Momentum Dance Company’s Spring Performances

Momentum Dance Company, under the leadership of Artistic Director Delma Iles, is celebrating its 34th year of creating, performing and producing dance works, particularly those by Florida artists. Founded in 1982, Momentum is one of the oldest and most established contemporary dance companies in the Southeastern U.S.

Two special performances are planned for Saturday and Sunday, April 2 and 3, premiering three new works, including Irresistible Pop, Forms Follow Man and Dido.

The company will also perform Poems of Scriabin, a sorrowful and tender work by modern dance pioneer Anna Sokolow. This featured performance of Sokolow’s 1985 work, in her lyrical style, was exclusively produced for Momentum, and the role of the girl for Iles. The story unfolds as a trio of women share a secret sorrow in an evocative and poignant first movement; and in the second, two lovers are caught in the perfect moment of new love, before anything has happened to tarnish it. The beautiful piano score by Russian Composer Alexander Scriabin will be played by Guest Artist Dr. Alan Ngim, who frequently collaborates with Momentum.

“We are so honored to own an historic work by Anna, one of the greatest pioneers of modern dance,” says Iles. “Very few companies can say the same.”

Irresistible Pop forgoes a score. The sound accompaniment is created by the dancers as they walk, stamp, bourrée, slide, leap and hop on bubble wrap. This comic piece pokes fun at ballet traditions, tango, dance competitions and irresistible urges as the dancers find increasingly bizarre ways to use their bodies to keep popping down to the last bubble.

Forms Follow Man cracks open the door to Iles’ darker side in a diptych of character portraits, but the characters aren’t particularly nice. They stink, both literally and metaphorically. A beaten-up magical transgender gypsy with a few ballet moves gambles with the dark side, two self-absorbed destructive teens push the limits of friendship with power plays and carelessness, and more.

Dido delves into the passions of classical antiquity with an emotional study of Virgil’s anti-heroine, Dido. Scorned by her lover, she twists like a flame amongst anger, despair and terrible sorrow under a dark veil of mourning that covers the entire stage, innovatively designed by costume designer Marilyn Skow. Set to Dido’s final aria from English composer Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, this solo piece performed by Momentum veteran dancer Barbie Freeman challenges the connections between emotion and physicality.

The program will conclude with Iles monumental work from last season, Birds of the Inner Eye. This work is inspired by Iles’ visit to the Seattle Art Museum in 2014, where she saw an exhibition of paintings by the artists of the Pacific Northwest School, most notably Mark Tobey and Morris Graves. It contains a delicate spiritual quality while also managing to be strictly disciplined. Part of the performance will be in silence and part accompanied by selections of piano works by French composer Olivier Messiaen.

Momentum Dance Company’s spring performances are on Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Colony Theater located at 1040 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 day of the show; students and seniors $12. Purchase tickets by calling the box office at 305- 674–1040 or visit Momentum Dance Company.

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