Dracula, the Ballet was amazing.
- "I must somehow incorporate this into my books! Tights are HAWT."
- Why is LKH talking TO Dracula?
- "Oh, Dracula, the ballet was SO amazing! Allow me to totally misinterpret it."
From the moment the curtain opened and Dracula rose from his coffin in pale, naked splendor, we knew we were in for something for special.
Specifically, we were in for pale naked vampire penis.
The familiar story unfolded with Jonathan Harker trapped in the castle with his vampire host.
... of course, I doubt LKH has ever read the original novel. Dracula's not actually in it that much, and he's depicted as a very fierce, un-angsty, unsexy creature when he is. Which is why he's awesome, and LKH's vampires look like this guy:
Even when he was manipulative and creepy, Jean-Claude couldn't have scared a gerbil. And they're scared of everything.
They did a good job of showing how tormented Dracula was at having fresh blood so near by, and how under his spell Harker already was, and how helpless.
So they played lots of backgammon and talked about the weather.
The scenes with the three brides of Dracula and Harker were terribly cool. Very sensual, and Mina dancing through the foreground in white, pure and cool, and everything the brides were not was a wonderful reminder of what Harker had to loose.
Yes, hot tights-wearing man! Shun the evil thin blonde temptresses! Stay faithful to the wettight all-devouring maw of your one true petite black-haired curvy love! You can't POSSIBLY want sex with anyone else!
The staging was wonderful, too. They did a good job of showing our vampire going down the side of the building.
It shows a lot about LKH's books that I initially read that as "going down ON."
A nice visual, but I could just say NICE VISUAL for almost every part of the ballet and be accurate. It wasn’t just the dancers who were wonderful, but everyone behind the stage, from design, to lighting, to costuming, to anyone I forgot. It all came together in one of those moments that just leave you going, wow.
Maybe it's my evil cynical side
but I can't help but wonder if LKH would have been so dazzled by the technical stuff of the ballet if it didn't involve angsty bishie vampires wearing lipstick.
No, I'm not saying this ballet is bad. In fact, I hunted down a slideshow video that shows some of the scenes LKH has described and
OH HELP ME IT'S DRACULA'S ASS it does look very good. I just don't think she would be this into it if it didn't involve a handsome man prancing around, wearing lots of makeup and romancing a petite dark-haired woman.
It also strikes me a little funny that someone who claims she won't read "her genre" or even watch movies about ghosts or paranormal stuff is raving about how awesome a vampire ballet is. So, The Frighteners is just TOO much like her work for her to watch it (it has ghosts, but no vampires/weres/zombies/necromancers), but a ballet about VAMPIRES is not?!
The first scenes with Renfield left us wondering if you were unfamiliar with the story if you would have known who he was supposed to be and why he was locked up,
Because as we'll soon see, nobody is more familiar with Bram Stoker's original story than LKH. It's HER genre, you know! She's watched ALL the Dracula movies, including Dracula 2000!
but the dancer who played he was perfect,
Me am dissatisfied with you grammar.
and both Jon and Charles agreed that they wanted his back muscles.
"I just wanted his back-SIDE, teehee!"
His back muscles had back muscles.
That sounds freakish and gross.
Nope, does nuthin' for me.
It also sounds physically impossible, since to have back muscles, the back muscles would need to have... well, backs. Which also implies fronts, sides and so on. And I think having a whole separate set of muscles would tear the original muscles to shreds. Pain, blood and paralysis - the best parts of any ballet!
Other than Renfield, though, even unfamiliar with the story the choreography and the music told the narrative, very well.
... that wasn't a SENTENCE! There are words and punctuation, but it doesn't add up to anything!
In fact, for me, it is the best job of storytelling that I’ve ever seen at the ballet.
LKH, last great patron of the arts. Because we are ALWAYS hearing her talk about the ballets she sees... oh wait.
