Scorpius Presents 16th Anniversary Season of A VAMPIRE TALE

Kalli Sparish & Haydehn Tuipulotu, A Vampire Tale; Photo: Angel Castro

Scorpius Dance Theatre will present its annual production of A Vampire Tale Oct. 3–12. Dubbed “The Nutcracker of Halloween,” the popular fall haunt is celebrating its 16th season. Fans won’t want to miss this year’s show, as the performance includes exciting new changes with the arrival of longtime Scorpius members stepping into the lead roles as King and Queen of the vampires. This is the first time in the show’s history that there has been an entirely new duo performing the lead roles.

According to choreographer, Lisa Starry, “This year’s production of A Vampire Tale has an imaginative and exciting energy. Our new King, Haydehn Tuipulotu, and Queen, Kalli Sparish, have both been members of Scorpius for over eight years. It’s thrilling to have fresh ideas come to our classic production as they step into our lead roles. Audiences can expect the same high octane, high quality spectacle of Scorpius, and with our new vampire royalty, audiences can also expect several new surprises.”

A Vampire Tale indulges audiences with all the trimmings: dark and sexy drama, quirky and comedic episodes, and visually stunning dance and aerial feats. This popular, sell-out production evolves annually to keep fans coming back for more. In the plot line, a young woman is drawn to the dark side and finds herself lured into an assorted band of bloodsuckers. Frightened yet fascinated by their shadowy showmanship and seductive moves, the girl struggles to avoid becoming part of their underworld when she becomes infatuated with the King vampire.

The production showcases 17 talented dancers and aerialists. In addition to Tuipulotu and Sparish premiering in their roles as the King and Queen of Darkness, longtime Scorpius Dance Theatre dancer Martha Hernandez will return for the fourth year in the role of the Innocent. Making a guest appearance for the fourth year in a row, Louis Farber will play the side-splitting narrator role of Strange Man. Farber is a well-known Valley actor and director, as well as the associate artistic director for Stray Cat Theatre. The production’s original soundtrack is composed by local musician Kristofer Hill.

A Vampire Tale runs for two weekends: Oct. 3–5 at 7:30pm and Oct. 10–12 at 7:30pm. The show is held at The Hardes Theatre at The Phoenix Theatre Company, 100 East McDowell, Road in Phoenix. Tickets start at $25.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call The Phoenix Theatre Company’s box office at 602.254.2151 or visit

DANSE MACABRE: Scorpius Thrills for a 14th Season in A VAMPIRE’S TALE

By Caitlin C. Miller

Scorpius Dance Theatre, the dark creation of Lisa Starry, returns to its old hunting grounds, the Hardes Theatre at Phoenix Theatre, for its intimate 14th year of A Vampire’s Tale.

Best described as the “Nutcracker for Halloween,” Vampire has become an annual fixture of the Phoenix contemporary dance scene, thrilling audiences just before our other homegrown vampire craze took the world by storm (yes, I’m talking about the sparkling vampires from “Twilight.” Don’t worry, the only thing that sparkles in Scorpius’ Vampire is their personalities).

After years of spectacle on the Hormel stage, Vampire at the Hardes is intimate — the undead inches from the audience. But none of the actual spectacle is gone, just scaled down, which makes the dancing more daring, the aerial stunts more thrilling and the vampires more terrifying than ever. If you’ve seen the show before, give it another go in its new/old home. If you haven’t, you’re in for a real treat.

A Vampire Tale, which kicked off October 26, runs through November 4. Shows are October 28, 2pm and 7:30pm; November 2–3, 7:30pm; and November 4, 2pm and 7:30pm.

For additional information, visit

Review: Thirteenth A VAMPIRE’S TALE Soars To New Heights

avampirestale_2015– By Caitlin C. Miller

The legend of the vampire is old. And sometimes, it all feels a little old. And especially after a decade of sparkly posers and defanged movie adaptions, vampire fatigue is a real condition. Enter Lisa Starry. In her hands, old becomes timeless. For thirteen years, A Vampire’s Tale has delivered thrills and chills to audiences in the Valley and the United Kingdom, both at the Bram Stoker International Film Festival (dedicated to the man who gave us Dracula) and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

_mg_4602-edit-2Perhaps people reading this review have seen it before, even in the past year or so, and perhaps they think there is nothing new to be seen. But this is not the show it was. There is a new energy in Vampire. You can feel it in every movement undertaken by the extraordinary performers of Scorpius Dance Theatre. They explore the depths of undead emotion and drama with new choreography, telling a more complex story than it did before. It soars to new heights with expanded aerial acrobatic performances, adding storytelling to the spectacle with a new piece on the lyra (aerial hoop) featuring Vampire veteran Haydehn Tuipulotu and the new Innocent, the human dinner (guest), Martha Hernandez. Also new this year is Louis Farber, taking on the role of the Strange Man. He is an odd guide on our tour of the world of the children of the night, eliciting laughs and terror in equal measure. Every member of the cast, from the Queen to the aerialists to the newest members of the ensemble, is gifted with the ability to wrap the audience around their fingers, filling them with a sense of wonder and drawing them into a dark place, filled with danger. It’s unsettling, and the audience adores it.

Warning: contains mature themes, loud music and flashing lights.

A Vampire’s Tale runs through November 5 at Phoenix Theatre’s Hormel Theatre: 100 East McDowell Road, Phoenix. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Phoenix Theatre box office at 602.254.2151 or visit

Photos: Rose Torres

Scorpius Presents Repertory Showcase April 18-19

Scorpius Dance Theatre will bring its unique style of contemporary dance, theatrics and aerial arts to the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts April 18 at 7:30pm and April 19 at 2pm.
The Repertory Showcase will feature 15 diverse works by Artistic Director Lisa Starry and Assistant Directors Nicole Olson and Gavin Sisson. Longtime fans of Scorpius Dance Theatre will recognize familiar pieces from such popular shows as Catwalk and Catwalk….I Love Duran Duran, as well as favorite pieces from Scorpius’ early days. Guests will also be treated to brand new, never seen before works.
Notable returning pieces include “Man Who Stole a Leopard,” an aerial hoop piece from Catwalk…I Love Duran Duran; “A Better Tomorrow,” an emotional duet from the original Catwalk; “Common Resonance,” Starry’s first work that she set on Scorpius; and “Reverence,” an athletic modern ballet male trio created by Olson.
New dances include “River,” an aerial silk duet co-created by Starry and Sisson; “Fade,” Starry’s latest work that was recently presented with Center Dance Ensemble; and “Merrily We Roll Along,” a fun work by Olson, featuring three girls on yoga balls.
Tickets for Scorpius Dance Theatre’s Repertory Showcase are $24 and can be purchased by calling 623.815.7930 or visiting The Peoria Center for the Performing Arts is located at 8355 West Peoria Avenue in Peoria.

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