5 Must-See Dance Performances in Metro Phoenix This Fall

We've already rounded up our top picks for theater, comedy, visual art, and creative workshops this fall in Phoenix. Now, from ballet and contemporary dance to festivals and reimagined classics, here are this season's must-see dance productions.

A Vampire Tale Phoenix Theatre October 2 through October 10

Scorpius Dance Theatre's A Vampire Tale, best described as All Hallows' Eve's answer to The Nutcracker, is back for its 11th season. And there's one major reason we're excited for this year's edition of Lisa Starry's contemporary dance production.

See also: 13 Must-See Plays This Fall in Metro Phoenix

This year, Scorpius dancer and aerial artist Gavin Sisson will play Viktor, the vampire king, a role originated by David Starry. And we have a good feeling that Sisson will take the dark, creepy role, originated to new heights (literally).

The show opens Thursday, October 2, at Phoenix Theatre, 100 East McDowell Road. Performances continue in the Hormel Theatre through Saturday, October 10. Tickets are $25 to $45 and available through Find more info about the show at

Arizona Dance Festival Tempe Center for the Arts October 10 and 11

More than 20 dance companies are set to perform at the 2014 Arizona Dance Festival Showcase at Tempe Center for the Arts. Expect a broad range of genre, style, and skill level, as the festival features student, emerging, and professional groups that are Phoenix-based or from around the country. Representing Arizona's dance scene will be Terpsicore Dance Company, Dulce Dance Company, and Desert Dance Theatre, to name a few.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $13 for students and available by calling 480-350-2822 or through Shows start at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, October 10 and 11, with each evening presenting a unique lineup of performers. Visit for more.

The Bad and The Beautiful Herberger Theater Center October 23 through October 26

Herberger Theater Center's resident dance company, Center Dance Ensemble, opens its 2014 season with an outlaw-inspired production dubbed The Bad and The Beautiful, which features Billy the Kid/The Ballet. Tickets are $28 for adults, $23 for seniors, and $14 for students. The show opens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 23, and runs through Sunday, October 26. Lunch Time Theater performances at 12:10 p.m. on October 23 and 24 are $6. Visit or call 602-252-8497.

Swan Lake Symphony Hall October 30 through November 2

For the first time since 2009, Ballet Arizona presents what's arguably the most popular ballet of all time: Swan Lake. With beautiful costumes and a tale of love and loss, the company opens its 29th season with the classic production at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 30. Performances continue through Sunday, November 2. Tickets are $25 and up via

Jessica Lang Dance Mesa Arts Center November 20

Known for morphing classical ballet movements into contemporary works, New York City's Jessica Lang Dance will perform a sampling of its repertoire, which ranges from unadorned to intricate, when it visits the East Valley. The troupe performs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 20, in the Piper Repertory Theater at Mesa Arts Center. Tickets are $30 t $40 and available at or by calling 480-644-6500.

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski