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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | December 9, 2023

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Love in Dark Times: Queensland Ballet’s Dracula

Love in Dark Times: Queensland Ballet’s Dracula
Claire Matthews

Dracula is a compelling love story that transports audiences across times and places in a dark, gothic world.

Showing from 24 Nov to 4 Dec at QPAC, Dracula is a fiery and complex story that challenges boundaries of ballet. I had the chance to attend opening night on Wednesday and was thoroughly enthralled.

The QPAC Lyric Theatre stage was transformed into a foreboding castle, a vampire’s lair, an eerie forest and a London parlour, thanks to set and costume designers Phil R. Daniels and Charles Cusick Smith. The lavish sets created a deep contrast between the glittering parties of London and the melancholy world of Dracula’s castle.

Adding to the mood, Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra performed Wojciech Kilar’s atmospheric music, conducted by Nigel Gaynor. The sublime choreography by Krzysztof Pastor evoked an ethereal setting.

The production opens with a prologue, set in the 1400s. Stricken with grief over the loss of his wife, the young Count Dracula (Victor Estévez) turns into a cruel vampire. Then, in the 1800s, a young lawyer, Jonathan (Camilo Ramos), sets off to Transylvania to meet the Count. Before leaving, he visits friends in London, including his fiancé Mina (Yanela Piñera), for a bright party.

In Act I, Jonathan arrives at the castle. Inside, he finds himself at a party of vampires. Three female vampires (Laura Tosar, Vanessa Morelli and Sophie Zoricic) taunt him. The old Count (Alexander Idaszak) dismisses the party to speak with Jonathan. The vampires do a haunting dance, but Jonathan manages to escape.

The crux of the story comes in Act II when Dracula meets Mina. He is instantly drawn to her because she reminds him of his wife. Mina and Dracula dance together, and she starts to fall for him. This leads to the dramatic ending, but I won’t give it away.

Dracula was an intriguing production, full of drama, passion and love. Queensland Ballet’s artists tackled the challenging choreography and brough the characters to life. I enjoyed seeing a gothic ballet, as it was different from other ballets in QB’s 2021 season.

Dracula is running until 4 Dec. Don’t miss this unique take on a well-known gothic story.

The Details:
What: Queensland Ballet’s Dracula
When: 24 Nov to 4 Dec 2021
Where: Lyric Theatre, QPAC
Tickets/ More info: Here.