The Biological Body Rhythms of Bothanica

Furry bees unwittingly attract pollen with their hairs as they travel from plant to plant, slurping nectar, ultimately promoting botanical reproduction. Colorful flowers visually beckon the insects to come and stay awhile. The fecund flying bodies begin the cycle that leads to fruit formation, bursting with gene-laden seeds. With the perfect conjunction of temperature, sunlight and water these baby seeds begin their own process of life.

Santiago Chile
Photo by Carla Pastén

If this fertility and connectedness of nature could ever be portrayed through the dancing human body, the performance of Bothanica, has done just that. The dancers truly evoke creatures. Birds, bees, bugs and trees, dinosaurs or flowers, the dancers transform their muscular bodies through the skillful performance of this imaginative production.

A soloist performs on an elevated mirror that covers the stage, angled toward the audience, mimicking a water bug sliding along a glittering river surface. Between her reflection, expert use of light and on-point execution of Moses Pendleton’s carefully crafted choreography, the viewer is treated to the illusion of a gossamer insect flitting atop a network of water molecules.

Santiago Chile
Photo by Carla Pastén

Like a tender green plant that pushes up through the ground, the movement begins with innocence and gentle grace; one moment appearing as pure potential, the next sprouting into frenetic activity.

As the show progresses, the nature of man feels less removed from the biological, more linked and integrated with the processes of creation and change. The fantastical picture is complete with idyllic costuming, backdrop and video projection. The electronic and organic score fully conjures the animal and vegetable world.

Never becoming too literally representative, this stunning, illusionist performance succeeds on every level. Life, death, consumption, reproduction and all things biological link everyone from the meekest unicellular organism to homo sapiens. To get this point across through body movement and sound is no simple undertaking.

Moses Pendleton, creator of Momix, choreographed this spectacular event, pulling inspiration from his love of biology, poetry and the urgent need for ecological balance. Pendleton formed Momix in the early 80’s, a group known for creating physical poetry blended with a touch of comedy and just the right dose of shadow and light. The shows are each constructed around a central theme such as Opus Cactus, Momix in Orbit or Baseball and builds a performance with movement, sound, light, prop and costume.

Santiago Chile
Photo by Carla Pastén

In addition to his work as artistic director and choreographer of Momix, Moses Pendleton is involved in film, television and opera. He has choreographed for the Joffrey Ballet, Deutsch Opera, French and Italian TV, the Romanian gymnastics team and many others. He has been credited with some of the most innovative of American dance and art direction of the last three decades.

Bothanica by Momix will not disappoint. Each individual piece is a unique and exciting entity within the larger web of the spectacular. Expert choreography, exquisite dancers, swirling music and carefully selected costumes, backdrop and props converge to create a truly singular event. It evokes fear, humor, beauty and the excitement of birth, life and change all at once. The timeliness of the message of ecological connection and evolution is notable and it could not be delivered in a more beautiful package.

Bothanica by Momix
Teatro Teleton

Rosas 1531, Santiago
Metro Santa Ana
Runs through June 28
Performances June 23 – 26: 9pm
Performances June 27: 6pm and 10pm
Performance June 28: 7pm
Tickets: CP$18,000 – CP$45,000

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