Center Dance Ensemble channels spooky side

Ghosts & Goblins & Witches, Oh My! Just in time for Halloween, Center Dance Ensemble performs a spooky, haunting program, Ghosts & Goblins & Witches, Oh My!, on October 19-22 at Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix, AZ, where it’s the resident modern dance company.


The centerpiece of Ghost & Goblins & Witches, Oh My! is Artistic Director Frances Cohen’s ballet, A Department Store Murder Mystery, based on John Collier’s short story “Evening Primrose”. The mystery surrounds a young man trapped in a department store who encounters strange mannequins that come alive at night.  


The program also features Cohen’s new work, Sweet Hauntings, which explores how we are haunted by our memories from people who have passed. 


Cohen said, “This time of year, particularly around Halloween, always spurs my imagination. The creepy, haunting stories, the masks and personas children and adults take on, the dark legends of what lies beyond in the spirit world. It’s so visual and visceral at the same time, a perfect backdrop for telling stories through dance.”


Rounding out the program are two pieces from Assistant Director Diane McNeal Hunt, Spellbound and Possessed, as well as Instinct Dancecorps directed by Angela Rosencrans and independent dancer Nicole Olson.


Spellbound, is an intimate duet set on Amber Robins and Emilio Minto, two humans whose lives finally cross paths. As the audience witnesses this connection, we are spellbound,” explained McNeal Hunt. “This piece will be juxtaposed with Possessed, an ensemble work with 15 of our dancers. Sourced in spirit, these Beings, driven by a core belief, gather to channel their energy bodies and unleash their passions for a better world. It should be a riveting experience.”


For more information on Center Dance Ensemble, its performances and outreach programs, visit These shows will be at 7:30 p.m. on October 19-21 and at 2 p.m. on October 22 at the Herberger Theater Center, Stage West. Tickets cost $28 for adults, $23 for seniors, and $14 for students.


Image courtesy of Center Dance Ensemble.