- Choreographer: Michael Pink
- Music: Philip Feeney
- Costumes: Lez Brotherston
- Lighting: David Grill
- Set Design: Lez Brotherston
- World Premiere: Bradford Alhambra, England; September 16, 1996
- PBT Performance Date: February 10-12. 2023
Jonathan Harker’s mind is flooded with images of his terrifying experiences in Transylvania. In his delirium, his ravings have been dreadful – of wolves and poison and blood, of ghosts and demons…
Charing Cross Station, London
Mina and Dr. Van Helsing accompany Harker to the station as he sets off on his journey to see Count Dracula in Transylvania, where he is to conclude the Count’s purchase of properties in England. A mental patient, Renfield, is escorted through the station, which causes a disturbing incident.
Harker arrives in Transylvania, where he watches as villagers enact a violent ritual of sacrifice to protect their village from the dangers that threaten on All Souls Night. The ceremony is interrupted by a sinister figure, Count Dracula’s coachman. Despite the desperate appeal of a bereaved woman, Harker continues his journey to Dracula’s castle.
i) Arrival ii) Vampires iii) Dracula & Harker
The Count welcomes Harker into his home and, having made him comfortable, withdraws. Harker sinks into a reverie and is visited by three women who both fascinate and terrify him. His seduction is interrupted by an enraged Count Dracula who distracts the vampire women with a live blood offering. Dracula now begins his domination of the helpless Harker. As the climax of their union approaches, Harker’s scream of terror wakes him from his nightmare, and he finds himself in the sanatorium with his fiancée’s arms around him.
Winter Garden at the Grand Hotel, Whitby
At a Tea Dance in the Grand Hotel, Mina’s friend Lucy dances with her suitors. Unbeknownst to them, a Russian ship approaches with a sinister and dangerous cargo. Only Harker is sensitive to the impending danger. A violent storm interrupts the dance, breaking open the windows, and at the height of its fury, the figure of Dracula appears on the terrace. The hotel guests are unaware of his presence, but Lucy is drawn to him. As the sound of the storm returns, Dracula disappears, and Lucy is discovered dazed and almost unconscious.
Lucy is taken to Dr. Van Helsing’s clinic where her anxious fiancé and her friends visit her. As they leave from the night, Van Helsing, who has noticed the strange puncture marks on Lucy’s neck, takes the precaution of surrounding her with wild garlic. This does not prevent a second visit from Count Dracula. Later that night, Lucy’s body is discovered on the floor of her bedroom. The heartbroken men grieve the loss of this beautiful young woman. As her fiancé places a crucifix on her lips, Lucy attacks him violently before escaping into the night. She has become Nosferatu, one of the undead.
Mina, alone in the sanatorium, thinks of the terrible danger that is hovering over them all. After the departure of the men, she and Van Helsing are startled by the escaped mental patient, Renfield, who attacks Van Helsing and draws blood before being overpowered by the wardens. Concerned for Renfield’s suffering, Mina tries in vain to comfort and understand him. As she waits anxiously for the return of the men, she imagines with horror what her friend Lucy has become.
The men fail in their attempt to find Count Dracula, but later that night, as Harker sleeps, the Count enters Mina’s room. Van Helsing discovers them as Dracula suckles Mina with his own life blood. Van Helsing has no power to prevent the Count from escaping and taking an unconscious Mina with him.
Count Dracula has chosen to celebrate his union with Mina in the vault at Carfax Abbey. His heartbeat is the pulse that summons the Nosferatu to the ceremony. Renfield has become the sacrifice, and it is his blood that links the undead as they dance in adoration of their master. As the celebrants prepare for the consummation of the ritual, an explosion blasts through the crypt, and daylight floods into the vault.
Dracula can withstand the light, but his power is diminished. His adversaries pursue him and finally drive a stake through his heart. The survivors are left to come to terms with their experiences.
MICHAEL PINK BIOGRAPHY
Michael Pink is the longest serving artistic director in Milwaukee Ballet history. Since joining the Company in December of 2002, he established himself as a prominent member of the Milwaukee arts community, demonstrating his commitment to the future of dance through new work, education and collaboration.
His artistic vision for Milwaukee Ballet continues to be exciting and challenging. His long-awaited production of Peter Pan signified a major landmark in the Company’s history and was broadcast nationally by PBS in spring of 2014. His production of Romeo & Juliet has also been broadcast by MPBS. In 2008, the Wisconsin Dance Council presented Pink with the Choreography/Performance Award. In 2014, the Milwaukee Press Club honored him with the Headliner Award for service to the arts. He received the Civic Music Association’s award for Distinguished Citizen – Professional in the Arts in 2015. In 2019 he received the Educational Excellence Award from the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, which recognizes organizational achievement of a nonprofit that exemplifies collaboration in the arts.
Pink is an international choreographer whose theatrical productions of Dracula, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Swan Lake, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Romeo & Juliet, La Bohème, Don Quixote, Mirror Mirror, Dorian Gray and Beauty and the Beast have been hailed as ‘Classical Ballet for the 21st Century.’ His first professional work, 1914, was nominated for a West End Theatre Award, London.
His early choreographic work won him first place in the Frederick Ashton and the Royal Society of Arts Choreographic Competitions. He has worked as répétiteur for Rudolf Nureyev at the Paris Opera and La Scala Milan. He trained as a classical dancer at The Royal Ballet School and danced with English National Ballet 1975 to 1985.
Pink was the founding director of Ballet Central in London; he also served as associate artistic director of Northern Ballet.
He continues to build strong working relationships with other Milwaukee Arts groups, where his credits include A Christmas Carol, Assassins, Cabaret and Next to Normal for Milwaukee Repertory Theater, as well as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Matilda for First Stage.