Wednesday, 16 September 2009
Dracula: the ballet
When I was little - oh, seven, say - my parents made me do ballet lessons after school. I don't know why; I had no desire whatsoever to be a ballet dancer*. I was one of those sturdy, troll-like little girls blessed with no grace, rhythm or musical ear, so for six months or whatever I clomped around doggedly in an elephantine way until Mum and Dad got tired of me moaning about how much my feet hurt and let me quit. I've never had any contact with ballet since. Until now.
My friend C loves the ballet and bought me a ticket to the Northern Ballet Theatre's production of Dracula. Good choice, I thought. I'm writing a vampire novel, and if any plot is going to interest me it'll be that one. I wanted the scales to fall from my eyes. I hoped that, like C, ballet would take me by surprise and sweep me off my feet.
Ballet, it turns out, is mime set to music (and the muted thunder of footfalls on the boards). If you're going, make sure you find out the story in advance, and then a buy a programme and read the scene-by-scene description because you sure as hell won't be able to follow the plot from the action. In fact this production features a significant deviation from the plot of the book in the last second before the final curtain falls, which totally confused me ... If I'd known what was happening I'd have appreciated the ending a lot more.
All in all, I should have loved it. And I would have, if it weren't for all that bloody silly prancing around.
So, now I feel bad.
* I wanted to be a rancher looking after a herd of beautiful and highly intelligent wild horses who would be totally devoted to me - in that way that horses in real life aren't, ever.