Michael Moschen’s Mysterious Forces was performed at the wonderful Beckman Theatre on the campus of Caltech in Pasadena.
When I entered the auditorium and took my seat I noticed that the stage in front of me was bare, with only two tables on each side of the space and a couple of dark colored bags. The air of anticipation was thick and the excitement visceral from the audience of wildly disparate ages and backgrounds. It seemed that most everyone seated in this beautiful theatre was keenly aware of something I was not. The lights dimmed and a simple, quiet and ordinary looking man took center stage. As a silence fell he began waving his hands and arms in strange circular patterns. It seemed like a warm up of some sort, but in actuality it was the beginning of the performance.
The uniqueness of the show was personified in Mr. Moschen who shared with us his love of nature, of motion, and of juggling. This spectacularly idiosyncratic show was intercut with projected photographic stills and video illustrating the art of juggling and particular properties of nature. The patterns Mr. Moschen discovered in nature were inspirations for his highly creative career and his many world renowned shows. His juggling skills were without equal and his playful almost childlike enthusiasm and knowledge of the world of juggling was captivating and irresistible.
Accompanying the performance were videos of his work with ASCAP (After School Arts Programs) based in Connecticut. In those videos, he showed elementary school children the fun and wonder of balance and creativity. As I looked around the theatre I could see the eyes of both children and adults completely captivated. I had forgotten for a moment that I was in an audience at all, just in a group of strangers who were bound together in their enjoyment of this strange and compelling show.
It’s not often that we are able to witness such unusual skill in person and Mr. Moschen’s show not only entertained the child in me, but also educated the adult in me to the eccentric, scientific, mystical and wonderful world of juggling.
Caltech Arts - Beckman Theatre
“Michael Moschen Mysterious Forces”
1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125