By Richard Gonet | New SCENE
Count Dracula bit numerous dancers’ necks at the Canyon Concert Ballet production of the ballet Dracula, in Greeley on October 21, 2023. The performance will be presented again at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins on October 27-29, 2023. Artistic Director Michael Pappalardo’s presentation of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, has “spine-chilling choreography, exquisite new costumes, and all-new sets.” The ballet is accompanied by the Fort Collins Symphony and arrives just in time for the Halloween season.
According to the ballet’s program notes, the story begins with Jonathan Harker taking a business trip to meet Transylvanian nobleman Count Dracula. Trapped in the Castle, Harker escapes after discovering that Dracula is a vampire. The Count moves to England and plagues the seaside town of Whitby, where Abraham Van Helsing hunts and kills Count Dracula by driving a wooden stake through his heart.
Most people are familiar with the story of Dracula, either from the novel or the 1931 classic film starring Bela Lugosi or its many cinematic remakes. Dracula is a vampire who sucks the blood of his victims and turns them into vampires. Academic analyses of the Dracula novel focus on sexuality and seduction, particularly as it relates to the corruption of English women. However, the fear of vampires goes back much further in history, with its roots in Eastern European folklore.
The first known reference to vampires appeared in written form in Old Russian in 1047 A.D. Vampires served a function similar to that of many other demonic creatures in folklore around the world. They were blamed for a variety of problems, but particularly disease, at a time when knowledge of bacteria and viruses did not exist. Numerous diseases have been attributed to vampires, but one with which we are familiar today is rabies, whose name comes from a Latin term for “madness.” Since it is transmissible from animals (often bats) to humans and is spread through biting, it fits the vampire folklore myth as an object of fear.
Audiences at the Canyon Concert Ballet production of Dracula at the Lincoln Center, Fort Collins, on October 27-29, will not need a rabies vaccination in order to attend, but they will need a ticket. There are two evening performances and two matinees which are guaranteed to raise your blood pressure. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or online by going to the show’s Lincoln Center website at https://www.lctix.com/shows-tickets/dracula/