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Modern dance group visits Culver Academies

January 19, 2012

Body Vox dancers Ashley Roland and Matthew Hope perform Tuesday evening at Culver Academies.

CULVER — Six-member modern dance group Body Vox, based in Portland, Oregon, wowed their audience Tuesday evening at Culver Academies as they performed acrobatic feats, surprising dance moves, and spunky steps riddled with personality.
“We are a unique blend of all different kinds of physical movements and theatrical effects,” said Body Vox choreographer Ashley Roland. “If you’ve never seen dance before we are a good group to see.”
The group — made up of four male and two female dancers — acted out mini “stories” to music — combining different dance styles to create something unique. Each scene — from the opening act of one dancer shaking his body to the notes to a complicated sequence involving a trapeze — was flawless. Although the audience started the show laughing at the sometimes humorous movements and expressions of the dancers, by the intermission most of the attendees had fallen into a state of amazement at what the dancers were able to do with their bodies.
One especially fascinating scene showed a couple in bed sleeping until they are lured out of bed by dancing “Sandmen.” The couple is guided through a dance — while still asleep — and then eventually kidnapped by the Sandmen. The kidnappers gleefully took over the couple’s vacated bed, to the amusement of the audience.
Sprinkled between scenes were short films, also made by the Body Vox crew. Roland said that their short films combining dance and comedy have won more than 60 film festival awards. The first, “Deere John” depicts a man falling in love with his tractor and engaging in a sentimental dance with it — before the tractor leaves, breaking the man’s heart.
“That goes over really well in Indiana,” said Roland, laughing.
Another film showed normal people discovering through a sleep study that they were actually dancing in their sleep — with comedic twists.
“It’s a very entertaining show,” said Roland. “We hope that the audience leaves with a great feeling.”
Body Vox was a guest at Culver Academies for the 2011-12 Huffington Concert Series. Other performances this season include Stringfever, Feb. 14, and National Players — Of Mice and Men, March 15. For more information about the concert series, or to purchase tickets, visit www.culver.org.

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