So many people think that they need to see Swan Lake, or Sleeping Beauty, but they are not narratives.
nar·ra·tive[nar-uh-tiv]–noun1. a story or account of events, experiences, or the like,whether true or fictitious.2. a book, literarywork, etc., containing such a story.3. the art, technique, or process of narrating: Somerset Maugham was a master of narrative.
HOW THE FUCK DID THIS WOMAN BECOME A BESTSELLING AUTHOR?! She doesn't even know what "narrative" means!
They are ballets, and the story is very secondary to the dance.
- And in your books, the story is very secondary to Anita having sex and whining.
- Just because the story isn't a very complex one doesn't mean it isn't a narrative...
- ... YOU POMPOUS TWAT.
Nothing wrong with that, but it can leave those of us who are not afincados of the dance a little lost and tired.
- ... those of you who are not SPANISH LANDOWNERS?!
- And how the hell can you get LOST in a narrative that is that simple? Princess is cursed by evil fairy. Princess pricks finger. Princess goes to sleep. Prince comes in, kisses her, she wakes up. WHY WOULD THIS MAKE YOU "LOST"?
- I think LKH just doesn't like watching Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake because they're more femalecentric, are fairy-taleish and not any form of horror, and the guys are basically secondary characters.
- Also, the main characters are usually envisioned as blondes.
Aurora, from Sleeping Beauty is a wonderful part for a ballerina, but she is not a character.
YES. SHE. IS. She is a fictional entity in a narrative, so she is a character. Just because you don't like her doesn't mean she isn't a character, you IDIOT.
She is more a characture, and leaves me cold, as cold and precise as the dancing she illicites.
- Two misspellings, homonym abuse, two misused words... LKH was on a roll that day!
- What, pray is a "characture"? If she means "caricature," then SHAME ON YOU FOR NOT KNOWING HOW TO SPELL THAT.
- So a character she doesn't like.... leaves her cold and precise?
- And the dancing she... is disapproved of of for moral reasons? Because that's what "illicit" means.
- And "illicit" is not a verb.
- I think she means "elicits," which doesn't make sense either. Unless the character of Aurora is INSPIRING or DRAWING FORTH dancing from others, that doesn't work.
- And you know what, LKH? Just because a character doesn't touch YOU doesn't mean the character IS a character. It means it's a character you don't connect to.
- For instance, there are people who connect with the character of Remus Lupin. I'm not one of them. It doesn't mean I claim he's a "characture."
There was nothing cold about Dracula. It was a very warm blooded ballet, no pun intended.
Possibly because Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty don't involve a lot of sexual subtext.
There was about a hundred people at the meet and greet that we did after the performance.
Oh yeah, yeah, I forgot to mention. The reason LKH and her entourage went off to this ballet was not artistic reasons, but because of a publicity event for her books. Her fairy books. Uh, not sure what THOSE have to do with Dracula - even though her vampires are wussy, feminine and completely lacking in scare, they're still way closer to Dracula than fairies are.
Of those, about a dozen had never been to the ballet before. None of them came away disappointed. They all enjoyed it, and they all got it.
"Ms. Hamilton, it's all about a sexy vampire falling in love with a curvy dark-haired woman, right?"
It was wonderful seeing everyone. Thanks to those who drove from far away, I think Wisconsin was the longest drive and California the longest flight.
.... THE HELL? People were flying halfway across the country to get a free paperback? I love getting freebies as much as the next person, but that seems kind of wasteful!
Some of you brought books, but most were just happy to have an advance copy of A LICK OF FROST in paperback, for free.
"... you cheap bastards."
A wonderful ballet and a free book; not bad for a Sunday afternoon.
The bags of complimentary drugs really helped too.
Oh, and I did give a short speech about the novel, Dracula, before the ballet, and did a question and answer session.
