Post Modern

Modern dance? Many would rather submit to a combo IRS audit/alien rectal probe. Combine that aesthetic ambivalence with the body blows the economy’s been raining down on the arts, and it’s kinda surprising the form’s still breathing.

For Lisa Starry and Scorpius Dance Theatre, life is good. Why? Because Starry gives hesitant Gen Xers and Yers – the folks with the disposable incomes – what they want. And that’s a little pop-culture sugar to help the medicine, er, contemporary dance go down.

Consider that one of the artistic director/choreographer’s core influences is Cirque du Soleil. Her annual “Nutcracker of Halloween,” A Vampire Tale, predated Stephenie Meyer/Twilight mania. In general, Starry says her inspiration comes from the movies rather than other choreographers (and those who’ve seen A Vampire Tale know it’s much closer in spirit to Interview With the Vampire than Bella Swan).

Starry’s latest enticement is Sympathy for the Devil, a rockin’ romp set to The Rolling Stones burner that’s scheduled to world-première at 10: We Will Rock You – Scorpius Dance Theatre’s 10-Year Anniversary Showcase Thursday at Phoenix Theatre.

The nonprofit, 20-member troupe has kept butts in the seats and the economy at bay thanks largely to Starry’s prescience (read: Vampire Tale), prolific output, and, of course, accessibility. “My dream was always to entertain, and that’s what is working for Scorpius,” Starry tells New Times. “I have over 100 works that I created over the last 10 years. It was a little hard, but I managed to select 26 of my favorites [for 10: We Will Rock].”

Those works will alternate in repertory over five performances.

Thu., May 21, 8 p.m.; Fri., May 22, 8 p.m.; Sat., May 23, 1 & 8 p.m.; Sun., May 24, 1 p.m., 2009


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