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Colorado Ballet's Dracula (2007 edtion)

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Halloween is approaching, which means that it's time for Dracula in Denver. The fifth time around, it still hasn't lost its bite. There was a large crowd by Denver weeknight standards. I lucked out and got the 'A' cast at opening night: Igor Vassine as Dracula, Sharon Wehner as Mina Harker, Chandra Kuydendall as Lucy, and, returning for one last production in Denver, Koichi Kubo as Jonathan Harker. The strength of last night's show was, IMHO, the performance of Sharon Wehner. Her depiction of Mina gets deeper and deeper every year. The climatic dance between Mina and Dracula was awesome (I can't Count high enough to give it a proper rating). And I still can't figure out how that manage to do the hotel scene differently every time (or is my memory that bad?) and do it flawlessly with so many dancers on stage. This program takes a lot of dancing from the corps, and they've always been up to the task.

There were a few items that drove me batty. They used less lighting for the train station and peasant village scenes than in the past, presumably to emphasize that these scenes took place at night. However, since the peasant women were dressed from head to toe in dark blue (OK, with red plaid skirts), it was very difficult, even from near the front, to get a clear view of their feet while they were dancing. I overheard people complaining about this during the first intermission. The tempo of the music seemed to drag a bit (the Denver Post critic had the same complaint about Le Corsaire). And the intermissions (as during Le Corsaire) seemed overly long. The program lasted about 2.5 hours, which by my recollection was about 15-20 minutes longer than in previous years.

The program might eventually become over-done (does that imply overbite?), but I'll see it at least once more this year. I am a little surprised, given its popularity here, that more dance companies haven't presented it.

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I am a little surprised, given its popularity here, that more dance companies haven't presented it.

It is being done here in the Puget Sound area over the Halloween weekend. It is being performed by a small company "INTERNATIONAL BALLET THEATRE" in Bellevue, WA (Bellevue is to Seattle what Oakland is to San Francisco -- we call it the "eastside" around here).

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