Dancers from the Portland, Ore. dance ensemble BodyVox found an excited fan base in Cordova with their master class Nov. 6 at the Pioneer Igloo and performance on Nov. 7 at the North Star Theater.
The setting for dance troupe’s master class, which attracted 14 local students, drew praise from BodyVox artistic director Ashly Rolland, who found the old lodge “so charming. There’s great energy there,” she said. “Trying to dance near the stove, we played theatre games, did improve, a contemporary warm up and taught them part of a repertoire piece called ‘The Bunny,’ which they will get to see in full tonight.”
The Kleissler sisters, founders of Cordova’s Current Rhythms, were excited about the arrival of nationally connected BodyVox. So was 16-year-old Elaina Craig. “I’ve been dancing since I was small,” Craig said. “Dancing gives you a lot of skill, especially in performance. Public speaking is easy after being on stage.”
Will she seek a future in dance? Maybe, she says.
Rolland founded BodyVox 10 years ago with her husband Jamey Hampton. The two are Emmy-Award-winning choreographers.
The BodyVox performance at the North Star Theater played to a full house, including a number of children, some in pajamas and Halloween remnants, but it was a show for all ages. And there was something for everyone; an ethereal historical piece, Beat poetry, and a dance featuring a futuristic techno scene. The “Urban Meadow” show is mixed media of sound and visuals and light timed with music and beautifully choreographed dance, so the audience can immediately tell this is a community of dancers. Surprising elements merge such as scooters on stage and Dixieland jazz and many moments of humor which the local stage seems perfectly designed to capture. The titular piece of “Urban Meadow” is a flock of sheep where havoc ensues and this brought delight to the crowd.
“This is a green show” Rolland said of the show. “We used recycled clothing — old ladies’ big coats for the sheep.”
The show closed with a standing ovation.