After staging “Dracula - the Ballet” for the past three years at Halloween, Conservatory Ballet Theatre sheds the vampire’s cape and dons a new appearance in this October’s premiere production of “The Haunting.”
Like “Dracula,” “The Haunting” tries to tap directly into Halloween’s vein and draw forth an eerie, mysterious mood. However, there the similarities between the two ballets end.
First, there’s the new story: Conservatory Ballet’s artist director, Rita Isak Brodie, not only created the choreography but also the story itself, making “The Haunting” a truly original production.
This turn-of-the-century tale possesses all of the right ingredients for a spooky Halloween concoction: a lunar eclipse, a count and countess, and a manor complete with a haunted room that exudes a powerful mesmerizing lure. When the inhabitants venture into the room, they encounter mysterious happenings and unnerving spirits. One by one they meet their demise and join the other specters in haunting the living.
The ballet company created spooky sets, seemingly translucent costumes and dramatic makeup. The occasional haunting sounds of a Lakotah flute will hang on the air and help complete a feeling of lingering spirits at The Met. Unlike “Dracula,” theatrical narration will not accompany the dancers throughout this performance.
Ballet enthusiasts can look forward to the appearance of guest dancers Alexandre Kedrov and Larissa FastHorse. Kedrov and FastHorse made their Spokane debuts in Conservatory Ballet’s spring performance.
Kedrov, touted as one of the top male dancers in the world, performed with the Bolshoi Ballet before becoming a soloist with the Boston Ballet. He thrilled the Spokane audiences with bounding leaps and top-like spins. Kedrov will perform two solos in “The Haunting” as well as a pas de deux with local dancer Jaci Rice.
While FastHorse also appeared in the spring ballets, her name was erroneously omitted from the program. Once she takes the stage next week, however, ballet fans will recall her endearing stage presence and extreme grace. In “The Haunting,” FastHorse, who has trained with the Milwaukee Ballet and Atlanta Ballet, assumes the role of a spirit.
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MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: “The Haunting” will be staged by the Conservatory Ballet Theatre at 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday at The Met. Tickets are $10 and $12.50, available at G&B; Select-a-Seat outlets or call (800) 325-SEAT.