Michael Daniel Fine Arts Critique #4, Dracula the Ballet 11/16/2006 Dracula the ballet opened with some

dances that didn’t seem to have anything to do with Dracula. They were beautiful dances, though. The first dance was performed by women in simple black unitards and red skirts. There were two men in Eastern European costume. The music and the dance itself seemed to have an Eastern European feel to it. The men stomped, clapped and leaped into the air. The women danced in two lines behind them, almost like can-can lines. The two lines formed a V that opened to the audience. This created symmetry on the stage. This was followed by girls in bright blue flowery dresses who danced to Caribbean steel drum music. This dance was quick and airy and they carried sticks that were clicked together percussively with the music. There were a few more dances but they seemed to be a warm up and had nothing to do with the performance of Dracula itself. After the pre-show a fog machine blew dense fog across the stage. The music turned deep and foreboding. 3 women in cosmopolitan turn-of-the-century dress came onto the stage. Dracula comes out but the women don’t see him. Dracula expresses anguish and evil and then hides behind a tree. Two of the women leave the third on a bench alone. Dracula comes out and hypnotizes the girl in a seductive dance. The scene ends when Dracula drinks her blood. The prop movements at the scene changes were done by dancers in black unitards with frizzed out hair and black, smudged makeup. I thought that was creative.

There was a dance of women in bright, traditional german dress. There was a jester and men in Eastern European garb. Music was light and happy. This dance symbolized a festival. A boy and a girl are at a picnic. The boy proposes to the girl and the girl accepts. They do a dance of love and joy to slow, romantic music. The scene changed to a happy bridal shower. Dracula and a woman showed up and the scene froze. Dracula put masks on everybody and danced with the girl from the picnic. The boy from the picnic dances with the woman who came with Dracula. The girl becomes distressed when she realizes who she is dancing with and the boy is taken away by the woman who came with Dracula. The boy is taken to a graveyard where he is placed on a slab and Dracula’s woman drinks his blood. Dracula drinks the girl from the picnic’s blood. Scene change: Fog rolls in and dancers dressed as modern urban thugs go to mug a girl. The boy from the picnic saves her from the thugs. Later on that night the boy appears in her bedroom and hypnotizes her. He takes her to the stone slab where Dracula’s woman took him. Many vampires want to eat her so he fights them all off. Dracula shows up and wants to eat her. The boy kills Dracula and Dracula’s woman with a stake. Having redeemed himself the boy ascends a stairway into a bright light. The dancers were good but some of them had problems keeping a straight face. They were young and probably had stage fright. For the age of the dancers, they were great. The director needed to use the entire stage. The stage jutted into the audience a little bit, almost like a classical stage but the blocking was done as if they were on a modern stage that does not jut out into the audience. Overall, it was a good performance.