Lyric Theatre (Queensland Ballet)

This is a gothic love story for the blood-thirsty.

It is a little unsettling to experience such beautiful dance and music to such a macabre theme, but sometimes it is the business of art to unsettle and to challenge.

Victor Estevez and Alexander Idaszak engage and confront the audience in the respective roles of young and old Dracula, the Count who despairs on the loss of his wife, renounces God and humankind, transforming into a cruel vampire in the middle ages who somehow “lives” on into the nineteenth century

Yanela Pinera  performs movingly the role of Dracula’s fifteenth century wife, Elizabeth who throws herself from the castle tower to her death in the mistaken belief that her husband Dracula was killed in war. The clergy refuse burial to the suicide victim. This prompts Dracula’s apostasy and descent into the dark arts. Pinera also plays the role of Mina, the morbid fascination of young Dracula  in the nineteenth century.

Lucy Green dances brilliantly the role of Lucy (sic), the nineteenth century fiancee of Arthur (Joseph Chapman). Her performance is a real tour de force. She is tragically killed and rendered into a vampire as Dracula sucks out the blood from her helpless figure. Her devastated beloved Arthur takes a gruesome step to save her from eternal damnation.

The music composed by  Wojciech Kilar is played finely by Camerata conducted by Nigel Gaynor.

The audience on opening night loved the show. Your reviewer stands in profound admiration of its aesthetic grandeur, but is left wondering as to its moral centre (necessary for all great art). After half a lifetime  of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, one is left to wonder whether this is a lasting artwork or perhaps merely the  Last Tango in Transylvania.

Choreography: Krzysztof Pastor
Composer: Wojciech Kilar
Set and Costume Designers : Phil R Daniels and Charles Cusick Smith
Lighting design: Jon Buswell
Conductor : Nigel Gaynor
Music Performed by Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra
Performances: 24 November to 4 December 2021
Duration: 2 hours including a 20 minute interval

— Matt Foley
(Performance seen: Wed 24th November 2021)

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