The Gypsy Vampires of Drakov

Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre

Pike Performing Arts Center

Oct. 28-29

The Gypsy Vampires of Drakov is another coup for Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre. A re-incarnation of GHDT's "traditional" Halloween program, Dracula, the Oct. 28-29 program at Pike Performing Arts Center was mesmerizing in its ethereal qualities throughout. Every element - setting, lighting, costumes, music and choreography - built upon the finely crafted storyline to deliver a memorable modern dance ballet. How did Drakov become a vampire? How does he entice a fresh supply of blood for himself and his coven? Who comes willingly? Who resists? Christine Colquitt of Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre in 'The Gypsy Vampires of Drakov'

Alyona Yakoleva delivers Elena as a ruthless spirit who wills events into action. Is it a dream or life unfolding that we witness? How many of us have been caught in the intrigues of an Elena, whose appearance beguiles as one of delicate innocence?

Equally counter to physicality is Christine Colquitt, whose portrayal of Elena's sweetly adoring cousin, Sofia, breaks your heart.

Vadim Dulepa gives believability to Victor, the noble suitor of Sophia. Victor's final decision infuses the work with the heft needed to mark Gypsy Vampires as a noteworthy modern dance ballet.

Heather King imbues Shana, the Queen of the Undead, with every quality of a corporate woman set upon creating her own empire. Having given up wholeness to become half of a pair with Drakov, she now regrets the weakness and intends to reclaim her selfhood.

Overarching the center of the action is The Vampire Drakov. Martin Casanova, in his premiere in the role, makes Drakov his own, eschewing the dominating, luringly evil characterization Gregory Hancock brought to Dracula in previous productions.

Drakov's coven contains four other vampires, each given distinctive qualities by Sarah Collister, Rachel Burt, Leslie Dodge and Tuesday Perry. Amber Alberts is chillingly realistic as the unsuspecting victim.

The company of dancers as The Undead carries the audience into their world in a scintillating series of individualized and synchronized movements in the opening scene. They embolden Elana's competitive thirst.

The Gargoyles engagingly expand Elena's sleepwalking scene. Bravo to Madeline Blackwell, Courtney Blackington, Linday Campbell, Sophia Cothrel, Eleni Salyers and Sara Schultz.

Choreography and costume design are by Gregory Glade Hancock; scenic design by Valery Kosorukov and lighting design by Ryan Koharchik.


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