Body Opera Files Final Show This Weekend


A gritty warehouse. Provocative characters. Blood red lights.

For the past two weeks, local dance company BodyVox has utilized these horror film ingredients to serve audiences its acclaimed Body Opera Files show. The performances feature noir themed dance, and an opera singer lead rock band, to engage viewers through an immersive visual and aural experience. This weekend shall see the last performances of the season, with a final show on Saturday, October 26. Photos by Jinyi Qi.

At times the show feels a lot like a circus carnival, as the vibe of Body Opera Files is a little dark and a bit weird, but avoids anything sinister. Backed by a live Indy Rock band and a lineup of world-class operatic singers Body Opera Files reveals a world of nostalgia and beauty. Amidst an abstract narrative involving a vixen, a drifter and a narcoleptic boxer, there are moments of levity from some doses of humor and many toe tapping tunes from the band, such as Elvis Costello’s “Satellite” and “Let Him Dangle.”

BodyVox presents Body Opera Files – a revival of the 2009 hit production, Foot Opera Files. Step into a thrilling work of American Noir where character and story take center stage as dancers transform and a world both distant and familiar comes into focus. Follow the stories of a drifter, a vixen, a pugilist, and a rocker through a dance theater cycle of nostalgia, heartache, love and loss.

With a live Indy Rock band led by bassist Michael Papillo, the powerful music of Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, gospel and Americana bridge tango, anthem, torch, and rockabilly to create a world that, “?feels Old World circus, 1930s nightclub, lonesome heartland and silent film by turns” The Oregonian

By continuing to use trained opera singers to perform the songs, the stories get the same boost toward the “mythic” that they did in 2009.

Dance. Lights. Music. Overall, Body Opera Files provides a unique platform of creative expression through its intriguing compilation of performance art.

Body Opera Files creator Jamey Hampton. To purchase tickets for one of the last shows, visit

The performance began in a side section of the warehouse in front of an industrial size garage door. Jamey Hampton, company co-artistic director, begins the “dance” as he changes out 1950’s family vacation reels on an old projector and writes notes on cards and hands them out randomly to audience members. There is a loud banging on the garage door; it slowly opens to reveal the many pairs of dancer legs to hoots and hollers from the crowd. And then a big explosive dance erupts, introducing the characters and their relationships in this tight space surrounded by the audience. A boxer character (Jonathan Krebs) emerges hopping around and punching the air. As the dance ends he leads the dancers single file through the crowd, and we follow them to the stage area where the five-piece band and the singers are waiting, and we take our assigned seats.

“Body Opera Files”: Iconic characters, contemporary ballet with musical theatre stylings infused with a spectrum of human emotions, and nothing too complex or opaque to understand. It was a simply enjoyable evening.

February 16, 2014 |

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