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Creature Feature

Dance ensemble likes the way centipedes and other critters move.

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Modern-dance troupe Momix finds inspiration in the most unlikely places. Artistic director Moses Pendleton studies the way exotic animals move and then bases pieces on them. “Lunar Sea,” which Momix performs this weekend, started out as a “10-person Holstein cow,” he says. But after a dancer sporting green tights walked in front of a light, the piece took a different direction: “We thought of a centipede,” says Pendleton. Voilà! “Lunar Sea” became a non-narrative work in which dancers mingle with puppets and techno tunes.

More than anything, the piece brings to life otherworldly creatures unbound by gravity. “It’s a ballet on the moon,” says Pendleton, who hopes viewers bond with the masked performers, despite the anonymity the masks confer. “Just because you can’t see their faces, it doesn’t mean you don’t interact,” he says. “You still feel their personality, sensitivity, and intelligence.” Best of all, it’s all done with zero special effects -- just costumes, lighting, and dance. “Occasionally, I feel like flashing on the lights so people realize it’s not a computer screen,” says Pendleton. “We’re actually doing this live.”
Fri., March 9, 8 p.m.; Sat., March 10, 2 p.m.

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