Spooky Adventures

This past weekend, we did our Halloween celebrating.  Alex got us tickets for the Dracula ballet on Saturday, and for the National Symphony Orchestra’s Spooktacular concert on Sunday – both at The Kennedy Center.

This was my first live ballet performance.  I’ve watched quite a bit of ballet however; West Virginia Public Television airs more of it than you might think.  Also, I was exposed to it in school.  What child hasn’t sat through at least part of the Nutcracker at holiday time?

Dracula wasn’t at all what I was expecting, though.  It was less a ballet and more of a pantomime, to use my husband’s expression.  It was very performance artsy, and there honestly wasn’t a lot of true ballet to it.  I suppose we should have realized that when the art director felt the need to come out before the performance and explain to us what it was about.  I could see where they were trying to go with it.  But when Dracula’s makeup reminds you of Riff-Raff, and you see a couple of pro wresting moves in the dancing…

The dancer cast as Jonathan Harker was extremely wooden – I’m not sure how he managed it really.   I’m not a ballet expert or qualified critic by any means, but most of the dancing seemed mediocre.  The costumes were pretty, though, and the sets were spectacular.

The gentleman who danced Dracula, however, was very talented.  There is one scene where he sort of slinks across the floor after Harker – it’s very hard to describe, but suffice it to say that he made the motion look impossible and supernatural.

And here is what I wore:

Bones and Roses, by Lip Service

I love this dress! I was a little concerned about the sizing – Lip Service tends to run small, and they only had extra small and small sizes left.  But it fits!  And it’s so, so soft.

Sunday was my first live orchestral concert.  The Spooktacular is actually part of a “family” event – of course, “family” here means “families with children.”  There were costumed characters, a “petting zoo” where the kids could touch and play with real musical instruments, candy giveaways, and several family friendly performances throughout the day.

I’m not a kid person by any means; I never have been, and that’s not going to change.  But Halloween is the one time of year I don’t mind being around them.  Some of the costumes were really great, too.  We saw two Draculauras, a Frankie Stiein, a unicorn, a shark, a gorgeous little goth girl, and a Sta Puff Marshmallow Man.  There were also a ton of superheroes and an entire family of vampires.

As to my costume…I didn’t spend a lot of money this year, since we weren’t traveling or going to a bunch of really fancy events (like last year’s Vampire Ball).  So I kept it simple, using elements from my closet, and sort of half-assedly fulfilled a stupid little dream of mine.  The original plan was to wear my satin corset instead of a vest, but Chewie decided to be difficult; Alex didn’t need the added aggravation of trying to lace me in.  The corset would have looked better I think, but the vest was okay.

In all your fantasies, you always knew…

While I was called upon to explain my costume to a teeny, tiny little girl in a pink Batgirl costume (and then explain what opera was), I was sadly not called upon to sing.  More’s the pity.

Alex went with his ever popular standby:

He was recognizable to little kids and adults

After the concert, it was time to settle in for Frankenstorm…but I think I’ll save that for another post.


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2 Responses to Spooky Adventures

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I’m glad you had a good weekend! It sounds like a lot of fun.

    Years ago, I saw Dracula by the Denver Ballet, and it was very good — more classical than what you’ve described. I guess. They took some costume ideas from the Francis Ford Coppola movie, and it was suitably Victorian and atmospheric.

    • mrslucard says:

      Dracula’s costume here was almost identical to the long, red cloak thing you see in Coppola’s film. It was a little bit at odds with the weird look they went for with Dracula (the thing about Riff-Raff is not an exaggeration, really) but the dancer made it work. He was awesome.

      The thing I didn’t like about it was all the writhing and slithering on the ground – it wasn’t just the vampires doing it, there were some slinky wolves, too. I think the art director was trying to convey something with that; maybe the angst of being a vampire/ I’m not sure. But I swear, through the whole last act, I could picture in my mind a very flamboyant middle aged man backstage dramatically exclaiming about his “vision.”

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