Ballet West opens 2011 season with 'Dracula'


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SALT LAKE CITY -- Rising from the stage is the dark, dangerous --and some think dreamy --Dracula. But the one on Ballet West's stage is wearing tights and dance slippers. Ballet West believes capitalizing on Halloween will kick off its season in style.

"We have so many more options for entertainment these days," said Adam Sklute, artistic director of Ballet West. "We can stay at home and see all sorts of fantastic things. We, in the performing arts, the live performing arts, have to stay current in that respect and create entertainment that people couldn't see anywhere else, and that's what we've done with this 'Dracula.' "

Dancers are often described as "flying across the stage." That, of course, is leaping, but in this production, it is something different.

"Being suspended by one, single wire and instead of big, huge movements I'm used to, I have to find a different way to be expansive and move the same way, or make it seem like I'm moving the same way, while suspended 8 to 12 to maybe 15 feet in the air," said Christiana Bennett, principal Artist of the Ballet West.

Timing is everything, so these vampire brides of Ballet West ought to attract audiences, just like the vampires from the films that are so very popular.

"What can I say? Vampires are hot right now. It just worked out right for us at this time," Sklute said.

The company hopes 'Dracula' will launch a successful season that audiences can really sink their teeth into. Ballet West's ‘Dracula' opens Friday, Oct. 21 at the Capitol Theatre with performances through Nov. 1. Go to balletwest.org for ticket information.

Email:cmikita@ksl.com.

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