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PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand


By John Posada

originally published: 10/24/2022

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

(LAKEWOOD, NJ) -- The Atlantic City Ballet performed Dracula at The Strand in Lakewood on Saturday, October 22nd.  Premiering in the Fall of 2006, Phyllis Papa's choreography is based on the story of Bram Stoker's Dracula. The story takes place in Eastern Europe when a young lawyer, Jonathan Harker is captured and imprisoned by Dracula. Photographer John Posada was on hand to take photos.

Dracula, inspired by a photograph goes to London to meet Jonathan's fiancée Mina where he drains the life of Mina's best friend Lucy Westenera. Dr. Van Helsing leads a crusade to free Mina and the world from Dracula. Set in the 15th century it has been received by sold out audiences.

Jonathan Harker, a young London lawyer, travels to Transylvania (modern-day Romania) to help a rich nobleman, Count Dracula, purchase an estate in England. Dracula plans to immigrate to England and wants Harker to help him with the legal details. Harker, at first, is impressed by Dracula's suave politeness. Still, soon the Count's uncanny ability to communicate with wolves and the lack of servants in the huge castle make him uncomfortable. Soon after, Harker realizes he's a prisoner in the castle.

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

One evening, he tries to find an escape route – only to be discovered and almost seduced/devoured by the brides of Dracula. Dracula rescues him at the last minute, and Harker realizes that Dracula is only keeping him alive to finish the real estate transaction. Harker is rescued while the brides are asleep by some peasants who tried to warn him when he first arrived. He comes down with a severe case of brain fever because of the shock and spends many weeks recuperating in a convent in the countryside in Hungary.

Meanwhile, in England, Harker's fiancée, Mina, is with her best friend Lucy in a seaside town. Mina's worried about Jonathan and wonders why she hasn't heard from him in so long, but Lucy can only think about her own suitors. She gets three marriage proposals on the same day from three friends: Dr. John Seward, a doctor who runs a mental hospital; Quincey Morris, an American; and Arthur Holmwood, the son of Lord Godalming (an English gentleman). She accepts Arthur  Holmwood. Even though Quincey Morris and Dr. Seward are disappointed, they stay friends with Arthur. Dracula has arrived in England but hasn't shown himself yet. A patient in Dr. Seward's hospital, Renfield, who captures and eats insects, spiders, and birds, announces his “Master's” imminent arrival. Lucy, acting strangely, seems to be losing blood, but no one knows how. What they do know is that she has been sleepwalking. Her fiancé, Lord Arthur Holmwood, gets worried, and Jack Seward sends for his friend and mentor, Van Helsing, to check her out.



 
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Van Helsing realizes that there's a vampire involved. He's a scientist, and doctor and well-versed in ancient superstitions and philosophy. Even after giving her multiple blood transfusions, they cannot save Lucy. But Van Helsing knows she's not dead. The four men break into her tomb, catch Lucy as a vampire and ultimately stab her in the heart. Mina finally hears from Jonathan and goes to him. They get married at the convent where he's been recovering from his illness and return to England. Harker, Van Helsing, Seward, Morris, and Holmwood all swear to get rid of Dracula once and for all. Mina has to hide in Dr. Seward's office at the hospital while the men go vampire hunting. Unfortunately for Mina, Renfield is under Dracula’s spell and alerts Dracula of her whereabouts. The men return in time to find her being force-fed some of Dracula's blood. The case is now extremely urgent – if they don't catch and kill Dracula quickly, Mina will turn into a vampire like Lucy. Dracula leads them on a spectacular chase back to Transylvania, where they finally catch up to him and kill him.

This original ballet, complete with sensuous costumes, theatrical sets and a gripping score, has become one of the biggest hits in Atlantic City Ballet’s 40-year history.  

The Atlantic City Ballet will perform Dracula on Saturday, October 29 at Ceasar's in Atlantic City.  Click here for tickets.

Here are more photos from the production.

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

PHOTOS from "Dracula" by The Atlantic City Ballet at The Strand

Founded in 1982, by Phyllis Papa the Atlantic City Ballet serves as a prime artistic resource to the residents of Atlantic City and the surrounding areas. The company is comprised of professional dancers from around the world and have earned national acclaim for their technical expertise and exuberant stage presence. AC Ballet offers access to fully-staged performances by a highly skilled company of professional dancers and educational programs designed to fit the needs of a diverse student population. Their community outreach initiatives encourage appreciation of and participation in the art form. The Atlantic City Ballet honors the diversity of world cultures through the engagement of a multicultural company of professional dancers. Although their home base is in Historic Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, the Ballet has performed in theaters all along the east coast and across the country. Their repertoire of original works includes such classics as A Midsummer Night's Dream, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. However, Ms. Papa is most known for her innovative works such as Dracula, Romeo and Juliet and her full length Carmen. Since its inception, the Atlantic City Ballet has served as one of the cultural treasures of New Jersey and continues a tradition of dance excellence for future generations of ballet audiences.

John Posada is a New Jersey based photographer specializing in live theatre and music performances. For more than 10 years, John has photographed live music events where he mastered the techniques of timing and capturing fast moving action under challenging lighting conditions to capture that perfect moment that tells a story in a single image. Currently, John has photographed over 110 productions for over 70 different theatres and venues. Click here for John's website.



 
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