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Press Release: Interview with a Vampire - Premier Dancer Javier Torres talks about Northern Ballet's upcoming production of Dracula


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Interview with a Vampire - Premier Dancer Javier Torres talks about Northern Ballet's upcoming production of Dracula

As 
Northern Ballet prepares for a performance with a dramatic bite that leaves you thirsty for more, Premier Dancer Javier Torres talks about playing one of literature's most sinister characters as Northern Ballet resurrects Dracula exclusively at the West Yorkshire Playhouse from 5 - 13 September 2014.

Is this the first time you’ve played Dracula?
This is the first time I’ve performed in Northern Ballet’s Dracula. I did Dracula when I was performing in Miami but it was a totally different version and every Company wants something different from their production.

How will you prepare to play such an iconic character as Dracula?
I think getting into character will be quite difficult for Dracula as it is such a different character to play and I really haven’t decided yet how I will do it. I will sit down and talk to David (Northern Ballet’s Artistic Director David Nixon) and discuss what he wants with his ballet and his character and then I’ll go away and prepare myself to do it.

Will you read the Bram Stoker novel to help you prepare to play Dracula?
I know it’s really bad but I don’t like to read the book or watch the film of the ballets I’m doing! I read the book and watched the film of The Great Gatsby after I’d performed it! I prefer to build my own character so I can but my own stamp on the person I’m playing; it’s like having a blank slate. For me, it doesn’t make sense to take the characterisation from someone else such as through a film. I like to start afresh and build my own version of the character in my own style.

What do you think will be the main challenges of embodying Dracula?
My biggest challenge will be that he’s not a normal man, he’s not human. I don’t like the idea of bats, vampires, drinking blood or the supernatural world so I will have to change my whole attitude towards this and try to embody this person who I’m not. I will have to pour myself into playing a person that is not even human. Parts of the ballet are really clever and the second pas de deux with Mina is really beautiful. I also love how wonderful the music is but Dracula is a totally different creature to me, I’m going to have to come totally out of myself to play. It will be fun but it’s really dark so it will be hard.

How does the costume help with characterisation?
You look disgusting with a white face, fangs and a wig! I haven’t tried it all on yet so I don’t know how I will look as Dracula yet. When I see myself in the mirror as Dracula, that’s when I will really become him although mentally I will have prepared myself which is easier the more experienced you are.

How is it to dance in Dracula’s cape and fangs?
I haven’t tried the fangs yet but they snap on around your teeth and fix on with a special glue. I have rehearsed in the cape already though and it’s very hot and heavy! I think it’s around 10kg or more. You have to turn, jump, partner people and lift men and women all with the cape on which is like having someone else hanging on your back so you’re having to work double. It looks amazing though.

Why do you think the story of Dracula is still so popular?
I’m not very sure about this because I don’t like the supernatural world and vampires so to me it seems very strange. I think people are just fascinated by weird and unusual things so Dracula definitely fits the bill. The story also has a human value though because Dracula is trying to find somebody to love as well, so in a way it is a love story and I think this is one of the things that really appeals to its fans.

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors
Northern Ballet is one of the UK’s five large ballet companies. Based in Leeds it performs throughout the UK as well as overseas. Northern Ballet’s productions mix classical dance and theatre, embracing popular culture and taking inspiration from literature, opera, or giving a unique interpretation of popular classical ballets.
 
Northern Ballet is the busiest touring ballet company in the UK and is typically on the road for around 24 weeks of the year. The Company of 40 dancers tours a combination of new works and established repertoire to cities throughout the UK and is the only large scale ballet company to do so. 
 
Visit northernballet.com for more information on the Company and tour.
 
Production credits
Choreography & Direction David Nixon OBE
Set Design Ali Allen
Lighting Design Tim Mitchell
Costume Design David Nixon OBE
 
Dracula – Tour Dates 2014
Leeds, West Yorkshire Playhouse                        
5 – 13 Sep 2014                                                               
Box Office 0113 213 7700           
wyp.org.uk
On sale now
Age guidance 12+
 
Dracula – A Step Closer Events
Leeds, West Yorkshire Playhouse
Post show talk - Fri 12 Sep 2014              
30 minute talk on the Company and production, delivered by a member of the Artistic Team.
Free to ticket holders

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