The way she talks about this ballet really makes me suspect that LKH has never actually read Dracula, because like a lot of nitwits who figure that that shitty Francis Ford Coppola movie MUST be faithful, she goes on about Dracula's romantic interest in Mina. Even though it's obvious in the book that him turning Mina was not a romantic sensual gesture, but a gesture of revenge and power. Women who have been seduced by a sexy lover don't immediately start sobbing hysterically, screaming and calling themselves "unclean."
Yes, it's possible that LKH has read the book, but she never really mentions it anywhere except when talking about the ballet. In fact, I don't think she's ever actually said that she's read the book. Look carefully at how she words this blog, and you'll notice that she never actually mentions having READ the book. So I'm going to assume that she hasn't.
Her speech about it was probably something like, "Bram Stoker is an important writer because he wrote Dracula, and that gave people their vampire fix until I came along with my mixed genres!"
The choreography was a nice mix of modern and traditional, and just different.
I wasn't aware "different" was a dance technique.
Dracula’s part was nicely done, to set him apart from the rest.
... the two halves of that sentence don't belong together.
The dancer who played Dracula was not only beautiful, but commanding, graceful, otherworldly, everything he needed to be.
Did he also have long pointy nails, sharp teeth and hairy palms? (Dracula, you naughty boy! You have three brides, so why the hairy palms?!)
I was a little upset about the choice the choreographer had made about showing Dracula’s interaction with everyone was violent, rather than sensual.
So in other words, she was upset because the choreographer arranged for Dracula to be depicted as a violent domineering undead warlord instead of THIS:
Okay, we have proof positive that LKH has never read the book, and her expertise in Draculean lore is entirely based on movies. Dracula in the book is a charming, charismatic force... but sensual and sexy? Not.
It was erotic, but it was very clear that this was force, supernatural rape, not seduction.
You know, like IN THE BOOK. Where Dracula DID supernaturally rape people. And didn't seduce them.
Someone needs to notify LKH that the sexy vampire thing didn't come into being until the 1970s. Bram Stoker wrote about Dracula as a force for evil and death, not a sexy misunderstood bishie who seduced people by bespelling them with his seductive lacy shirts. His Dracula is not sexy or alluring. He is scary as hell.
And you know what? I wouldn't expect a vampire who, in life, was supposed to have STUCK PEOPLE ASS-FIRST ON STAKES to "seduce" them instead of forcing them to do whatever he wanted. "Seduction" and "death by ass-staking" don't usually go together. It's like expecting a Viking-raider vampire to be a wimpy milquetoast. These things don't fucking go together.
Until he meets Mina, from almost the beginning of their interaction she’s a tougher nut to crack, and can sort of fight him off with purity and strength of will.
... no. No she's not. Dracula's first interactions with Mina include FEEDING ON HER MULTIPLE TIMES. She isn't able to fight him off with anything. And she ISN'T a tougher nut to crack. The only difference between her and Lucy is that Mina apparently remained a little clearer-headed when she was getting metaphorically raped, and she was able to resist a bit longer because SHE KNEW WHAT WAS HAPPENING TO HER,
That's where the horror comes from - that a pure gentle soul could be corrupted DESPITE its initial purity. It's not about Mina being so awesome and speshul that Dracula can't enslave her. YOU IDIOT.
But Lucy, the perpetual victim of the novel, is very much the victim here.
Thanks for telling me that she's a victim. Cause I didn't know.
He drives her mad, before he kills her, or perhaps makes of her a wanton thing.
No, actually that all comes AFTER she dies. But if your main knowledge of Dracula comes from Bram Stoker's Dracula, you might think that way.
The dancer playing Lucy did a lovely job of showing the sensuality and the terror of her plight. Not an easy mix to pull off.
Because if the undead monster slowly killing you is hot, it's all SEXY.
The first act ends with her death. My one complaint about the choreography was one movement with Lucy’s legs during the bite scenes with Dracula. Her legs came up and twitched, most unbecomingly. I believe the point was being driven home that this wasn’t fun or sensual, but violent, but that last movement distracted, and threw me out of the narrative.
