Arts and Entertainment

Momentum marks 10th anniversary with show celebrating childhood imagination

A movable stage. A wine tasting told through movement. A performance in which dancers rappelled off the side of the Anchorage Museum.

These are only a few examples of the innovative and risk-taking work of Momentum Dance Collective, an Anchorage-based contemporary dance company. This weekend, in celebration of their 10th anniversary, the group is putting on its latest show, "Carried Away."

The upcoming show combines the talent of Momentum's 17 adult performers with some celebrated local artists working across disciplines. There will be six youth dancers from Alaska Dance Theatre, original music compositions, 16 musicians playing live, including the Super Saturated Sugar Strings and Pikal, a full design team including Anchorage artists Ruby Jones and Enzina Marrari and animations from Selene Stoll.

Though Momentum often performs its shows in unexpected spaces, the group is excited to have "Carried Away" at the Performing Arts Center to utilize the stage, lights and magic of the theater, Kendall said. Inspired by the works of Shel Silverstein and Maurice Sendak, this multimedia confection is meant to remind audiences of all ages to embrace their childhood imagination.

"It's like a little love story of what we love to do," said Becky Kendall, a founding member and the artistic director of Momentum.

Kendall hopes the show will celebrate what the company has learned these past 10 years; combining aerial work, props, artistic collaborations, visual design and more to tell stories influenced by the group's own personal experiences.

"When people ask what makes you who you are, for me, dance has always been a part of that," Kendall said.


As a kid growing up in Alaska, Kendall remembers not being comfortable with words or language. However, through movement, she found a way to communicate. Kendall danced through her childhood and eventually made her way to the Lower 48 to study her craft. After performing, learning and teaching in New York, Seattle and Colorado, Kendall wanted to follow her dreams in the place she loved most and returned home to Anchorage to share her passion.

"As many Alaskans have the same story, there is a strong pull to come home," she said.

In 2008, Kendall and six other women created a nonprofit company for adults to dance, collaborate and make art in Alaska. The group wanted to forge a nontraditional "round table of artists" focusing on telling stories based off of their own ideas and feelings and pushing themselves creatively in terms of production, choreography and staging.

"It was a grand experiment. and it's working," said Kendall.

Guided by Kendall and its board of directors, the company has grown from seven members to 17. They perform eight productions a year, usually consisting of two larger events and six smaller performances, and collaborated with the Anchorage Museum, the Light Brigade and countless other creatives in the community.

"It's been a really fun ride."

Carried Away

When: 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Discovery Theatre

How much: $20 for youth 18 and under, $34 for adults