Orange County’s own, Gregory DeArmond, will dance in a California premiere of MOMIX: Alchemia at Irvine Barclay Theatre
March 11, 2015 at 8pm
Tickets: $60, $49; Gold Seats $100
4242 Campus Drive, Irvine CA
www.thebarclay.org | 949.854.4646
With nothing more than light and shadow, props, the human body, and an epic imagination, MOMIX has astonished audiences on five continents for more than 35 years. The company combines athleticism, riveting music, exquisite costumes and spellbinding choreography to create a world of surrealistic images and wonder.
MOMIX’s newest work, Alchemia, is all about the art of alchemy, and the alchemy of art. It’s an enchanting, phantasmagorical multimedia spectacle brimming with sensual beauty and humor. With astonishing inventiveness, the dancer-illusionists of Momix manipulate the four classic elements of earth, air, fire and water to produce a show full of surprising metamorphoses and sublime modern movement.
The performance will include Orange County’s own, Gregory DeArmonnd, who joined the company in 2014.
Artistic Director Moses Pendleton: "I started with a picture first, with the idea of life and fire and death, and then found the music that lived alongside these earthly beings, and then came to the movement. There is this great opportunity when you are creating to turn your own black thought into a golden opportunity."
"It's a passage from darkness into light," change, like birth is not an easy process."
"We don't really paint how the world is, but how it might be. If you walk out of the theater with a little less gravity in your step, perhaps we've been successful. Through years of hard work, we have tried to describe and show a view of humor, beauty and lightness of spirit that the world today is so much in need of."
Moses Pendleton (Artistic Director) has been one of America’s most innovative and widely performed choreographers and directors for over 40 years. A co-founder of the ground-breaking Pilobolus Dance Theater in 1971, he formed his own company, MOMIX, in 1980. Mr. Pendleton has also worked extensively in film, TV, and opera and as a choreographer for ballet companies and special events.
Mr. Pendleton was born and raised on a dairy farm in northern Vermont. His earliest experiences as a showman came from exhibiting his family’s dairy cows at the Caledonian County Fair. He received his B.A. in English Literature from Dartmouth College in 1971. Pilobolus began touring immediately and the group shot to fame in the1970’s, performing on Broadway under the sponsorship of Pierre Cardin, touring internationally, and appearing in PBS’s Dance in America and Great Performances series.
By the end of the decade, Mr. Pendleton had begun to work outside of Pilobolus, performing in and serving as principal choreographer for the Paris Opera’s Integrale Erik Satie in 1979 and choreographing the Closing Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics at Lake Placid in 1980. In 1981, he created MOMIX, which rapidly established an international reputation for highly inventive and often illusionistic choreography. The troupe has been touring steadily and is currently performing several programs internationally. The company has made numerous special programs for Italian and French television and received the Gold Medal of the Verona Festival in 1994.
Mr. Pendleton has also been active as a performer and choreographer for other companies. He has staged Picabia’s Dadaist ballet Relache for the Joffrey Ballet and Tutuguri, based on the writings of Artaud, for the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
He created the role of the Fool for Yuri Lyubimov’s production of Mussorgsky’s Khovanschina at La Scala and choreographed Rameau’s Platee for the U.S. Spoleto Festival in 1987. He contributed choreography to Lina Wertmuller’s production of Carmen at the Munich State Opera in 1993. More recently, he has choreographed new works for the Arizona Ballet and the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. He teamed up with Danny Ezralow and David Parsons to choreograph AEROS with the Romanian gymnastics team.
His film and television work includes the feature film FX2 with Cynthia Quinn, Moses Pendleton Presents Moses Pendleton for ABC ARTS cable (winner of a Cine Golden Eagle Award) and Pictures at an Exhibition with Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony, which received an International Emmy for Best Performing Arts Special in 1991. Mr. Pendleton has made music videos with Prince, Julian Lennon and Cathy Dennis, among others.
