BWW Review: The Haunting Tale of DRACULA Comes to the Kansas City Ballet
Anyone who could not feel the sense of macabre sensuality on the stage of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts should join the members of the undead in Dracula. The Kansas City Ballet production of Michael Pink's Dracula opened on Friday February 21 with the Kansas City Symphony performing the musical score.
Not only did Dracula, played by Anthony Krutzkamp, put his victims in a trance but his performance crept over the audience bringing the eerie, powerful, and tempestuous character to life. Krutzkamps movements were physically demanding and mesmerizing. Taking a victim by the throat his intensity flooded the theater with a sensation of dominance and control.
Molly Wagner stepped into the role of Mina Harker for the opening night performance. Her choreography by Pink exuded of a sophisticated socialite drawn into a dark world of the undead. Her compassion towards Johnathan Harker and Lucy is evident and her struggle to remain free of Dracula's control magnificently performed.
Ryan Jolicoeur-Nye played Dracula's first victim Johnathan Harker. His performance as he gives himself over to the vampire king is persuasive, drawing the audience into the lore of Bram Stoker's Dracula. As he awakes in the sanatorium, his wife's arms holding him, the reality of his fear and terror professed through dance.
Laura Hunt's performance as Lucy Westenra the flirtatious woman drawn mystically to Count Dracula was superb. While the others at the tea party dance and move in slow motion, Lucy and Dracula sweep across the floor in real time as he takes her for his own.
Other members of the cast, Ian Poulis as the crazed Renfield, James Jordan as Dr. Van Helsing, Logan Pachciarz as Quincey Morris, Geoffrey Kropp as Arthur Godalming, and the members of the ensemble were wonderful to watch as they helped to move the plot along.
The costumes and scenery supplied by the Atlanta Ballet are instrumental in making the production a success. The era costumes bring to life the villagers in Transylvania as they perform a ritual to protect the village on All Souls Night. When the sinister coachman of Dracula takes Johnathan to the castle, the dilapidated rock walls transport the audience inside the castle to where the Prince of Darkness resides.
The blending of the notes from Philip Feeney's musical score were essential as the plot unfolded. The eerie sounds and sound effects captivated the minds of the audience. Before the beginning of the third act, the audience showed its great appreciation of the symphony conducted by Ramona Pansegrau with a thunderous round of applause.
The haunting tale of Dracula continues on the stage of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts through March 2. Purchase tickets at the Kansas City Ballet website or the Kansas City Ballet Box Office at 816-931-2232. Photo courtesy of the Kansas City Ballet.