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Momix Dazzles in Top Athletic Style


What's a five-letter word for capricious, clever and athletically buff?


Momix, under director-choreographer Moses Pendleton's canny guidance--he founded the company in 1981--again proved popular fare on Saturday night, wowing the crowd at Orange Coast College's Robert B. Moore Theatre.

Old favorites and three works new to the Southland comprised a 14-part program, where sleight of body movements and muscular high jinks ruled. "Jonas et Latude" (1996), opened the evening with a Vivaldi score accompanying a quasi-jailbird scenario. Featuring Timothy Acito and Brian Sanders in prison stripes, the agile duo somersaulted, fetally bounced and displayed balletic grace in, on and around a two-tiered steel cot. Moving from Marx Brothers mayhem to a whining siren finale, the piece amplified the confinement metaphor to one of dreamy hope.

Erin Elliott displayed superhuman control in 1996's "Orbit." Using an updated Hula-Hoop, Elliott wriggled and posed from one-legged stances to demi-plies, keeping the hoop in motion. This Elliott-Pendleton opus bewitched, with Howell Binkley's lighting and the performer's stamina dominating.

Another premiere, "Underwater Study #5," found Sanders performing his own magic as he created illusions of breast-stroking and amazing mechanical-like side splits and slide moves.

Yasmine Lee shone in "Kiss Off Spider Woman," while she, Elliott and Cynthia Quinn charmed in "Spawning," the trio resembling topless Erte sculptures balancing balloons on various body parts.

Momix may not be dance at its purest, but its artful entertainment quotient remains high.

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