I don’t normally take much notice of Halloween beyond digging out some very mild ghost stories or similar weird tales. It was a big thing for children in Shetland when I was growing up, but I don’t remember it being much of an adult affair, and I’m not sure I much like the all out, all October, selling opportunity it’s become. Although if you are going to spend money on a pile of spooky plastic tat you might as well get a proper amount of enjoyment out of it.
What I can get right behind was the chance to see Northern Ballet do their Dracula via cinema live. It’s a wonderfully atmospheric performance with every gothic bit of trimming you could want. It stays true to the book almost until the end and has some brilliant visual effects - the opening scenes are particularly good, as is Dracula’s castle. The bits with Renfield in the asylum also really stand out.
The relationship between Mina and the Count is beautifully portrayed, the brides of Dracula are fabulous, and basically we loved all of it. The only quibble is that seeing it on a cinema screen meant that the dancers were larger than life at all times, even more so when the camera zooms in on the dancers. It’s amazing to be able to see the details, but at the same time it can be distracting as facial expressions and movements designed to be seen from a distance have a different impact when they’re blown up like this.
I’d love to actually see this live one day, it was all the excellence I’ve come to expect from Northern Ballet, and meanwhile it is at least something to have seen it on screen where at least we got the bonus of an interview with Javier Torres (who was dancing the part of the young Dracula).