Yes, how dare they depict this character being violated and killed in such an... unbecoming way! Being metaphorically raped and turned into a monster should be shown as being the sexy experience that it is!
I talked to others at the intermission and they felt the same way.
... and by OTHERS, I assume she means her husband.
The second act opens with Lucy’s funeral, followed closely by her undead rise. The scene where the men stake Lucy was powerful.
... but since neither Mina nor Dracula is in that scene, I'm not going to bother blathering on for a paragraph about it because it doesn't interest me.
Though we all agreed that the severed head didn’t look very real.
Because if there's one thing the Edgy Mistress Of Bloody Darkness knows, it's severed heads. They're left on her doorstep every morning with the newspaper.
There is a scene where Mina dances with the four men after Lucy’s death that shows in dance what grief feels like. I’ve lost enough people close to me, and trying to describe how it feels afterwards is almost impossible, but I watched the dancers move through it.
... and by "enough people," she means TWO. Yo, LKH, most people by their mid-forties have lost more people in their lives than that. I'm nowhere near that age, and I've lost more than two.
I thought, there, that’s what if feels like.
That is the feeling of having seen your loved ones rise from the grave as skanky child-attacking monsters, and having to stab them through the heart and chop off their heads! LKH knows that feeling so well!
The scene also showed Mina as the comforter of all of them, and the lynch-pin on which they all turned.
It's "linch-pin." I don't know what a "lynch-pin" is, but I assume it's something used to hang people.
I'm starting to see why LKH likes this play so much. There are three kinds of women in it:
- Helpless victims who die immediately. Twice. After becoming crazy sluts.
- Wanton temptresses who are rejected by the men.
- A dark-haired voluptuous petite woman who has strength of will and purity of heart, who reforms the vampire and all the men cling to her for comfort.
So in a nutshell, LKH likes this play not only because she can project her own romanticized "my vampires are the standard!" ideas onto it, but because Mina is a character she can project her own Sue's presence onto. If Mina were a blonde, skinny or clearly repulsed by Dracula (you know, like in the book), I wonder if LKH would have liked this ballet at ALL, or whether she would have googled the plot of Dracula and spent the whole blog post announcing that they got it wrong.
I wouldn't be shocked if she wrote a new series in which not only do Dracula and Quincey survive, but they join Jonathan and Arthur in regularly porking Mina, while she travels around London staking the EVIL vampires who don't have sex with her.
Then Dracula shows up, and begins to try and seduce Mina for real.
And by that, we mean he sneaks in while she's having a shower, lubes up with soap, and rapes her.
The hammer is his penis.
He tries violence, as he’s done with everyone else, but he feels bad about it, and Mina fights back.
FEELS BAD ABOUT IT? What fresh fuckery is this?
I'm going to be fair and say that I'm not sure who is buttraping the Dracula story here. It could be the people deciding to turn the ballet into a dancey version of Bram Stoker's Dracula (directed by Coppola's butt) instead of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Or it could be LKH projecting her own personal fantasies onto a faithful adaptation, because she's not interested in a story that doesn't center on a voluptuous dark-haired woman falling in love with and/or redeeming a hot vampire.
I'm not sure. It pisses me off, because this is totally the antithesis of everything Stoker wrote. He didn't write Dracula as a seducer. He didn't write Mina as being able to fight back against this almost unstoppable evil force. He didn't write Dracula as being stopped by purity of heart or strength of will. He didn't depict Good as overwhelming and purifying Evil just by BEING, but depicted Good as being something that had to fight AGAINST Evil.
He didn't depict Dracula as feeling bad about ANYTHING.
Dracula could kick kittens while pinching babies and pissing on a garden of lovely rare flowers.... and he would not see a problem with this. He gave a BABY to his brides for their din-dins, and when the hysterical mother came looking for her child, HE SET THE DOGS ON HER AND KILLED HER. And yet we're supposed to believe that this guy feels bad because he got too pushy with a pretty girl? BULLSHIT. Only in bad sexual fantasies.
