Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thriller!! Thriller Night!

Hmmm, there aren't many pictures of Odyssey Dance Theatre out there, which is a shame, because they are spectacular. This picture kind of shows what their opening number is about:

Let me back up. My family discovered the Tuacahn Theater in St. George several years ago, and we keep going back for more. They put on the best plays there - very professional - and it's nestled in a canyon, open-air style. I saw Seven Brides for Seven Brothers there, and instead of an avalanche, they had a flood. They have this stage where you can pour thousands of gallons of water on it, and it all drains at the front of the stage. And when Adam Pontepy is riding a horse, it's a real live horse. I also saw Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat there, and at the part where Joseph gives his brothers food after revealing himself to them and forgiving them, this huge Pez dispenser appeared on stage, dispensing big bundles of wheat. It was hilarious.

I had heard of the Odyssey Dance Theatre when I lived in Salt Lake, and I always saw posters for their annual performance of Thriller, but I couldn't ever afford to go. Mom saw that they were going to perform at the Tuacahn, so she hastened to get tickets, and she invited me and Nat. Nat couldn't go, but I gladly went. We just assumed that the Tuacahn paid Odyssey really well to go down there and perform, but we later learned that the dance company splits into two. One group performs in Salt Lake, and the other performs at the Tuacahn. So we could have just driven to Salt Lake and seen it! Oh well. You live and learn.

You have to walk quite a ways to get into the theater, and we paused in front of a building that had a creepy skeleton projected onto its side. I'm trying to do the Thriller dance, with my one arm:

Then, as we got closer, there were all of these costumed zombies, following people around. It was hilarious! We asked this one to take a picture with us, and since zombies don't talk, he just rolled his eyes and then posed with us:

We were entering the theater seating area, and I was looking down at something, and when I looked up, a zombie dude was right in my face! I totally screamed!! It was funny.

Here's Dad. I had asked the ladies in front of us to take our picture, and it wouldn't take, so I tried out a quick picture of Dad, and you can see that he was just a teeny bit annoyed:

Hahaha! So the lady was finally able to snap a picture of the three of us:

And no, I didn't go to Stanford. People ask me that whenever I wear that sweatshirt. I just got it at a layover in San Francisco a couple of years ago, because I was cold. :)

Okay, so now to the performance. They opened with Thriller, and it was amazing. My mouth dropped open - that's how good these dancers are. And I love that song. It makes me want to boogie. Ah, the heady days before Michael Jackson went weird. There was one dancer in particular - a guy - and he was really, really tall and muscular, and his dancing was incredible to watch. He was really flexible and had a gorgeous point on his foot, yet he was masculine at the same time, and could do, like, five-duple pirouettes. And his jumping hang time was amazing. I really love to watch male dancers, because they are so powerful.

Let's see. There was one performance based on The Grudge, which I've never seen, so I was a bit confused about the concept there. There was a number based on the Salem Witch Trials, which was very cool. There was one about vampires, one with Chucky, one with Jason (the guy in the hockey mask and navy blue coveralls), one based on a girl at home, alone, being taunted by telephone calls by a murderer, one involving a mummy, one with Frankenstein and his bride, one where dancers are getting picked off by a sadistic gunman as they dance.... It was good times. Ooh, and a really neat one where a man is visiting his wife's grave, and she appears in ghost form, and she's on these hanging things, so they did this really pretty pas de deux with her floating in the air the whole time.

Some parts were really gorey - like, in the vampire one, they somehow had, like, ketchup packets that they inserted into their mouths, and like six of them attack one girl, and they fling their heads up, and this ketchup comes spurting from their mouths, but it's supposed to be, like, blood. That part made me go, yipe. And the one where the murderer is calling the girl disturbed me, because then he breaks into her room, and you see her fighting for her life. A little too realistic and scary.

The biggest beef I had with the performance as a whole was all the noise the dancers were making. During the parts where people were being attacked, they're yelling: "Oh my gosh! No! Don't! Help me, somebody!!" First rule of dancing - dancing is an art form using the body, not the voice. You can convey terror in your body and your face. That's what dance is all about. It was weird to hear all the chatter.

But besides those two things, it was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Very skillful dancers. And it was so great to get away and enjoy myself. Thanks, Mom and Dad!! I think if it wasn't for them, I would never do anything fun!! :)


Nat said...

Next time, next time. Oh, and let's make "next time" just in SLC. Driving for 3 hours rules over driving for 8!

suzy Q. said...

I don't think I could have handled that one. Halloween is like my least favorite holiday. I hate being scared...maybe it has something to do with my brothers sticking me in a box when I was a kid (ahem...B...just kidding) but I just don't like the dark or scary things..they creep me out and then I don't sleep and then I get mean. But it looks like you had TONS of fun, that's awesome!

Amy said...

I love your new family picture at the top. Very nice! Jeff and I went to a show at Tuacahn on our honeymoon 11.5 years ago! I think it is time for a repeat visit!

Barnard Family said...

I say, next time drive the 8 hours...cuz I could drive 6 and then we can meet up and have a fun time!

Ken and Patty said...

You can tell a story in perfect chronological order. You don't miss a beat. Your passion and love for dancing is admirable. That zombie guy is a hoot! Not what I pictured when you first told me this story.

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