Bram Stoker’s famous 1897 gothic novel has been inspiring artists for decades. We have seen tens of its film adaptations, with more doubtless to come. Dracula has also been adapted for the ballet stage by choreographers across the world: in Montreal, New York, London, Antwerp, Manchester, Houston, Winnipeg, Ankara, Melbourne, and more. Their musical choices varied from classical pieces for symphony orchestra to new arrangements. Yet, never has the story been tackled by a Polish choreographer.
Krzysztof Pastor has been approached to devise a Dracula-inspired choreography by West Australian Ballet in Perth, the capital of Western Australia. He decided to set the ballet to music by the premier Polish composer Wojciech Kilar, which is all the more fitting as Mr Kilar has written the memorable soundtrack for Francis Ford Coppola’s famous silver screen Dracula.
Librettist Paweł Chynowski is working on the ballet’s story together with the choreographer, while New Zealand’s musician Michael Brett is in charge of the music arrangement. Set and costume design was entrusted to a duo of British artists, Phil R. Daniels and Charles Cusick Smith. The production will be lit by Australian lighting designer Jon Buswell. The work will open on the stage of His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth on 6 September 2018 with accompaniment by West Australian Symphony Orchestra under Canada’s Judith Yan, who was the music director of the Polish National Ballet’s staging of John Cranko’s The Taming of the Shrew three years ago. The ballet is co-produced by West Australian Ballet and the Queensland Ballet in Brisbane, on the east coast of Australia, where it will be staged at a later time. Initial rehearsals has already started in Perth, yet most work is planned for when the Polish National Ballet breaks for the summer holidays.
This is Krzysztof Pastor’s third Australian production. In 1999 he staged a choreography set to Stravinsky’s Fiery Angel in Perth, while in 2007 he put on a ballet set to Berlioz’s Fantastical symphony with the Australian Ballet, Melbourne.
Pictured: Photographic preview of West Australian Ballet’s Dracula.