ORLANDO – A mad scientist hovers over the eerie looking potions in his laboratory, as a maniacal grin spreads across his face. He raises a massive syringe, then moves toward the victim lying helplessly on a table, in order to inject him with it ….
… and then scientist and victim rise, and …. begin to dance ….
…. ballet, to be precise – and very artistically choreographed ballet moves, at that.
“The doctor sort of experiments with human DNA,” said Robert Hill. “Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.”
What Hill is hoping definitely does work out is “Vampire’s Ball,” the Halloween-themed production being put on by the Orlando Ballet, with performances on Friday, Oct. 21 through Sunday, Oct. 23 at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre.
“Vampire’s Ball,” an original piece choreographed and staged by Hill, the artistic director of the Orlando Ballet, and it’s meant to be a marriage between ballet and one of popular culture’s favorite themes around this time of year: the tale of terror.
“It’s a very popular theme, obviously, and there are a lot of ways you can handle it – haunted houses and so on,” he said.
This morning, the Orlando Ballet opened its doors at 1111 N. Orange Ave. in downtown Orlando to the local media, for a sneak preview of the production, which is still in the rehearsal phase.
“We do the media preview prior to the public performance,” said Treva J. Marshall, president of TJM Communications Inc., which handles public relations for the Orlando Ballet. “We’re very pleased to talk to you today about the Vampire’s Ball.”
Hill said the idea for this unique production dates back to 2010.
“We thought of the concept last year sometime when we were planning for the new season,” he said. “I think the idea was to create something that’s very interesting on a dance level.”
Employing a large cast of dancers, the show not only has the mad scientist and his monstrous creation, but also a vampire in a black and purple cape, a handsome young couple who wanders into the wrong place at the wrong time, and, as the title indicates, an actual vampire’s ball that the young female victim accidentally wanders into.
During the production, the young couple will perform a romantic dance together in the woods, but as they finish, Hill cautioned that “Of course, the vampires come in and they get abducted and carried away.”
The production employs music by Midnight Syndicate, a company that produces Halloween-themed music, and the Orlando Ballet has even gone ahead and ordered special vampire teeth, “and ones that fit,” Hill said. “We’re going to put blood on them, too.”
Hill said the production would be a mix of humor, scares, and the kind of dancing that Orlando Ballet has become so highly acclaimed for.
“There are several quite hopefully humorous moments, and I’m poking fun at the horror themes,” he said. “I don’t want this to be taken too, too seriously, but I really want the dancing to be an important part of it – well danced. This is a dance company, after all.”
Hill said he was also grateful to the Orlando Ballet for allowing him to run artistically with such an unusual project as this one.
“I really appreciate how much they allow me to do what I want to do,” he said. “They allow me to indulge myself to the nth degree, to do what I want to do artistically.”
To learn more, call 407-426-1733 or the box office at 407-426-1739, or log on to Orlandoballetschool.org.
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