BloodyVox is creeping to town.
The Halloween production of the Portland dance company BodyVox will crawl to Astoria’s haunted Liberty Theatre for the third time on Saturday night.
Dancers from the award-winning troupe will flood the stage with a funny and bloody, yet family-friendly performance drawing on All Hallows’ Eve fantasy, film and folklore.
The grisly show combines dance, theater and film into “the highlight for our community,” said Jennifer Crockett, the Liberty Theatre’s executive director.
“It’s a really fun night and it’s a really accessible show,” she said. “There are zombies and ghosts dancing on stage under bright lights.”
From Portland to Astoria with fright
Ashley Roland co-founded BodyVox in Portland 24 years ago with fellow Emmy award-winning choreographer Jamey Hampton, who has coastal roots.
BodyVox productions combine athleticism, motion and wit to open a gateway to modern dance as an art form.
Inspiration for BloodyVox spilled from audiences requesting the company make a rendition of the Christmas classic, “The Nutcracker.” But a different holiday haunted the dancers.
“We love Halloween,” Roland said. “We love the pageantry, we love the goofiness, we love the scary, we love the thrill, we love the humor … There’s just a wealth of creativity that’s the definition of the holiday.”
A spoof on the company’s name, the first production of BloodyVox took place in its hometown more than a decade ago. Soon the acclaimed company took BloodyVox on the road.
“Astoria has become one of our favorite locations,” Roland said. “Liberty is such a charming theater, it’s the perfect setting for us to do this piece. I love that it has ghosts. And we love an audience that’s playful.”
BloodyVox, pandemic edition
Since the last performance at the Liberty Theatre, in 2019, the eight-member troupe has injected a few new elements to the familiar pieces.
“Each time we revisit the piece, it gets a transfusion,” Roland said, hinting at a few surprises in the company’s creative sepulchre, starting with the subtitle of the show’s 2021 edition, Lockdown.
“We’re going to surprise the audience,” he said. “One particular piece tells the story of the spooky lockdown we all experienced.”
BodyVox’s multimedia productions are a unique fit for Liberty’s vaudeville setup. The theater’s ongoing capital campaign aims to boost the stage infrastructure for more complex productions. A gush of classic horror movies will be shown at Liberty in October leading up to the BloodyVox performance.
Three tiers of reserved-seating tickets for the all-ages show are available at the theater’s website and at the box office. All guests must show proof of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or a negative test taken within 72 hours of entry. Masks are required inside the building.
And, as with all bloodcurdling performances past, the monsters of BloodyVox encourage all spectators to wear a costume. Roland adds, “Come in costume and let us know you are as much in the spirit of Halloween as we are.”