Review: Momix in Botanica

Saturday evening I had the pleasure of viewing the Dance St. Louis presentation of Momix in Botanica. Though the show was light on dance, it was full of art and emotion.

When you watch Botanica, the first thing you’ll want to do is look at your program. Moses Pendleton, known for choreographing the 1980 Winter Olympics closing ceremony, works as the art director and his artistic hand guides the show you’re about to see. Also of note is Michael Curry, who has created puppetry for Olympic ceremonies, Cirque du Soleil, and The Lion King.

Michael Curry puppetry in Momix in Botanica

Image Credit: Max Pucciariello, Momix in Botanica

After taking note of the wonderful talents, be sure to read the Synapses. The show is presented in two parts, Winter/Spring and Summer/Fall with a separate poem for each portion of the show. The poem is a tease to allude to the performance you’re about to see but you can only speculate about its meaning until the show begins. During the intermission and after the show I found myself rifling through the playbill to catch details I had missed the first time around and to discover hidden meanings.

Momix in Botanica

Image Credit: Max Pucciariello, Momix in Botanica

The show makes great use of technology to catch your eye and also to distract you as scenes unfold before you. The first half has muses reminiscent of naiads and oceanids emerging from the waves. The next portion of the show focused more on performance than on dance but it brought laughs from the audience and made good use of light and dark. After that, Michael Curry’s puppets had their moment to shine, and the Greek mythology from before makes another appearance in the show. By the intermission I was thoroughly entertained though this was a show based more on style than dance.

Momix in Botanica The Beaded Web

Image Credit: Max Pucciariello, Momix in Botanica

The second half was somehow even more visually stimulating than the first. The tempest of the summer storms expressed through fabric, light, and video made for an amazing show. The emerging sun of the beaded web provided much-needed dancing and one of the most impressive costumes of the night. It was impossible to take your eyes off the dancer as she spun, twisted and turned in a blur of gold. The sunflower dance was another portion loved by the audience and was a perfect transition into the full case dancing the Indian Summer celebration. Using branches to set the stage, the fall dance was more ballroom than ballet and was a bright moment set against the music of Celtic Women. After the triumph of color of the autumn leaves, winter strikes returning the audience to the river once more. Let the last stanza of the poem in your program guide you for what to do next. I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Sunflowers, Momix in Botanica

Image Credit: Max Pucciariello, Momix in Botanica

Beyond the dancing, the music of the show is a performance in itself and it compliments the program nicely. The performers are quite fond of their work and you see the passion in all of their faces. The show is one of the most visually stimulating I have seen performed this year and was a great addition to the Dance St. Louis stage.

Future Performances

  • April 15 & 16: Storrs, Connecticut-Jorgensen Auditorium, 8 PM
  • April 25-30: Cairo, Egypt-Cairo Opera House, various showtimes
  • May 14 & 15: Pourtsmouth, New Hampshire-The Music Hall, 8 PM/2PM
  • July 10-14: Moscow, Russia-Chekov International Theater Festival, 7 PM
  • December 13-31: New York, New York-Joyce Theater, various showtimes
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I'm Julie, I love to travel, I'm very hyper and I like to "hype" things and from that, TravelHyper was born. I'm a Missouri native and I cover St. Louis travel ideas as well as my own travels. I also like to focus on places I want to visit and budget travel ideas by creating trip plans. There's so much world out there and I hope you'll find that it's worth seeing and that vacation doesn't have to be out of reach to you.

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