FROM "THRILLER" to "Monster Mash," Halloween lends itself to dance-oriented performances. BodyVox, Portland's "most joyous" dance company, per their press materials, are in the midst of their second Halloween show. It's a lot of fun. (They make the undead seem cozy!) They call it BloodyVox: Fresh Blood; it's off-kilter and silly, and cartoony rather than creepy. The show is composed of several vignettes with reoccurring characters, including a mouthless noir detective, zombies, samurai people, and a clown.

For a loose comparison, think Cirque du Soleil if it were on a tight budget. BloodyVox has that similarly slapstick, off-kilter (Canadian) humor, the striped costuming, the awe-inspiring acrobatics and movements, plus the absence of any fleshed-out characters. Also similar to Cirque, sometimes the tone is a little odd or doesn't quite cohere (e.g., why is BloodyVox's mumbly clown wearing giant DC shoes? Why are those ninjas wearing velvet jumpsuits and saggy, knotted nightcaps?). In the end, it's no matter. You delight in what you see. You ease up on any tonal inconsistencies and your narrative impulse. BodyVox shows are always a pleasure, in part because the performers seem to be so enjoying themselves, and things stay light and good-natured, with elements of surprise sprinkled in.

As an added incentive to partake of the Halloween festivities, BodyVox is holding a juried costume contest on their Wednesday, October 31, performance. Winners receive a pair of season tickets to BodyVox.