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Leading Dance Theatre Company Comes to THE EDGE

News Release – 3 December 2003

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Leading Dance Theatre Company Comes to THE EDGE


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Tumbleweeds tumble, lizards slither and flowers blossom as the natural beauty of the American desert landscape dances to life when leading American dance theatre company Momix performs its visually stunning production of Opus Cactus in Auckland in early 2004.

For the first time ever in New Zealand, THE EDGE®, in association with Columbia Artists Management Inc, presents Opus Cactus in the ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, THE EDGE® from February 10-15.

Inspired by the giant saguaro cactus of Southwest America, Opus Cactus is the creation of American dance legend Moses Pendleton, co-founder of Pilobolus Dance Theatre and founder of Momix.

Based in Washington, Momix is known for its mind-boggling and body-bending images and has been celebrated worldwide for its ability to conjure up a universe of surrealistic images using props, light, shadow, humour and the human body, blurring the boundaries of classical ballet, modern dance, gymnastics, acrobatics, aerial arts and human puppetry.

Sold out at the Verona Festival in Italy, Momix’s Opus Cactus has wowed audiences throughout the world, and now, in this strictly limited Auckland season, THE EDGE® gives New Zealand audiences the opportunity to see the astonishing talents of this dance theatre company.

Opus Cactus is Moses Pendleton’s sensual celebration of the natural beauty and indigenous creatures of the American Southwest’s Sonoran Desert – from the fluttering cactus wren to the slithering human Gila monster.

“It’s very sensuous and very organic,” Moses Pendleton says. “I use the dancers’ bodies to connect the flora and fauna.”

Opus Cactus also features an eclectic array of music – from Bach to Brian Eno – and full-stage puppet creations by Michael Curry, one of the creators of the puppets for Disney’s The Lion King.

“… there are enough of those patented Momix moments – when your eyes forget to blink and your breath forgets to come out – to make ‘Cactus’ another winning addition to the repertory” – Newsday

“The beauty of Momix’s ideas is partly in their simplicity, partly in their acknowledgement of rhythm, humour, sex and amazing grace of the human body.” – San Francisco Bay Guardian

“This zany group got off to a rip-roaring start as a packed house clamoured for more.” – The New York Times

Tickets for Opus Cactus at the ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, THE EDGE® go on sale on December 15. Book at Ticketek 09 307-5000 or online at www.ticketek.com


BACKGROUND PROFILE
Moses Pendleton
Momix Founder/Artistic Director/Choreographer

Born and raised on a dairy farm in northern Vermont, Moses Pendleton co-founded Pilobolus Dance Theatre in 1971. In the early 1970s, Pilobolus won worldwide acclaim for its innovative blend of acrobatics and imagination, including the Berlin Critics Prize in 1975.

Moses began working outside Pilobolus in 1980 when he choreographed the closing ceremonies for the Winter Olympics at Lake Placid. He also performed his solo, Momix, at the Games, which became the name of the company he founded the following year.

In addition to his work with Momix, Moses has been active as choreographer and performer for numerous other companies. In 1980 he revived Picabia’s Dadaist Ballet Relache for the Joffrey Ballet. He created the role of the fool for Yuri Lyubimov’s production of Mussorgsky’s Kovanschina at Milan’s La Scala in 1982 and later that year staged and performed in the Deutsche Opera’s production of Tutuguri, based on the writings of Antonin Artaud, in Berlin.

He choreographed Stravinsky’s Pulcinella for the Ballet de Nancy in 1985 and Rameau’s Platee for the US Spoleto Festival in 1987.

In 1988 he supplied choreographic mise-en-scene for a revival of Cocteau’s Les Maries de la Tour Eiffel for the inauguration of the Florence Gould Hall at the Alliance Francaise in New York and in 1989 he choreographed AccorDION for the Vorbuhne-Zurich Theatre.

He contributed the choreography for Lina Wertmuller’s production of Carmen with the Munich State Opera in 1993.

Moses has also performed as a soloist in dance galas in Europe and at the Metropolitan Opera. His film work includes Moses Pendleton presents Moses Pendleton for ABC Arts in 1982, winner of a Cine Golden Eagle award; Julian Lennon’s Too Late for Goodbyes, directed by Sam Peckinpah in 984; and the 1991 film FXII.

Moses has directed numerous special programmes for Antenne II in France and RAI Television in Italy. He co-starred with Charles Dutoit in the Enmy Award-winning Rhombus Media film of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.

Also active in music videos, his work appears in Prince’s Batdance music video for the3 movie Batman, and rock videos for the bands White Lion and Shadowfax, and for pop singer Cathy Dennis.

Through Pilobolus, his work has been seen in PBS’ Dance in America and Great Performances series.

He has appeared on The Tonight Show and in the morning on Sesame Street.

Moses Pendleton’s other projects include a workshop production of Disney Theatrical’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame; a commission for the Arizona Ballet rooted in Native American folklore; In Movimento, a live production for Procter & Gamble with the Romanian National Gymnastic Team; and FIAT’s 100th birthday celebration in Torino, Italy.

ENDS

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