And as for the question of people's different interpretations of classic stories, I have this to say: taking an obvious rape metaphor and transforming it into a love story is nothing short of disgusting to me. Because yes, it was pretty obviously a rape. Mina is found crying and freaking out, talks about how he FORCED her to drink his blood, and regards herself as "unclean" by what Dracula did to her. IT'S METAPHORICAL RAPE, DAMMIT. How explicit does Stoker's subtext have to BE?
And yet all these idiots see it as a seduction, the natural start to an epic romance, and a sign that Mina and Dracula are the true lovers of this story. WHO THE FUCK THINKS LIKE THAT?
Right. Stupid question.
There is a scene where Dracula is redeemed, that’s the only word that Jon and I could come up with, he is redeemed in a dance both gentle and powerful, and so beautiful you wanted to see it again, as soon as it was done.
... except Dracula being redeemed is a stupid idea. Because if he gets redeemed, there isn't any point in the rest of the plot, is there? The whole point of the story is that they're trying to stop Dracula from spreading vampirism through England, which he's doing because he's EVIL.
See, this is one of the many, many things I hate about LKH's works. Despite claiming to write challenging, gritty fiction that shows how dark and bleak life is, she writes LOVE as being the answer to all problems. As long as you're a hot vampire, that is. I mean, never mind that Dracula is EVIL and has done mind-blowingly horrible things for CENTURIES, including killing and vampirizing Mina's best friend! All he needs to make him a good person is to hang around a big-boobed dark-haired woman for five minutes, and be dazzled by how perfect she is.
Dracula was shirtless for most of the second act. Charles asked afterwards, why? Why’d he loose his shirt.
- Presumably to titillate all the Twi-moms sitting in the audience.
- He loosed his shirt because shirts deserve to live free, not be chained to people's torsos!
- BE FREE, LITTLE SHIRTS! Frolic through the meadows!
- Consider the punctuation and spelling in that line. This woman is a bestselling author. DOES NOT COMPUTE.
Answer, because he was beautiful, and it worked especially for this scene to show him as more vulnerable.
I think something just popped inside my head. I need to go kill something. Excuse me.
Mina enjoys being part vampire in this version, but it works.
Of course you think it works. Anything that gives the curvy dark-haired woman power and sex is good in your book.
And I mean, it's not like Mina's entire PURPOSE in the book's last lap is to be fighting against the vampiric mesmerism so the guys can kill Dracula. Oh wait, it is, and her whole purpose is nullified if she's like, "WHEE! I'm a vampire!"
It’s always hard for the human men not to come off as ineffectual in Dracula. This version was no different, in fact, their step behind was very visible on stage. It also worked.
... which is funny because the human men DRIVE DRACULA OUT OF THE COUNTRY and then hunt down and KILL him WITH WEAPONS.
Also, notice that nowhere does LKH ever mention Van Helsing, who is NOT ineffectual or bewildered by all this. Then again, Van Helsing is old, married, and doesn't have the hots for Mina.
You saw them struggle with things they did not understand, and watching them loose Mina as they’d lost Lucy, showed their pain.
... except they DIDN'T "loose" Mina, because she didn't die and there was a hope of curing her if they could kill Dracula in time.
This is like some sort of bizarro Dracula where everything is fucking backwards, and all the messages and subtext in Stoker's novel are turned into a cheap bodice-ripper. LKH probably made so many spelling and punctuation errors because she was typing with one hand!
But where Lucy was a victim; Mina was a partner.
There is so much cow excrement here that the word "bullshit" isn't enough. I think we now have concrete proof that LKH's knowledge of Dracula comes from that shitty Coppola movie.
Words cannot express how much I hate that movie, especially given the pretentious title claiming that it's BRAM STOKER'S Dracula even though it doesn't resemble his book except in the character names.
