BodyVox is trying something different. And, as usual, it’s joyful, clever, and pretty irresistible. Their new show, The Cutting Room, debuted last week; it takes the contemporary genre of dance-theater and stretches it into dance-cinema. The Cutting Room is a cinephile’s dream; it borrows aesthetics and iconography from the likes of The Terminator, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Amadeus, and O Brother, Where Art Thou?. (The score includes both Mozart and the Appalachian Ralph Stanley.) Amazingly, there is only one intermission during the entire show; the varying aesthetics (futuristic, Baroque, backcountry, et. al) are strung together by an ongoing chase scene: a loose, silly narrative involving a man in a tie and suit (Jamey Hampton) and a man in sunglasses and an Adidas track suit (Jonathan Krebs), fighting over a MacGuffin—a mysterious film reel that’s introduced in the first few minutes of the performance.
Film references are widely recognizable, but not necessary to know; the choreography and talent is engaging enough, and full of tricks. One of the most notable tricks in the performance is the interplay between video and live action; videos are projected on a wall, then fade out, only to have the dancers emerge from their own 2d projections on the screen (by slipping from behind the screen through a slit). At one point, referencing Kubrick’s sci-fi masterpiece, a gaggle of dancers lift a man in a red spacesuit with exercise bands; BodyVox does not shirk away from the silly. Leaving the performance, I could tell who the fellow audience members were; they were the ones who couldn't stop grinning. On that note, enjoy some of these great shots of the performance:
Besides other film references, also included in The Cutting Room is a short, original video by choreographer-turned-director Mitchell Rose. An earlier, 2001 BodyVox collaboration with Rose is worth a view, and is a preview of the kind of humor you'll catch at The Cutting Room:
The Cutting Room has two more weeks of shows, running Thursday-Saturday. Tickets start at $36; get 'em here while you still have the chance!
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