A desert feast of form and fantasy



If the presence of illusionistic theatrical elements is overwhelming, from the start, and as a counterpoint, the dancers display an equally astonishing technical proficiency.

Fusing contemporary circus art, dance, theatre, and music, MOMIX closed out Dance Affiliate’s NextMove Dance Series with Opus Cactus, a theatrical spectacle.

Conceptualized and directed by MOMIX artistic director Moses Pendleton, Opus Cactus engages the senses with puppetry, special effects lighting, and agile bodies. Set to a mesmerizing score ranging in musical genres, this journey through the American southwest was originally created for Ballet Arizona, and was a delightful blend of dancing forms and fantasy.

Built on 19 vignettes, this visual treat was crafted to animate the seldom-seen beauty of the desert landscape. Although Pendleton successfully guided this physical delight, it was the dancers’ approach to each section that demonstrated their strength, technique, versatility, and awareness, allowing them to seamlessly fuse their training with the demands of circus art and physical theatre, creating sublime illusions.

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