Nature lives in 'Botanica'

Dance performance brings nature to life at Portland's Newmark Theatre

By Jenny Wasson / The Bulletin

In the eyes of choreographer Moses Pendleton, the world is a beautiful place. For five days, Oregonians will get a special glimpse into that world.

Using his company of dancer-illusionists called MOMIX, Pendleton will bring his visions of nature to life with his newest work, “Botanica.” Part of the White Bird Dance Series, “Botanica” runs Feb. 27 to March 2 at the Newmark Theatre in Portland.

A founding member of the ground-breaking Pilobolus Dance Theater, Pendleton created MOMIX in 1980. The award-winning company is known for “its ability to conjure up a world of surrealistic images using props, light, shadow, humor and the human body,” according to its website.

A 90-minute performance, “Botanica” takes audience members on a journey through the four seasons. “With an eclectic score ranging from birdsong to Vivaldi, 'Botanica' reveals nature's changing imagery,” according to a news release. The program features custom-made puppets created by Oregon-based Michael Curry — best known for his collaboration with Julie Taymor on the Broadway musical “The Lion King.”

Portland-based White Bird Dance is currently celebrating its 15th anniversary season. Along with MOMIX, the series features Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (Wednesday), Black Grace (Feb. 19), Contemporary Ballet of Algiers/Abou Lagraa (March 21-23), Paul Taylor Dance Company (April 4-6), CIRCA (April 10-13) and Ballet BC (May 8).

Ticket prices for MOMIX range from $26 to $64, depending on seat location. To purchase tickets and for more information, visit www .whitebird.org or 800-380-3516.