computer screens.

"The magic is just how well trained the dancers are and how musical and how powerful. It's that fascination with our own machine -- the human body."

The Reviews

Lunar Sea

  • By Katie Phillips
  • Published Wed 15 November 2006 The Stage London, UK

After last year’s visual spectacle of glowing, morphing desert creatures in Opus Cactus, Moses Pendleton brings his high impact circus/dance/visual theatre company back to London with Lunar Sea, fresh from touring the USA.

Pendleton once again uses his remarkable powers of imagination and vision to combine the planets and an underwater world in this luminescent visual spectacle of levitating moon beams and psychedelic jellyfish, amongst a variety of other fascinating creatures.

Opening scenes of illusion prompt the auditorium to burst into whispers of “perhaps they’re models” or “they must be using wires”. Once you get it, you’re in on the secret and that’s what makes the Momix experience so delightful, the fact that the company constantly offers you gems of visual intrigue and excellence from their mystical box of delights.

Dancers morph into one another, their foreheads pressed together, bodies rippling in clever physical illusion to become ghosts flitting through the night, ethereal mermaids swimming across the dark stage, ice skating planets, glowing, shunting, whirling and spinning mid-air.

The brilliance of the company can be seen in that they do not only rely on the spectacle created by costumes and props but by the shapes that can be created by the body and that powerful tool - the imagination. Give them a shower curtain and an umbrella and you get jellyfish. Give them a pair of stripy Camden market tights and you get a carnivorous spider or two.

Aquarium like music accompanying the dreamy revellers as they perform rolling hypnotic movements on a dark stage is as relaxing as it is enchanting.

Where Nothing Runs Amok and Everything Is Magical

  • By Jack Anderson
  • Published: May 19, 2005 NYTimes

Travel agents should be warned. When they arrive at their offices early in the morning these days, they may find lines of impatient people banging on their doors eager to book excursions to the moon. These are dancegoers who have just seen Moses Pendleton's "Lunar Sea," the fantastic multimedia creation that his company, Momix, presented in a New York premiere on Tuesday night at the Joyce Theater.

By Ting-Li Wang/The New York Times

Members of the Momix company in Moses Pendleton's "Lunar Sea," which had its New York premiere on Tuesday night at the Joyce Theater.

This eye-popping and mind-boggling production suggests that the moon is a jolly place with lots of cool nightlife. It has hot spots as well, but nothing there runs totally amok. And everything looks magical.

Mr. Pendleton derived the concept for his work from the fact that gravity in outer space is not so grave a matter as it is on Earth. He combines acrobatic choreography with puppets by Michael Curry, costumes he designed in collaboration with Phoebe Katzin and Cynthia Quinn and, most important of all, an amazing array of lighting effects he devised with the aid of Joshua Starbuck. A taped collage of pulsing and throbbing music accompanies this New Age journey to the stars.

Black-light effects produce many of the illusions. Dancers glow in the dark and vanish back into it. They tilt at precarious angles and walk, swim, sit and float on the air in yogalike meditation postures. Projections on scrims resemble everything from amorphous ever-changing shapes to earthly landscapes, tree limbs and panoramic views of nocturnal skies.

Ordinary concepts of weight are constantly defied. Dancers bound about without touching the floor, or if they do, they instantly bounce heavenward again. Scurrying creatures appear to be nothing but legs. Body parts miraculously detach themselves and reassemble. Waving arms become bird wings. Shapes zip in and out as if on celestial skateboards. A duet in which Heather Magee and Anthony Heinl are recognizable as human beings, rather than odd critters, becomes a study in passionate entanglements.

Mr. Pendleton's work says nothing profound about astronomy, but it reveals much about the power of theatrical illusion. "Lunar Sea" celebrates the joy of spectacle.

Although most of it is very joyous indeed, near the conclusion ominous music is heard, spiderlike beings look menacing and formations of dancers resemble alien spacecrafts ready to abduct the unwary. Nevertheless, harmony ultimately prevails, making the moon once again safe to visit.

Lunar Sea is a good trip.