“Thriller” hoping to provide tricks and treats



    “Thriller” is coming to Salt Lake City. And we don’t mean the Michael Jackson video.

    The Utah Contemporary Dance Theatre will be performing a new dance/musical at the University of Utah’s Kingsbury Hall Thursday through Saturday to help usher in the Halloween season.

    “Thriller” is a series of dance numbers that revolve around particular Halloween themes and characters.

    According to a news release, the program will feature characters such as Frankenstein, Freddy Kruger, Jason, and will include new versions of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” “Men in Black” and the “The X-Files.”

    Derryl Yeager, artistic director of the UCDT and former Ballet West principal dancer, said the production will include a variety of dances, such as tap, hip-hop, ballet and jazz, and will also encourage audience participation.

    “That is what is so fun about this particular show because audiences will get to see all the things these dancers can do in this production,” Yeager said in a news release.

    Stephanie Later, a 20-year-old dancer for the UCDT and former BYU student, said “Thriller” has a combination of scary moments and humor. One number features Freddy Kruger singing the song “All I Care About Is Love.”

    “There’s never a dull moment” Later said.

    In some of the numbers, the performers will be dressed in torn and dirty costumes to portray corpses, and will use ice picks, machetes and chainsaws as props.

    To add to the mysticism of the production, the Bry Kent Orchestra, a 17-piece big band, has been brought in to provide live musical accompaniment.

    Bry Kent said the band chose songs to match what the performers were doing in the dances, and used instruments such as the trombone and oboe to create an eerie and haunting feeling.

    “There’s nothing like a live performance to bring out excitement in the audience,” Kent said.

    Yeager originally got the idea for “Thriller” several years ago after realizing the lack of productions with Halloween themes. The UCDT formed years years ago and is made up of what Yeager calls a “dancer’s dancer,” meaning a dancer that can cross over and perform many different styles of dance.

    “Thriller” is expected to be a success and please even those who are not particularly fond of dance.

    “There’s a little something for everybody,” Yeager said.

    Ticket prices range from $12 to $18 and may be purchased at any ARTIX location or by calling 355-ARTS. Part of the proceeds of the show will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

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