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Dracula

With Halloween quickly approaching, the scariest ghoul of them all, Count Dracula, has booked an appearance with the Colorado Ballet for one weekend only. Apparently that small window of time will give the former Romanian noble, Vlad the Impaler, the opportunity to draw enough blood to continue his immortal undead crusade—unless, of course, Dr. Van Helsing and his cohorts can stop him. Our escape from the zombie apocalypse hangs in the balance.

Artists of the Colorado Ballet
Artists of the Colorado Ballet
Photo: Terry Shapiro
Based on Bram Stoker's famous story, the production contains some of the best dream-sequence and nightmare effects ever performed on stage. And the choreography, a mix of modern and classic technique, is alternately elegant and explosive.

In 2001, the company made a major investment in its own costumes and scenery for Michael Pink's epic ballet, and the production values show, particularly in Act I, with atmospheric lighting effects, evocative costumes, and imaginative choreography creating a stream of consciousness somewhere between dreaming and awake, dead and undead. Philip Feeney's score is a well-struck balance of classical and impressionist elements, reflecting a story line that runs between English sensibility and Transylvanian blood lust, while fully complimenting Pink's broad physical palette.

Artists of the Colorado Ballet
Artists of the Colorado Ballet
Photo: Terry Shapiro
Like many popular late 19th-Century epics, such as Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mister Hyde, Stoker's Dracula delineates the Victorian struggle between the dark, sensual forces of the Id, and the then contemporary English values of rationality and control. Following the opening act's subliminal doom and eroticism, Act II returns us to sensibility and cultural boundaries, until Dracula disrupts the false sense of security. The moodiness of the piece returns full force in the final act.

The Colorado Ballet's presentation of Dracula at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House runs Friday, October 31, 2014 @ 7:30 p.m., Saturday, November 1, 2014 @ 2 p.m., Saturday, November 1, 2014 @ 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, November 2, 2014 @ 2 p.m. For tickets: 303-837-8888 ext. 2, or www.coloradoballet.org. Dracula contains mature content and is not recommended for children ages 13 or younger.

Bob Bows

 

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