There is a moment where Mina and Dracula are dancing together, but never touch, and it flat works.
- What? They weren't humping and screaming in the middle of the floor? We were cheated, I say!
- I hate the phrase "flat works" almost as much as I hate "white bread."
- Especially since I've never heard ANYONE other than LKH use this phrase. I've heard people say "flat OUT" but not "flat."
They’re standing side by side, him in the cloak, and her in a dress, all that cloth flowing, and both of them with that long, dark hair, flying around their faces. They are wild, and free, and together.
FUCK. YOU. I'm not going to squee over how awesome and romantic it is for a SUPERNATURAL RAPIST and one of his victims to be "together."
It sounds like LKH was LKH was orgasming over how this was TOTALLY like Anita and JC, since they both have dramatic-looking clothes, they both have long dark hair, he's a vampire and she's a vampire groupie who gets powers without actually becoming a full vamp, he's a charming seducer and she's the only one awesome enough to be his "partner"... it's so TOTALLY like Anita and JC! It's perfect! I think I'm going to puke on myself now!
Again, I'm going to give the ballet company the benefit of the doubt. This is LKH we're talking about, who claimed that JRR Tolkien's novels were ONLY about language, that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie were inferior writers to her, and that she "pioneered" the urban fantasy genre even though it had been around for years. She is perfectly capable of seeing a ballet and warping the entire story into a Mary Sue fantasy, the way SHE would write it. Just like Stephenie Meyer and her "teen wuv uber alles!" approach!
So it's entirely possible that these people made Dracula intimidating, had Mina being brainwashed by Dracula, and didn't depict him as feeling bad and being repelled by her pure heart and strong will and all that shit. It's entirely possible that LKH daydreamed all of that, and that it wasn't intended at all. If it was, THEN FUCK THEM, THEY MISSED THE WHOLE POINT OF THE FUCKING BOOK. If it wasn't, then LKH is just being delusional and centering all fiction on whether it involves a curvy dark-haired woman and sexy vampires. So, yeah, the norm.
Then we have our end, as we must.
Thank you, God.
We get to see the brides again helping their master fight the humans at the castle back in Transylvania.
Note that while she waxes eloquent on how awesome Mina is and how she and Dracula are SO awesomely in love, she fails to mention HOW THE FUCK they all got to Transylvania, and WHY.
The last scene contains a bit of magic, and is a fitting conclusion to the adventure of the night.
You're thinking of Phantom of the Opera, another story that LKH rapes for Sue fodder.
They’ve changed the ending from the book, and in case you get to see it, I don’t want to spoil it for you, but it was powerful, and it worked with the whole.
Yes, because the heroes catching and killing the villain doesn't work with the story at ALL.
Changed, or not, it was just so right to the characters you’d seen on stage, you didn’t mind the change.
"And by 'you,' I mean myself and people who didn't read the book."
I will pay BalletMet Columbus’s version of Dracula the highest praise I have.
"And my highest praise is: it's just like something I would personally write!"
I would be willing to get on a plane and fly to see them do it again.
Anything to be able to orgasm about how much it's like my crappy pseudoerotic Sue fanfics.
Sadly, I’ve checked their website and I cannot find another showing. I’ve got e-mails into people, to see if I just don’t know how to navigate the site correctly, but this may be the last performance for awhile. Pout.
Isn't the point of having a company that they do more than one performance?
I was impressed enough with the company that I might be tempted out to another city to see them do something else.
"As long as it stars a curvy dark-haired woman who falls in love with a supernatural being and tames his evil with her pure heart and superstrong will. As long as it has that, I'm totally into it. If they do something boring, non-gothy and girly like Sleeping Beauty, then I'm so not into it."
Again, me volunteering to get on a plane . . . It’s gotta be good.
In case you've failed to notice, SHE IS SCARED OF PLANES and will write several blogs about that fear.