We have Bram Stoker to thank for much of what we know about vampires. His novel, “Dracula,” codified the world of the blood-thirsty undead and provided the basis for innumerable entertainments.
One such entertainment is the Charleston Ballet Theatre’s choreographed telling of the classic Gothic tale, which is slated to open the 26th season Friday and Saturday.
The ballet introduced Charleston to Jill Eathorne Bahr’s stagecraft in 1999, and “Dracula” is being summoned from the ballet company’s vault.
“Imagine a world where you can only go out after dark, where you feel a relentless appetite for human blood, but where for all eternity you will appear young and beautiful,” said Bahr, resident choreographer of the Charleston Ballet Theatre. “A creature who should arouse repulsion in every living thing but who has seduced countless generations, Dracula is possessed of a hypnotic sexuality, which fascinates us all. As one of the most successful ballets in my national choreographic career, I am happy to open the 2012-13 season showcasing this work.”
The show features eerie sets and costumes designed by Don Cantwell of the Charleston Ballet Theatre and Raydelle Robbins of the Houston Ballet. Scenes from Stoker’s classic are brought to life in sensuous and sinister dance.
For the production, Bahr intertwines musical works by Alex North, Bernard Hermann, Leos Janacek and Arvo Part and includes a narration by Frank Jarrell. Appearing as Dracula is dancer Alexey Kulpin. The role of Lucy, Dracula’s chosen victim, is danced by Crystal Wellman. Actor Steve Lepre plays Dr. Van Helsing.
Tickets cost $29-$44 and are available at www.charlestonballet.org or by calling 723-7334. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more: call 573-7859.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. in the Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St.
A Dracula after-party is set for 9-11 p.m. Saturday upstairs at 39 Rue de Jean, 39 John St. Tickets are $45 each.