Sarah and I have enjoyed Momix twice in the last two years. So when we saw they were coming back with a new show called Dreamcatcher, we were right there at the box office.
As it turns out Dreamcatcher is a “greatest hits’ collection, not unlike Momix Remix, the first one we saw. Since last year we saw the show Botanica, which has a few greatest hits of its own, that means we have seen some of these performances three times now. That was a little disappointing. On the plus side, this is the first time we had seats in the balcony. Our first time we had middle of the floor level, which was very cool. Second time we were very close to the stage which was interesting for different reasons. But from the balcony, you can see the patterns that the dancers make and you can’t see the dancers in the pieces where they are “hidden.” (When we were close I could see the dancers, which was interesting in and of itself, but it did remove some of the magic).
I wish that I had included a “setlist” from the previous shows, to see just how many we have seen multiple times (there were a couple that were similar but definitely different in some aspect or another). So this time I will be placing the setlist at the bottom.
The show started with the Dreamcatcher piece (I didn’t remember it being called that). It is one with a very large structure (about ten by 20 but asymmetrical and rounded) which rolls around the stage while the dancers rise and fall or let the item roll around on them. It’s hypnotizing and the precision is pretty amazing.
One of our favorite dances, which is always used as a an advertising shot consists of five women dressed in ruffles. They begin looking like little fluffy animals, then as thy dance around the ruffles “move” on their body. So the ruffles start as a kind of shoulder accessory, then after some moves they appear at their waists (while the women look like chickens). Eventually they go to their ankles like flamenco dancers. It’s so clever.
I didn’t really care for the Hornets piece, although the beginning with them flapping their PVC pipes was pretty cool. But the sunflowers piece, which my notes say I’ve seen before but which I don;t recall seeing was very cool. The dancers had petals that when they placed together looked like giant sunflowers. But as the dance went on they moved the feather around and even flapped them like butterflies (with just their legs). It was very cool.
The set ended with EC a multimedia presentation that I had forgotten about but which we had seen in Remix. It’s very cool, with the dancers being projected on a large screen and them playing around with proportions. Very funny.
Okay, but what’s this about acrobats?
Well, the second half really demonstrated a lot more of the strength (amazing strength) that these dancers possess the dances were more about showcasing the body–in its beauty, in its strength and in its grace. And it was amazing to watch. “Frozen Awakening” is a cool piece in which a woman on a giant mirror slides around. The mirror of course makes it so you cannot tell which is her and which is the reflection. From our balcony seats this year, this piece was really amazing. “Old Bones Rising” was two dinosaur sculptures. From our distance we couldn’t see the dancers (when we were closer last time we could) and it was very hard to know how they did it. Last time the piece was quite long with a long plot. In this one is was a more transitional piece, where two stegosaurus walked across the stage.
Our favorite piece, called “Tuu,” featured a man and a woman. She began the dance wrapped around his neck (by her knee?!) and proceeded to uncurl herself into amazing positions, all while he himself balanced and did wonderfully graceful moves. And here’s the difference between a dancer and an acrobats–these dancers never wavered, never wiggled, never seemed for a second that they were uncomfortable–they were beyond graceful. So at one point when he did a hand stand and she did a handstand on his back, it was fluid and amazing. I mean, look at that picture.
There was also a solo act in which one of the male dancers performed amazing feats of strength all based around a table called “Table Talk.”. When he held himself up parallel to the floor with his arms in some crazy position, the room was speechless–until the dancer looked at us and nodded, letting us know that this was an applause-worthy moment. It was just as amazing to see the second time.
“Spawning” was a skit in which four women did some interesting things with bouncing balls. They hopped on them, spun around on them (is it possible they had no pants on?). As the set ended a surprise was revealed. It transformed the piece from okay to amazing.
“Aqua Flora” was a solo dance by a woman who had a headdress made of strings (she looked like a jellyfish). And most of the dance she spun and the strings all spun around her head sticking out like rays of light. It was mesmerizing, especially when you realize that she was spinning for three or so minutes continuously.
The final dance (set to Bach) had the dancers partnered up with a mannequin. They leaped and bounded around the stage throwing these dummies as part of the routine–sometimes the dummies were tucked into the men’s tutus, while the women’s were mostly independent–but they way they swung them around was frantic and hilarious but also amazing to watch. It’s a wonderful end to a fun night.
Their “bow” is also a lot of fun, in which they keep coming back out doing funny little routines–so just hope the people in front of you don’t do a standing ovation right away.
Dreamcatcher (sculpture) *
Marigolds (the orange dresses) **
Hornets (guys dressed like, well hornets) *
Baths of Caracalla (white flowy skirts that wave around)
Birds of a Feather* (bird calls and rollerskates)
Sunflowers (cool sequence with sunflower/butterfly design)*
Man Fan [not actually performed] (guy with very large “fan” on head)*
E.C. (video screen with two people intermingling) *
Frozen Awakening (mirrored ramp)
Old Bones Rising (dinosaurs)
Swans to Dream
Tuu (two people–super cool)
Spawning (helium balloons)
Table Talk (amazing table demonstration) *
Aqua Flora (spinning beads) **
If You Need Some Body (mannequins)*
* have seen once before
** have seen twice before