clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Halloween dance

Forget the Sugar Plum Fairy, let's watch the slasher-flick serial-killer known as Jason dance with an ice pick and machete.

"We've been wanting to do an annual holiday performance since we first started up," said Derryl Yeager, artistic director for the Utah Contemporary Dance Theatre, a professional dance company that utilizes all types of dance styles including jazz, ballet, modern and ballroom."There is an overload of `Nutcrackers,' so we thought, `Let's do something for Halloween.' "

Well, the tricks and treats will come a week early when the Utah Contemporary Dance Theatre presents its first annual Halloween bash, "Thriller," Oct. 23-25, at Kingsbury Hall. Evening curtain is 8 p.m.

As the title suggests, Yeager said, the program will be an eyeful of dancing, humor and music that will fit the eerie essence of All Hallow Even."

"We really had a fun time thinking up this program," Yeager said. "We'll have tap-dancing skeletons, Frankenstein and his bride in a pas de deux and hip-hopping mummies.

We could have gone on and on. The hard thing was drawing a line on what we wanted to do. We could have created a six-hour performance."

Yeager said the program is all for fun to fit the season, but along with that comes a warning that some elements are a little too macabre and scary for children under 6 years old.

"We have Freddy Krueger signing a love song while slashing people to death and things like that," Yeager said. "There will be some scary and creepy elements that will end up with humor."

Takes on the hit movies "Scream" and "Men in Black," as well as the "X-Files," will also be on tap for the evening.

"I had originally wanted to do a ballet based on "Dracula," Yeager said. "But that would have limited the dancing to one style and one storyline." Besides, the Houston Ballet premiered its full-length rendition of "Dracula" last year.

"Our dance company is one that demonstrates all types of dance styles," Yeager said. "So, having a Halloween-flavored showcase production seemed to be the most logical idea.

"We felt Michael Jackson's `Thriller' was a good choice," Yeager said, regarding the groundbreaking 1982 video/single. "The show opens with the song and ends with a reprise of it."

Also performing with the dance company will be the Bry Kent Orchestra, Yeager said. "Bry Kent is one of the best drummers in the business. The orchestra will be made up of artists from around the state." Kent has backed Barbara Streisand and Liza Minelli and has played Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas for 25 years.

"The music will be live and there will also be some singing," Yeager said of the Freddy Krueger piece. "We really wanted to do something out of the ordinary. It's sort of like `The Nightmare Before Christmas.' "

- TICKETS the Utah Contemporary Dance Theatre's "Thriller," range from $12-$18, and can be purchased at any ArtTix outlets or by calling (801) 355-ARTS (2787).

Part of the proceeds will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.