BodyVox wraps up their production "Body Opera Files" this weekend, and, whether or not you follow dance, this show is delightful and definitely worth checking out. The troupe has teamed up with musical director Michael Papillo for the program. It’s a theatrical blend of live music, acrobatic dancing, and a poetic use of props. (The hybrid show is not an entirely new concept itself—it’s a revival of their well-received 2009 production "Foot Opera Files.")
"Body Opera Files" has an air of ‘50s noir—in the cocktail-dress costuming and moody overhead lighting. The piece isn’t performed in BodyVox’s slick studio, but, rather, in a more rugged warehouse. The score combines the tunes of folk and blues-inspired musicians: Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, and Sam Phillips, but, with less earthiness and more polish to its sound. It’s a collage of performances; there’s no through-narrative in the show's 17 vignettes. However there is a thread of noir themes: hubris, lustiness, exhibitionism, melancholia. The performance starts with a reel of home movies playing opposite of the seating in the warehouse; eventually the warehouse door reels up, and we see a hint of several dancers’ legs. Soon, they rush under the door and enter the warehouse in a confident frenzy. The audience is invited to take a seat on the opposite end of the warehouse.
Some of the best segments of "Body Opera Files" are the more stripped down sets. Tom Waits's song "Picture in a Frame" inspired a memorably sweet and ingenious duet. Performed by Daniel Kirk and Ashley Roland portraying a couple, the two danced with a bed frame on wheels, maneuvering their bodies around it, and eventually setting the bed upright, on its end, looking like a full-size picture frame, with Kirk standing in the center of it. Similarly inventive with props was Eric Skinner's choreography in the piece Baby Plays Around, which, is basically a duet between Skinner and a wheeling cart. BodyVox, who is in their 16th season, is noted for their playful choreography and performances; this show is especially so.
Do yourself a favor, and get your tickets here. NW Industrial Warehouse. 2448 NW 28th Ave. Oct. 24, 25, 26, 7:30pm. Oct. 26, 2pm.