Freida Wheaton of Salon 53 is a strong supporter of Dance St. Louis (click here to learn more) as both donor and board member. Last spring a table filled with Freida’s friends, had the pleasure of enjoying an evening of dining and performance to raise funds for the organization. So, I was only too happy to accept her invitation to attend “Dracula” performed by the Balletmet Columbus at the Touhill Performing Arts Center last night.
This dance work in two acts, inspired by Bram Stoker’s novel published in 1897, and choreographed by David Nixon 10 years ago, is a story ballet. But, you don’t have to have read the book, seen the multitude of spin-offs on this classic story, or even read the detailed program notes, to understand the story.
The story is told eloquently by the movement of the bodies on stage because these superior dancers have also sunk deeply into their characters. Sitting almost in the dancers laps in the orchestra section, we could see the faces of the dances and it was as good as attending a play. Even during the hard dancing and partnering that Nixon’s dance score demands, all seems easy and fluid with the story line moving forward.
All this virtuosity is supported be the set, costumes, and musical score. It’s like opera in motion. Or, as Dance St. Louis’ current slogan puts it: “The most beautiful sport in the world.”
Ruminating over the psychological and mythological underpinnings of the story, I can see many applications to normal human life. It’s not hard to understand the appeal of “Dracula” (which means “son of the dragon” in Romanian) has lasted and grown over 100 years.