Odyssey Dance Theatre's THRILLER Set for Spencer Theater, 10/18

Bucket-loads of humor fill Odyssey Dance Theatre's 15-dance work called "Thriller," taking center stage Friday at 8 p.m. at the Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts. Yes, there's heavy sloshings of horror too, but the bulk of this generously blended classical and jazz dance extravaganza is just pure fun! The clever, well-crafted dances effectively spoof famous horror flicks and our favorite archetypal creeps: the knife-slicing Lorena Bobbitt, blood-sucking vampires, tap dancing skeletons, crafty Salem Witches, a lovestruck Frankenstein, graveyard ghouls, terrible children of the corn, the Hunchback, vengeful Jason and more.

This is indeed a captivating performance with huge appeal for both adults and children. However, because some of the content may be a bit edgy, the Spencer recommends parents not bring easily frightened children. (As a general rule, children aged four or younger are not permitted to evening performances.)

Directed by Derryl Yeager, a former Ballet West Principal and a television, stage and film veteran (credits range from Broadway's "A Chorus Line" and "CATS" to the film "Staying Alive" and TV hit "Moonlighting), this Utah-based troupe is admired for both its thematic dances, athletic versatility and its theatrical skills.

The company's 20 professional dancers perform everything from jazz, ballet, tap, modern, ballroom and hip-hop, allowing for very high entertainment amid the program's utterly cool choreography.

The show's title piece features the entire company dressed as graveyard ghouls dancing to the 1982 multi-Grammy winning hit pop piece "Thriller" by Michael Jackson.

Thereafter, the spooks arrive in droves, dancing to works of daunting intensity and absolute hilarity. The action in each piece is made quire apparent via the show's titles like "Curse of the Mummy," "Frankenstein & Frankenstein," "Jason Jam," "Lost Boys," "Sugarplum's Finale," "Salem's Mass," "Dem Bones" and "River of Blood Dance" among others in the elaborately teched theatrical spectacular.

What's utterly cool about the 8 p.m. Friday, October 18 performance of Odyssey Dance Theatre's "Thriller" is that it'll include 10 to14 student dancers, all from the greater Ruidoso area, who auditioned the same morning of the show to appear in the final number.

Also, post performance, all patrons are invited to a 'Monster Mash' in the Spencer lobby. Costumes are welcome! The lobby is elaborately decorated with spooks to encourage party-goers to twist and dance the night away.

The high-energy performance as well as workshop and auditions are sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tickets to the 8 p.m. Friday, October 18 performance of "Thriller" are just $59 & $56. Call the Spencer Theater Box Office at 575.336.4800 or go online to www.spencertheater.com for information and tickets.

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