This week Universal snuck in the official name (what we knew from speculation) for the Academy of Villains show this year on the official Halloween Horror Nights 28 website. We learned that it will be called Cyberpunk! – With a wicked mix of dance, acrobatics, and theatrics, Academy of Villains is back for an all-new performance of pounding synths and neon lights.
I can say we are excited about this! This will be the third year AOV has come to Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando. We did a write-up about them back in 2016 and how the show was meant with low expectations which you can read here! Since then, the fan base here in Orlando has been overwhelming and has grown the past two years!
This year they take over the Fear Factor theater, which in past years held the now iconic pop culture show Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure that was ‘retired’ last year with the B&T Farewell Tour. This is good news in a way as it gives AOV seating, better structure, and is out of the elements.
Last year the show had to go through changes before the event even started due to Hurricane Irma which decided to visit Florida a week before Halloween Horror Nights 27. The “main stage” was ruined and could not be fixed, AOV had to change the show calling it The Irma Show and using a more temporary stage. With that said, they still put on one hell of a show and had huge crowds each night!
Fans have taken to Twitter and other outlets to express concern about the AOV show now being in the Fear Factor theater.
- The theater takes away the walk-up street feel of the show and the outdoor atmosphere.
- The crowds waiting to get in will be insane.
- Will photography and videos be allowed?
- What about the flames and pyro!!??
PHARSIDE responded to the first one on Twitter saying:
“Thank you so much for this post! We are well aware of this exact feeling you brought up, and will be taking the same approach to the fear factor stage. Just because we are in a theatre now, doesn’t mean we should have theatre rules. 😊💀🖖🏻 # haha” and
“HHN Natives are the best type of people ever! 🙌🏻😭 # for this new fvmily!”
The others, well we’ll have to wait and see. Bill & Ted used some smaller pyro for shows in the past, time will tell!
For those that are new to Halloween Horror Nights or don’t know… THIS IS ACADEMY OF VILLAINS!!
Established in 2009, Academy of Villains began as a dance company that pushed the envelope with over-the-top concepts and ideas. Under the direction of Pharside and Phoenix, this company quickly became one of the top in the nation. What started off as a freestyle-based company, turned into one of the most sought-after entertainment companies in the world. Appearing on hit tv shows such as So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Got Talent in addition to winning TruTV’s Fake Off, Academy of Villains prove time and time again that they are innovators and definitely a force to be reckoned with.
Through the art of storytelling, Academy of Villains uses dance, acrobatics, and theatrics to take their audience on a life-changing journey. They are most-known for their twist on shadow play, black light art, and projection mapping. Academy of Villains will have you rooting for the dark side, where anything is possible!
Founded by Christopher “Pharside” Jennings, he is also Artistic Director and Choreographer along with Krystal “Phoenix” Meraz who is a Director, Artistic Director, and Choreographer. They have competed in a number of competitions and won various awards over the years.
World of Dance Breakthrough Choreographers of the Year (2015)
Artistic Directors and Choreographers for House of Fear (Halloween Horror Nights, Universal Studios)
Choreographers for So You Think You Can Dance (Season 11, 12, & 13)
Co-Producers and Choreographers for Elvira’s Big Top (Knott’s Scary Farm)
Artistic Directors and Choreographers for Nacion Muerta (Knott’s Scary Farm)
Co-Producers and Choreographers for Elvira’s Sinema Seance (Knott’s Scary Farm)
- #1 Show at Universal Studio’s (Orlando) Halloween Horror Nights out of all 26 years of existence
- Featured performers on So You Think You Can Dance (Season 11 & 12)
- Champions of TruTV’s Fake Off (Season 2)
- World of Dance, Team of the Year (2015)
- Semi-Finalists on America’s Got Talent (2012)
- Hip Hop International USA Champions (2012)
- Dance 2 Dance Champions (Switzerland)
- First dance company to ever perform at the Magic Castle (2013)
- Top placing team in every competition ever entered
If you want to get more background and a true look at Academy of Villains we urge you to watch this 30-minute documentary titled: The One, The Only: The Academy of Villains.
With that said, when you visit Halloween Horror Nights 28 this year make sure you check out this show! We give AOV lots of love and respect and I’m positive they won’t let you down, being that you’re into loud music and dancing!
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