Don Perdue
"Gila Dance" by MOMIX. The company will be performing at Kingsbury Hall on Thursday.

MOMIX artistic director Moses Pendleton says he was grateful that he has been able to make a living creating theatrical dance. The co-founder of the seminal Pilobolus Dance Theatre, Pendleton created MOMIX in 1980.

"I felt it was time for me to do my own thing," said Pendleton from his Connecticut studio during a rehearsal break. "And after 28 years, we can still do what we set out to do and bring a night of repertory to Salt Lake City titled "The Best of MOMIX."'

The challenge of doing a "Best of" show is choosing the pieces for a program, Pendleton said.

"We have a lot to choose from," he said with a laugh. "And when we think of a program, we need to find the works that complement each other."

The works MOMIX is bringing to Salt Lake City are "Discman," "Aqua Flora," "Moon Beams," "Gila Dance," "Millennium Skiya," "The Wind Up" and "Sputnik."

Some of the works have been around for a while, Pendleton said. And that, he said, proves to be challenging when he sets the works on new dancers.

"I love working with the new and young dancers today," he said. "They are better trained than we were when we started MOMIX, let alone Pilobolus. But there is a certain type of dancer that we need to be able to execute these works. So, after 30 years, the dances look comparable.

"We have used a lot of video to make sure it looks like what it did in the first place."

Still, video doesn't give a dancer's perception of what a work is suppose to feel like.

"It's like with 'Gila Dance,"' Pendleton said. "We have a line of dancers who work together and become a long lizard. But in order for us to do that, we have to work our bodies and our heads into certain angles that isn't fun to do but does make the whole piece work."

Pendleton said the company is now working on a new production.

"It's called 'Botanica,"' he said. "We're working on it and planning for its premiere in 2009. And, if all things go as planned, we would love to bring it to Salt Lake City.

"I have found that Salt Lake is a hotbed for dance," Pendleton said. "They appreciate dance and have welcomed us warmly. And I'm glad we're coming back for 'The Best of MOMIX."'

If you go


Where: Kingsbury Hall, University of Utah

When: Thursday, 7:30 p.m.

How much: $29.50-$37.50

Phone: 581-7100

E-mail: [email protected]