If it isn’t magical, it isn’t Momix. The ensemble of illusionists extraordinaire returned to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Tuesday night with “reMIX.”
And like last year’s eye-popping “Botanica,” this best of Momix moments fascinated with its trademark blend of imagination and fantasy — all wrapped up in a world that swings from primal to futuristic, hypnotic to hysterical.
Certainly, it’s difficult to pigeonhole the Momix aesthetic. Artistic Director Moses Pendleton uses every theatrical technique known and invents even more to create his otherworldly universes. He is also blessed with an incredibly skilled troupe of 11 dancers whose athleticism and physical beauty astound. The combination has been fruitful for Pendleton who has choreographed everything from the Golden Globes to the Olympics.
Since Pendleton has been doing this for more than 30 years, there were many Momix hits from which he could choose. He offered up some of his best.
The program opened with one of Pendleton’s early works, “Millenium Skiv A,” with veterans Nicole Loizides and Steven Ezra dancing on skis. Rocking back and forth and balancing on the tips, these two strong dancers transform the clunky boots into trampolines that launch them into space.
Ezra dazzled in all of the evening’s most demanding duets, including “Tuu,” with Rebecca Rasmussen clinging to him as he pitched and swung her about. The precision pairing and mesmerizing minimalistic music made work trancelike.
The two were also wonderful — fluid and in tune — as they spun and flew off a large, rolling figure eight in “Dream Catcher.”
More amazing was Ezra’s dynamic solo “Table Talk,” in which he partners with a table like a gymnast swooping over a pommel horse.
Another evening highlight (there were so many) was “Sputnik (Fellow Travelers).” This erotic piece feels like a fertility ritual, which has couples soaring through the air on poles attached to a continually spinning disk on which a woman, or goddess, sits, raising and snaking her arms as if calling spirits. It was fascinating.
Momix likes to have fun too. In “E.C,” dancers, moving behind a scrim, create an alternate world. With the use of light and sleight-of-hand, the dancers create a man falling from a skyscraper, spiders descending on a thread, an extraterrestrial and giants who kick little people out of the way.
The evening ended with a spoof on ballet, “If You Need Some Body.” Concealed behind mannequins, who fought and got their heads wedged under skirts, the dancers jeted and twirled in an antic-filled finale that delighted.
The large audience responded with whoops and a standing ovation.
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