We wanted to know how someone prepares to dance the role of Dracula, so we interviewed Colorado Ballet Principal Dancer Domenico Luciano. He is one of the dancers who will jump into the role when Colorado Ballet presents Dracula later this month.
1. How do you prepare for the role of Dracula?
I got really excited as soon as I heard that DRACULA was on the schedule for this season. Over the summer I started doing some research on the subject. Although, I read the book many years ago, I wanted to familiarize myself again and looked for literature, plays, movies, ballet versions, to get as much knowledge about the story, as well as the time period and the characters. I read Stoker’s Dracula, and a few essays on the matter, I saw a few different movie versions, and I’m still on the look out for more material.
I have to also mention that from the first rehearsal, the Ballet Mistress Lorita Travaglia, that is staging the ballet, has already given me directions and guidance about the intentions and the meaning behind the movement. My partner Maria Mosina, has been very helpful and generous with me, she has danced the role of Mina Harker several times, and with many different partners, so she is able to help me out with both technical and artistic advice.
I believe that for approaching a role like the one of Dracula, a deep artistic preparation is required to have as many tools as possible, and have many options on how to deliver the character to your partner and for the audience.
2. Is Dracula the hero or the villain of the ballet?
After all the reading that I did for the past couple of months, I have to say that Dracula’s figure is very complex. Stoker, the author of the original novel, uses Dracula as a vehicle to shine light on the strengths and weaknesses of the human kind. One of the interesting messages in the Dracula tale is the comment about the human emotions suppressed. The way I see it, Dracula does not manipulate behavior or emotions, such as lust, aggression or fear, he simply brings out what already exists within the characters and invites them to be as they are naturally, free from any restraints.
Another interesting debate Stoker presents in the novel is the question of who is the monster and who is the man? The men in the story become savage-like as they decapitate Lucy and drive a stake through her heart.
He is also offering never-ending life, the fountain of youth in a way, a quest that the human species is repeatedly on. So, I am considering all of these facets that are presented in the novel as I build my interpretation of the character.
3. Why should people come see Dracula?
I think this version of DRACULA has an amazing theatrical power. I believe the audience it is going to have a rich and fulfilling experience through the combination of the dramatic musical score and strong and raw emotions from the artists.
For more information about Colorado Ballet's upcoming production of Dracula, click here.
|Artists of Colorado Ballet in "Dracula" by Terry Shapiro|