Um. What?

Yes, yours truly went to the ballet. Unbeknownst to many whom I know, I love the ballet and actually hoped that one day I could be a ballerina. However, when I was twelve years old, I was already quite tall, and “gangly” doesn’t even begin to describe my gracefulness or considerable lack thereof.

While the ballet, by necessity, couldn’t encompass that kind of drama, it nevertheless brought its own take on the classic story.

Besides the books on ballet – never novels or fiction, but always technique and history – I was also immersed in reading printed works from the 19th century, especially the classics, of course. Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Ida B. Wells (wrenching), Walt Whitman, and Edgar Allan Poe always have been among my favorites.  And then there was Bram Stoker, who wrote one of my most favorite and complex novels, Dracula. If you’ve seen the movies (and I’ve seen them all), you may think that it’s a fairly simple story of a person (male or female) who wanders into a scary castle, and then bats ensue.

Not so.

The story is quite complex and takes you to different countries, over the ocean, and establishes an incredible story with nail-biting drama.

The brides and Dracula

While the ballet, by necessity, couldn’t encompass that kind of drama, it nevertheless brought its own take on the classic story.

A Ballet in Three Acts

Act One introduced Dracula and his twelve (!!!!) brides. Later in the act, a young girl is brought from the village by Renfield, and Dracula and his brides eventually finish her off. But these are vampires, so you know more is to come.

Act Two celebrates the love of another young girl and her beau who want to be married. The whole village celebrates, drinks beer, and her parents grant their permission for him to take her hand in marriage. Naturally, Dracula and the put-upon girl from the first act scatter the party while riding Dracula’s spooky horse-drawn carriage, kidnap the bride-to-be, and leave the village upset and grieving.

Act Three finds you looking into a different part of Dracula’s castle, where he attempts to seduce the bride-to-be but is disturbed by a few members of the village’s ragtag search party. There’s a dramatic standoff until the young hero pulls back a curtain to let sunlight in and, of course, that’s the demise of Dracula.


Photo by Kal Loftus on Unsplash
Deep Red Wine

Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to photograph or videotape any part of the performance, so I hope that you enjoy the few pics that I was able to glean from the web. And as always, thanks to Unplash for their amazing offerings of great images (no, they’re not a sponsor).

By the way, I’d pair any Dracula story with a deep, dark red wine, such as Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Sirah, or Malbec.  It’s just fitting, wouldn’t you agree?

You might want to skip the garlic.

If you’re ever in Vegas and have a hankerin’ for genuine culture, check out The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. It’s a great venue for the arts, and it’s a totally non-profit, privately funded project.

And as an aside, I still think bats are adorable.




Michael D Beckwith


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