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Ballet version of 'Dracula' planned for April premiere in Latvia

Artists of the Latvian National Ballet are using the current pandemic time to work on a new production: a ballet based upon Bram Stoker's horror classic, "Dracula". 

The restrictions set by the state mean the ballet staging process is being tackled in a completely different way with work in smaller groups, individual work at home, and even online costume fittings.

Latvian Radio's "Kultūras Rondo" show heard from the artistic director of the Latvian National Ballet, choreographer Aivars Leimanis, who says that the ballet "Dracula" was first staged three years ago in Australia, where it was highly acclaimed. 

Leimanis immediately joined the queue for the right to perform the ballet in Latvia as well. The ballet's license stipulated that for three years after its premiere in Australia, it could not be staged anywhere else in the world. Now that time is up and the premiere is scheduled for April 16 -- provided circumstances permit.

Leimanis explained how the work is organized: “We try to diminish the risks as much as possible. For example - one ensemble works on stage with an assistant choreographer. At the same time, the other members of the line-up watch live via video in the ballet hall and rehearse for themselves. After an hour they change places. Training hours are also divided into many groups." 

Soloist of the Latvian National Ballet Ieva Rācene said that despite the difficulties of such a complex approach, dancers are as keen as ever work from home and continue to develop their physical form and virtuosity. 

The only thing that Latvian National Ballet fans can watch at the moment is a recording of the ballet "The Enchanted Princess". It was made in November and was originally intended as promotional material for guest performances in Paris, which did not happen. 

As soon as it is possible to resume operations in Latvia, the ballet "Two Meters" will be offered to the audience. Aivars Leimanis describes this performance as a contemporary work both in terms of the language of dance and as an appropriate reaction to the times we are currently experiencing. 

 

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