Movement Source to Present Danse Macabre at Crescent Ballroom

The Movement Source Dance Company returns for a second year with The Danse Macabre, an hourlong mash-up of dance, music, and illusion in the spirit of Halloween.

It's being performed at both Willo North Gallery and Crescent Ballroom, thanks to some decidedly undead hustle by Mary Anne Fernandez-Herding, founder and director of the dance group.

"I heard the Crescent Ballroom wanted to offer more than music so I went and talked to them," she says. "They've got nice raked seating so you can see the dance, and it's an intimate venue."

See also: 5 Must-See Dance Performances in Metro Phoenix This Fall

They'll do the same show, with elements from last year as well as new material, at each venue. Illusionist Johnny Hotshot, whose everyday moniker is Jon Mincks, performs the role of a "zombie trainer" who helps dancers transform from zombies to ghouls as the piece unfolds.

Unlike the plot-driven A Vampire Tale choreographed by Lisa Starry for her Scorpius Dance Theatre, now in its 11th season, The Danse Macabre features a series of vignettes grounded by a Halloween theme. It's a smaller production with about half as many dancers, and incorporates magic rather than aerial work.

Expect dark beauty infused with humor, says Fernandez-Herding, but also a positive note. "Everyone leaves feeling upbeat." Good news, since downbeat zombies can be such a drag.

The five-member North Brother Island band, which specializes in chamber folk music exploring unusual historical events, performs live during the Crescent Ballroom show. During the gallery show, band member Dario Miranda will spin a recording of their music in DJ mode.

The Crescent Ballroom show includes a guest performance by four dancers doing a piece choreographed for the show by Melissa Rex, a faculty member with the ASU School of Film, Dance and Theatre. Fernandez-Herding describes it as "a quirky piece with a weird twist on love."

For an additional cost, those attending the Willo North Gallery performances can attend a pre-show art party with artist and dancer Thomas Blee Carlyle. He'll lead participants in creating their own Day of the Dead inspired paintings.

The Willo North Gallery art party starts at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 25. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 for the art party and show, or $15 for the show only. Call 602-957-6561 for reservations, which are recommended, or get your tickets at the door.

The Crescent Ballroom show is 21-and-over and starts at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, October 28. Tickets are $15 (before fees) and are available online, by calling 602-716-2222, or at the door.

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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble