Clark James

Dance/Undance: BodyVox’s risk

With eight new dances by non-choreographers, "Pearl Dive Project" takes a big chance and pries open the doors of creativity

Must be something in the water over on Northwest Northrup Street: BodyVox keeps drinking from the well of chance, and emerging spritzy and refreshed.

When last we checked in on the Portland contemporary dance company, back in December, it was doing a show called The Spin: spin a giant wheel, à la Wheel of Fortune, land on a pie-slice printed with the name of a piece from the company’s repertory, and the dancers would perform it. Each night’s show was different, depending on the luck of the spin, and that was part of the fun.

Brent Luebbert, Anna Marra, Katie Scherman, Scott Stampone in China Forbes's "Transformed." Photo: Blaine Truitee Covert

Brent Luebbert, Anna Marra, Katie Scherman, Scott Stampone in China Forbes’s “Transformed.” Photo: Blaine Truitee Covert

On Thursday night, with the opening of Pearl Dive Project, the risks got even riskier. The point of the show, which continues through April 23, is to see what emerges when creative nondancers try their hand at creating dance. This is choreography by people who don’t do choreography. With one exception, the featured dancemakers don’t even have backgrounds in dance, though several are fans who’ve seen a lot of it from the seats. The idea: what if you take a group of creative people in other fields and ask them to apply their skills and intuitions to the world of dance? Can they do it? What sorts of images and movements might they create?

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