The Courier Journal
Michael Moschen's motions are magical

Michael Moschen must be at unusual peace with the universe. No matter how complex his juggling and acrobatic permutations, piling intricacies upon intricacies, he looks as calm as a fellow contemplating sufiset off the back porch.

Moschen is one of the few singular, undefinable artists to have passed through town recently. He gave one of his typical shows last night at the Macauley Theatre, meaning that it was impossible to slot him comfortably inside a particular genre. His was a synthesis incorporating elements of street theater, classical pantomime, dance and an affection for geometric relationships.

Yet Moschen was no crass illusionist, no trickster. He created his own wordless realities by manipulating objects in unexpected ways, compelling the eye to connect disjointed instants into unbroken arcs.

All this was accompanied by David Van Tieghem's New Ageish music and Dave Feldman's fog-filtered lighting: calm, astonishing calm. What unfolded often appeared to defy' logic. When Moschen filled his hands with small crystal balls, running the transparent spheres against his fingers and along his arms, gravity was confounded.

Or was it? Indeed, Moschen depends on basic natural laws for the success of his pieces. Throw a ball here and it will bounce there, the first or the 4,000th time:

Yet Moschen was no slave to high school physics. He and Janis Brenner choreographed each selection so each. has its defining spatial character.

And in his heart, Moschen is a minimalist. Consider his contact-juggling routine with the crystal balls. Most jugglers would begin with one ball and progress to eight. Moschen did just the reverse, discarding balls until only a single sphere remained in his palm. And Plenty of exploration remained via that solitary crystal circumference.

Perhaps because Moschen was making his first Louisville appearance presented by the Kentucky Center for the Arts, he emphasized his signature routines.

There was the triangle number, in which rubber balls careen precisely off one or more of its sides, all returning to his casually offered hand. Other routines found him whirling great curves and hoops of metal, fingers propelling the circles into faster and faster orbits. Now and again he'd crack a smile: a silent, miraculous elf of fire-lit acrobatic geometry.
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