BodyVox's Dance Center is finally clean. Last spring, when the company presented The Foot Opera Files, the unfinished space was still filled with dust. "It was dirty. Literally," says co-artistic director Jamey Hampton. Starting this week, however, we will be able to see the space as intended—shiny, pure and an open space for creativity.
The company is not only celebrating the completion of construction. It's also turning 12 this year, making the company the equivalent of grandparents in the Portland dance world. "We're twice as old as most dance companies," says Hampton. The latest show, called Chronos/Kairos (a reference to the two Greek words for time), will be retrospective. They will perform "past gems" from every year of company existence, many of which have only been seen once before, explains artistic director Ashley Roland. In addition, there will be two world premieres–one a dance and one a film by collaborator Mitchell Rose. Hampton says this show is unique for the company—because the evening will consist mostly of old works, there will be no underlying story line: "It's more like a rock concert." However, like most BodyVox productions, the pieces in Chronos/Kairos contrast theatrical playfulness with incredible athletic feats.
Witness first Bottom of the World, a piece featuring Eric Skinner as a defeated hobo stumbling across the stage to Tom Waits. Dancers Daniel Kirk, Matt Hope, Zachary Carroll and Hampton take turns carrying him and impaling him with a giant wooden board. Some tricks, like the Pilobolus-esque transformation of the men into a seesaw, are enjoyably creative; however, the moments in between lose themselves in pedestrianism. On the other hand, Skinner, Kirk and Carroll will be reviving the quietly ominous and physically jaw-dropping Cusp, originally performed in BodyVox's first show in 1998. The entire piece takes place in a metal cage hung a good six feet above the stage. Seen at a distance, the box evokes an MC Escher optical illusion. The men weave their way in and out, above and through the cramped metal cloud.
For longtime BodyVox fans, Chronos/Kairos is sure to be a treat. For those less familiar with the company's repertory, the show may appear haphazard. However, the evening will be so diverse that it will be hard not to find excellent pieces.
BodyVox performs at the BodyVox Dance Center, 1201 NW 17th Ave, 229-0627, bodyvox.com. 7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays, Nov. 12-Dec. 5, 2 pm Saturday, Nov. 28 and Saturday, Dec. 5. $36-$48.