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Rochester City Ballet Presents ‘The Blood Countess’

This is going to be fantastic, –finally, vampires have come to the stage. I personally, wish it could have been in a less speculative and naive story, but sadly, the writer didn’t ask me what I thought before he (or she), decided to pen a ballet that would amalgamate Bathory and Dracula pop-culture. And for that, I am -almost- sorry, but that’s okay, because for the most part, I’m eager to see vampires in a new stage medium. Though a musical would probably be overdoing it, I know it’s probably on the way. And ‘Suck’ doesn’t count… the characters don’t actually go around singing, scene to scene. I’m talking full on Beauty and the Beast meets Twilight.

We were lucky enough to pick up this tidbit from The Democrat and Chronicle, who covered the new vampire ballet in detail:

Elizabeth Báthory, named the “Blood Countess,” was a real life version of a vampire, a Hungarian countess who bathed in the blood of her victims to feel rejuvenated and beautiful. She is known as the most potent female serial killer in history, with nearly 650 victims during her short life. As gruesome as her life was, it’s powerful drama, especially when her story is fictionally threaded into Count Dracula’s for the Rochester City Ballet’s newest full-length ballet, The Blood Countess.

Rather than a biographical account of her repulsive ways, artistic director Jamey Leverett imagines Báthory as the evil influence that turns an unsuspecting man into a killer, a prequel to Count Dracula’s journey to vampirism — minus some of the violence. (Because of the subject matter, limited violence and fake blood, parents may be wary of bringing young children.)

Leverett admits she got the idea for the ballet from a flashback scene in the HBO seriesTrue Blood, and calls the ballet a cross between True Blood and Showtime’s The Tudors, because it’s sexy but still has the classic feel of Eastern European Renaissance times.

The ballet, set in 1590s Hungary, has been two years in the making, and now becomes part of the company’s permanent repertory with custom-made costumes from thick, ornate fabrics, and original sets devised so action in multiple rooms in the countess’ dark castle can be viewed at once.

To read the rest of the new vampire ballet’s story, click the link above. I wish I had the money to drop everything and go see the premier, but alas; I am but a humble writer, for a fabulous vampire-oriented blog. If you’re in the area though, I strongly suggest you attend the premier. You can see it at Nazareth College’s Arts Center in Rochester, NY. They’ll also be performing The Blood Countess this summer at Rochester’s Dance Festival.

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annimi • May 16, 2011


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