Mr. Pendleton is an avid photographer with works presented in Rome, Milan, Florence and Aspen. Images of his sunflower plantings at his home in northwestern Connecticut have been featured in numerous books and articles on gardening. He is the subject of the book Salto di Gravita by Lisavetta Scarbi, published in Italy in 1999. Mr. Pendleton was a recipient of the Connecticut Commission on the Arts Governor’s Award in 1998. He received the Positano Choreographic Award in 1999 and was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1977. He is a recipient of a 2002 American Choreography Award for his contributions to choreography for film and television. In May 2010, Mr. Pendleton received an honorary doctorate of fine arts (HDFA) and delivered the keynote address at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Most recently, Mr. Pendleton choreographed Doves of Peace, featuring Diana Vishneva, for the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
“My experience outside the dance world helped train the brain, which is another muscle to be exercised," Pendleton says. "Any means of developing an aesthetic sense is valuable for the creation of dances. I may rely on Keats, Shelley or Byron (He holds a B.A. in English literature) as much as Bach or Balanchine, or bumblebees gathering pollen from the head of a giant sunflower.”
"You never know when you'll be attacked by an idea. As a creative person, you must be prepared to accept the muse from any direction."
REVIEWS & INTERVIEWS
"The audience floats out on a dizzying high of pleasure." - Chicago Tribune
About the Company
MOMIX is a company of dancer-illusionists under the direction of Moses Pendleton. In addition to stage performances world-wide, MOMIX has worked in film and television, appearing in a national commercial for Hanes underwear and a Target ad that premiered during the airing of the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards. With performances on PBS’s Dance in America series, France’s Antenne II, and Italian RAI television, the company’s repertory has been broadcast to 55 countries. Joining the Montreal Symphony in the Rhombus Media film of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, winner of an International Emmy for Best Performing Arts Special, the company’s performance was distributed on laser disc by Decca Records. MOMIX was also featured in IMAGINE, one of the first 3-D IMAX films to be released in IMAX theatres world-wide. MOMIX dancers Cynthia Quinn and Karl Baumann, under Moses Pendleton’s direction, played the role of “Bluey” in the feature film, FX2; and White Widow, co-choreographed by Moses Pendleton and Cynthia Quinn, was featured in Robert Altman’s movie, The Company. Commissioned by corporations such as Fiat and Mercedes Benz, MOMIX performed at Fiat’s month-long 100th Anniversary Celebration in Torino, Italy, and Mercedes Benz’s International Auto Show in Frankfurt, Germany. Participating in the Homage a Picasso in Paris, the company was also selected to represent the U.S. at the European Cultural Center at Delphi. With the support of the Scottsdale Cultural Council Scottsdale Center for the Arts in Scottsdale, Arizona, Mr. Pendleton created Bat Habits to celebrate the opening of the San Francisco Giants’ new spring training park in Scottsdale. This work served as the forerunner of Baseball and joins such acclaimed original productions as Lunar Sea, Opus Cactus, Orbit, Passion and Botanica. With nothing more than light and shadow, props, the human body, and an epic imagination, MOMIX has astonished audiences on five continents for more than 35 years.
Gregory DeArmond grew up in southern California and trained at the Saddleback Dance Center, Golden State Ballet and Ballet Pacifica. He graduated cum laude from the University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in structures. While attending UCI, he was honored as a William J. Gillespie Scholar in ballet studies and as a Gregory Osborne Memorial Scholar. After graduating, Gregory joined the North Carolina Dance Theatre in 2010.
In July 2010, he appeared at Irvine Barclay Theatre in the National Choreographers Initiative, dancing in Luminous (Peter Quanz, choreographer) and The Process: Discovery and Integration (Ann Marie deAngelo, choreographer). Under the artistic direction of Molly Lynch, NCI is a southern California project with national influence. Since 2004, NCI has hosted 37 choreographers, 88 dancers, and has produced 40 new works - 22 of which have been produced by companies throughout the United States.Gregory joined MOMIX in 2014.