BodyVox blends film and dance in ‘The Cutting Room’

BodyVox takes inspiration from sci-fi movies in one portion of "The Cutting Room." Credit: Blaine Truitt
BodyVox takes inspiration from sci-fi movies in one portion of “The Cutting Room.”
Credit: Blaine Truitt

Since its inception in 1997, Portland-based company BodyVox has bridged dance with that other movement-based medium, filmmaking. Drawing on three decades of experience with highly physical dance troupes like Pilobolus and MOMIX, co-artistic directors Jamey Hampton and Ashley Roland marry that athleticism with the proscenium-shattering possibilities of movies.

Most of the time, that has entailed escaping the stage via short films. “Integrating film into our performances enables us to show dance in an environment that’s not available in the theater,” says Hampton. “We’ve done dance on heavy machinery, underwater, on rock-climbing cliffs. We like to take the audience on a journey throughout our shows, and part of that is to get out of the theater that they’re sitting in and see dance somewhere else.”

In “The Cutting Room,” which BodyVox will bring to the Annenberg Center for its Philadelphia premiere this weekend, the company looks to film itself for inspiration as well as escape. The evening-length piece patterns each of its eight dances after a different cinematic genre, all linked by a filmed chase scene. As Hampton’s character is pursued by company member Jonathan Krebs, the company presents scenes based on documentary, romantic comedy, action, Bollywood, sci-fi and other familiar film styles, set to an eclectic score that includes pieces by Mozart, Miles Davis, Ralph Stanley and James Newton Howard.

The various genres give BodyVox leeway to indulge in their particular brand of acrobatic playfulness. The documentary portion sees the 10-person ensemble transform into a giant, undulating vampire squid; the Bollywood segment allows them to dust off opulent costumes originally worn for a wedding in India. Each genre engenders its own distinctive approach to movement.

“Let’s take a chase scene,” Hampton says. “What’s the vibe of a chase scene? A lot of bodies flying around, a lot of big physicality, people hitting the ground. So we do all that while keeping up the theatricality.”

While both dance and film allow real people to move in space and time, Hampton says they are completely different yet complementary mediums. “One’s 2-D and one’s 3-D. You can do things with film that you can’t do with dance, so it’s a wonderful adjunct to our shows to have this element where things happen that just couldn’t happen on stage. People go into a film differently than they go into a live performance because you have an empathy for real humans on stage.”

BodyVox: ‘The Cutting Room’
Dec. 12-14
Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
3680 Walnut St.
$20-$55, 215-898-3900
www.annenbergcenter.org



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.