Kansas City Ballet's gripping performance of Dracula requires more movement, lifts

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Kansas City Ballet's “Dracula” doesn't involve pink lace and tutus, but rather Victorian costumes and velvet, and it’s intense.

Speaking with 41 Action News prior to opening night, Artistic Director Devon Carney described it as a powerful story about Dracula’s love of blood and not the love of a person. 

“It’s very physical,” Carney said. “You have to be in your top physical form to do something like this.”

The performance, choreographed by Michael Pink, centers around the love story between Mina and Jonathan Harker and Dracula’s obsession with his victims.

“There's a lot of intensity in the work and that's a great balance in terms of the reps for the entire season as a whole,” Carney said.

Dancers Tempe Ostergren and Molly Wagner perform the role of Mina. Ostergren told 41 Action News every step in this performance exerts a high level of motion.

"My character really doesn't come to fruition until the third act," Ostergren said. “Dracula comes into my bedroom, we have a pas de deux at which point he feels emotions he's never felt before and I think I'm totally hypnotized by him."

Now in his third season with Kansas City Ballet, Anthony Krutzkamp is one of the lead dancers to play the title role of Dracula.

It’s a role that requires more lifts, structured movement and acting.

“This one’s a little more of a calm, controlled Dracula that I have to actually fight because I want to be a little bit meaner,” Krutzkamp said. “I’m always standing with my hands like this…waiting. “

Laura Hunt landed the role of Lucy, a woman who throws herself at Dracula but has little interest in her.     

“He's more looking for Mina and Lucy sees him and she just desires him,” Hunt said. “She presents her wrist so that he can suck her blood and she just gives him all of her.”

Dracula runs through March 2. Due to the adult themes, parental discretion is advised.

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