My daughter, trying to explain BodyVox to a friend said, “It’s dance, but incredibly cool dance.” As their new branding suggests, BodyVox is “categorically uncategorical.” They are storytellers, visual artists, filmmakers, comedians and incredible athletes, creating boundary-breaking and original work. The team at BodyVox does exactly what the name implies: they speak with their bodies, and if you haven’t listened to their stories yet, it’s time to buy tickets to their latest project Pearl Dive Live.
My daughter and I first experienced BodyVox through BloodyVox, a creative and playful Halloween show that completely mesmerized and delighted us both. My daughter immediately pooled all her carefully saved birthday and holiday money to purchase a season package, and she loved every single show that season.
All of that preamble to say that expectations were high leading up to Pearl Dive Live, a collaboration between the always-innovating team at BodyVox and five creatives in fields other than dance: Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi, American dance photographer Lois Greenfield, The Simpsons creator Matt Groening, Chinese-born writer and professor Yiyun Li, and drag queen and local icon Poison Waters.
This show includes seven dances, each so unique that it’s hard to believe they were all choreographed by the same creative team. I think this speaks not only to the boundless imagination of artistic directors Ashley Roland and Jamey Hampton, but also to their faithfulness to the collaborators’ visions.
This particular show also gives you a sense of the breadth of emotion they can evoke: I belly-laughed in “Cold Acid Dream” (the collaboration with Matt Groening), but was moved to tears during “River Like a Sea,” which explores the concept of Zen and the four stages of birth, aging, sickness and death. My daughter’s favorite was the three-part collaboration with Poison Waters, which was as full of joy and ebullience as you would expect it to be.
If you’re a dance novice, Pearl Dive Live is the perfect inaugural show on your journey as an audience member. Every dance is preceded by a video about the creative process, giving you a sense of what each piece is about and what the collaborator envisioned.
Wondering if your child is old enough to enjoy a production at BodyVox? That will vary based on your child’s maturity and your family’s comfort level. Are some of the dances sexy? Absolutely. Are there mature themes? Yes (remember “Cold Acid Dream”). But do I always feel comfortable bringing my tween to BodyVox performances? Also yes. Look into the show descriptions before you purchase tickets, or contact the box office for more information, and make the decision that feels right for your family. If your kids are still too young, get a sitter and have the best night out with your partner or a friend. Whatever you do, don’t miss Pearl Dive Live. It’s a night out you’ll be talking about for weeks.
Buy tickets to Pearl Dive Live here.
Cost: Tickets start at $25 ($20 for children), and there’s not a bad seat in the house.
When: October 6-8, 13-15