October 24, 2019, The Scotiabank Dance Centre

About the show: An other-worldly evening that showcased five contemporary dance works from “Dracula’s Garden” – a series of contemporary ballet poems. The evening also included poetry, dance film installations, talkbacks, opportunity to socialize with the artists, and more! Dracula’s Garden contemporary dance series explores the universe of Gothic literature: its stories, creatures, and themes. Artistic Direction: Alina Sotskova. Choreography: Alina Sotskova and Rachel Helten, with contributions by Sophie Brassard, Kestrel Paton, and Samantha Presley. Performers: Rachel Helten, Kestrel Paton, Alina Sotskova. Film installations by Gemma Brave/ GProjectWorks. Five dance works were shown: “Slugs in the Cemetery;” “A Monster’s Heart;” “The Graeae;” “The Veiled Portrait;” and “Apparition/Creature/Mass.”

Photos from the show by Jason Kirkness.



Below is a trailer for “Dracula’s Garden Rising:” a contemporary dance film from the Dracula’s Garden Series. The full film will be screened at a later event; the preview is a glimpse into some of the dance works in this series. Footage shot for this film was part of the dance film installations during the show. Below are also some still shots from the filming process.



More about Dracula’s Garden series:

Dracula’s Garden contemporary dance series explores Gothic literature: its stories, creatures, and themes. The show will include several brief contemporary dance works. We think of each of these works as a dance poem – each is unique, exploring a different theme and new characters. During the show, three dancers work with pointe shoes to re-imagine the relationship between ballet, bodies, beauty, movement, and pointe shoes. We use the pointe shoes in different ways on the body and anything can happen: hands can become feet, human arms can become scorpion legs. Original poetry, music, and dance film created specifically for Dracula’s Garden series will be integrated into the evening and will immerse you in a world of night creatures, the uncanny, and the supernatural. We are excited to share a variety of dance works this evening: some in progress, some improvised live, and some that are completed after many hours of choreography and research.

We are interested in how Gothic literature and its themes evoke a range of emotions, from love to horror. Curiosity, excitement, exploration of something dark or dangerous, adventure, loss, deformation, search for humanity – the themes reflected in these stories that continue to appeal to us many decades after they were written. In this series, artists explore the personal, cultural, and historical symbolism of pointe shoes in the context of ballet, and re-imagine and re-invent their meaning, use, and symbolism.

Curious to see how we interpret these themes: check the “Dracula’s Garden” playlist in the Video section of the Voirelia Facebook page here to see videos from rehearsals, dance film shoots, and more.