Touring dance company brings engaging performance to Ford Center stage

Posted on Nov 8 2017 - 7:57am by Logan Williamson

BODYTRAFFIC, a repertory dance company based in Los Angeles, is making its next international tour stop in Oxford on Thursday.

Founded in 2007 by Lillian Rose Barbeito and Tina Finkelman Berkett, BODYTRAFFIC gained recognition for combining innovation, visual artistry and contemporary dance. It has performed for sold-out audiences around the world, including prestigious locations such as the Joyce Theater, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Israeli Opera/Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center and New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival.

BODYTRAFFIC features dance movements using traditional techniques as well as those from hip-hop and other genres. Each dance has a distinct style that incorporates talents, expertise and original commissions from choreographers all over the country.

For BODYTRAFFIC’s 10th anniversary season, the performance troupe will be in Oxford for three days. When it arrived Tuesday, production was already underway, and it began focusing lights, programming cues and rehearsing to adapt to the venue.

BODYTRAFFIC has a wide-ranging outreach program and educational curriculum available to pre-professionals, inner-city schools and underserved populations around the globe.

In the days leading up to Thursday’s performance, it will be conducting workshops and master classes with Ole Miss student dancers, students from two Oxford dance studios, a group of elementary school students from Holly Springs and a Down syndrome awareness group founded in Oxford 21 United of Mississippi.

“This is an exciting company that not only will present a physically beautiful show on Thursday, but they are providing two full days of outreach to a diverse group of people,” said Julia Aubrey, director of the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

Students from several different majors across campus participate in both Ole Miss Student Dance and Mississippi: The Dance Company.

“We have a thriving and vital modern dance community at Ole Miss,” theatre arts professor Jennifer Mizenko said. “Many of these students go on to have a career in dance, even if it is not their degree. It’s very exciting to have BODYTRAFFIC, and it will be a great artistic and learning experience for the entire community – Lafayette, Oxford and University.”

Tickets for the performance on 7:30 p.m. Thursday range from $22 to $30. Student tickets are $8 for any seat with a valid UM student ID. Faculty, staff and UM retirees get a 20 percent discount on tickets with their university ID.

“This is an extraordinarily generous donation of these dancers’ time, energy and creativity,” Aubrey said. “I hope our Oxford community will attend the performance and support their efforts.”