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Dance Meets Organized Mayhem

Opening this weekend, BodyVox’s The Spin proves major risk leads to major reward.

Presented by December 2, 2015

Thespin mainimage photo by blaine truitt covert wt2o9k

"Garden of Synaesthesia" Photo by Blaine Truitt Covert 

Organized mayhem. This is how Portland dance company BodyVox’s co-artistic director, Jamey Hampton describes their off-beat December show, The Spin. Imagine a dance performance that is created entirely on-the-spot each evening by audience members as they’re invited to spin a large game-show style wheel and you’ve got The Spin - part dance performance, part game show, and part celebration of spontaneity and chance.

The Spin runs December 3-19 at the BodyVox Dance Center in Portland’s NW Slabtown neighborhood. Get tickets here: http://bodyvox.com/performance/spin

This month, as audiences filter into BodyVox’s beautiful NW Slabtown building, originally a Wells Fargo carriage house and transformed into a breathtaking dance studio and theater, they can expect to see a stage flanked by visible racks bursting with vibrant costumes, bizarre props, and the star of the show - a large, colorful game-show wheel, á la Wheel of Fortune.

Image 1 by randall milstein boojnl

"Urban Meadow" Photo by Randall Milstein

The Spin boldly lets chance rule the dance by inviting audience members to spin the large gleaming wheel, featuring twenty possible dances over the course of the evening to determine the program for the show. Each time the wheel lands, the BodyVox dancers will quickly change costumes on stage, grab props, and perform the selected piece. With twenty distinct choreographed dances to perform, there are thousands of possible combinations, making each performance of The Spin entirely unique. Audience members could conceivably return night after night and never see the same show twice.

“The rules are: no wings, no backstage, and no program order. The audience and fates will guide the show from start to finish. Whatever happens will happen, after all that’s the beauty of live theater!” - Ashley Roland, Co-Artistic Director of BodyVox

Based on the idea of a show that randomizes each evening’s performance and presents something new and different every night, the concept for The Spin was inspired by Elvis Costello’s wildly popular 1986 Spectacular Spinning Songbook tour.

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"Bollywood" Photo by David Krebs

Led by Emmy Award winning choreographers, Jamey Hampton and Ashley Roland, BodyVox has become a world renowned company, touring the globe annually and performing to sold out theaters. However, even for a company of accomplished dancers, The Spin provides a uniquely risky challenge and that was exactly the point. The idea of throwing out the rulebook of a scripted program for the evening and putting everything up to chance invites an “anything can happen” element. Hampton and Roland wanted to dare the dancers to get out of their comfort zones and test their improvisational skills on the stage.

 "This show is designed to challenge our dancers to approach a production in an entirely new way, our technical staff to be fluid and fleet, to have lightning fast reactions and most of all to be wildly entertaining to our audience. " - Jamey Hampton, Co-Artistic Director of BodyVox

Despite the challenge, BodyVox’s nine accomplished dancers are up to the task and ready to go. The company has been diligently rehearsing the twenty-five pieces, testing their improv skills, and even sharpening their acting chops all in preparation to put on a fun and exciting show.

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"The Bunny" Photo by Blaine Truitt Covert 

The Spin is more than just a dance show, it’s an experience of extraordinary dance and celebrated spontaneity. The show will be roughly two hours long, but without a set program it’s truly hard to tell the run-time. Each performance will be a ride that the performers, technical staff, and audience will take together. BodyVox co-Artistic Directors Hampton and Roland truly know how to put on a show and audiences this December can expect nothing less than spectacular.