May 3rd, 2013 | by AARON SPENCER Arts & Books | Posted In: Dance

Live Review: BodyVox, Fifteen (Program A)

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If BodyVox had to be summed up in one number, it would be Hopper's Piece, in which two couples go to dinner and end up dancing goofily with the waiter on the table. They dance, slide and jokingly fall with the jovial mood of sailors pinching a girl’s bottom. The women’s cheeky expressions do everything but squeal “Oh, you!”

The table-dancing piece is one of 10 pieces that BodyVox has resurrected for the first of two programs representing its 15 years in existence. Those pieces, in addition to a new work, Cafe Blanco, have all the gusto of a dad making his best corny joke. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, if you like corny jokes.


For example, have you heard the one about the dancer’s hands and feet that grow minds of their own and wear out the hapless dancer until he passes out from exhaustion? That one’s from 2001 and is the show’s opener, earnestly performed by BodyVox co-artistic director Jamey Hampton. It’s followed by Reverie, a piece from 2001 in which male dancers dressed like pond reeds flip two female water nymphs (Heather Jackson and co-artistic director Ashley Roland) upside down so that the nymphs’ legs behave as the pond reeds’ arms. The trick takes a little time to register because of how close the women’s butts are to the men’s faces.


Equally cutesy as the dances are BodyVox’s films. Deere John, from 2000, has Hampton falling in love with a John Deere backhoe. Another short about sleep disorders has a couple doing a stop-motion bedroom ballet. 

The new piece, Cafe Blanco, also begins with a film. The dancers are at Urban Grind Coffeehouse when they leave on Razor scooters. Then they roll onstage and make a couple of loops before ditching the scooters for a Lindy Hop number.


To be fair, not all of the show is lighthearted. A trapeze piece between Daniel Kirk and Eric Skinner is slow but severe, especially with the partner drop at the end. The closer, Rip/Tide from 1998, is a thigh-slapping tribal piece with movements resembling hula and tai chi.

But these pieces don’t define the show. They’re not nearly as memorable as a waiter pulling a tablecloth from a table while women are still dancing on it. And while that might not be the funniest thing you’ve ever seen, it probably is to someone else.

SEE IT: Fifteen is at BodyVox Dance Center, 1201 NW 17th Ave., 229-0627. Program A runs 7:30 pm Friday-Saturday, May 3-4; 7:30 pm Thursday, May 16 and 2 pm Sunday, May 18. Program B runs 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, May 9-11 and 7:30 pm Saturday-Sunday, May 17-18. $36-$59. Tickets here.
 
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