Ballet Victoria offers zombie love story in Chilliwack Nov. 1

'We were inspired to create a gothic romance filled with grace, beauty, goosebumps and a touch of humour,' says artistic director

Frankenstein: A Zombie Love Story

Ballet Victoria is making a return to Chilliwack Nov. 1 with a unique thriller perfectly timed for Halloween.

Setting out with a vision of exploring isolation in dance, artistic director Paul Destrooper has created a ballet of epic proportions, Frankenstein: A Zombie Love Story with Ballet Victoria.

“Creation begins with inspiration,” according to Destrooper. “As the dancers and I worked on this production, it became clear that this truly needed to be a love story.

“We were inspired to create a gothic romance filled with grace, beauty, goosebumps and a touch of the humour that we bring to everything we choreograph.”

In the spirit of eerie times, The Chilliwack Arts & Cultural Centre Society presents this frighteningly good production that combines the thrill of the season with superb ballet on November 1.

Mixing classical and contemporary movements with a fusion of genres ranging from classical selections to tangos, cha-chas and even opera, it’s a unique dance performance and a spine-chilling show that casts Frankenstein in a whole new light.

In Ballet Victoria’s gripping version, the pieces of Frankenstein’s creation are collected from a graveyard where a young couple, who died as they were about to be married, are buried. The music of Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite #2 creates a fitting atmosphere as Dr. Frankenstein and his assistant, Igor, diligently assemble a monster out of these salvaged parts. Joining them is the doctor’s high-society wife, who loves ballroom dancing and constantly complains about the doctor’s scientific experiments and interests. With an obvious conflicting personality to her husband’s creative character, a humorous pas de quatre ensues with the doctor, his wife, her friend, and Igor dancing a dramatic tango.

His attention refocused on his creation, the doctor soon realizes that his monster is missing an important part, the heart, and promptly sends his sidekick, Igor, back to the graveyard to locate one. Doctor Frankenstein inserts the missing piece and something magical begins to happen, the monster begins to feel emotion for the very first time, dreaming of a lost love and a bride that he was never able to marry. This dream develops into an exquisite pas de deux, danced to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. As the monster comes to life, the doctor’s terrified wife wants to have him destroyed and a conflict escalate in the laboratory between the doctor, his wife, Igor and the monster. The eventual result is Frankenstein’s monster fleeing to the graveyard where he encounters a wandering Corpse Bride who instantly recognizes his beautiful heart and is drawn to him.

The second act follows the corpse bride as she meanders through the forest longing for her lost groom. When the monster arrives, he catches a glimpse of her and recognizes that she is the one from his dream. Their love is not quite reestablished though as the doctor soon appears on the scene and tries to destroy him, resulting in a ruthless fight breaking out. Frankenstein’s monster and the corpse bride eventually do come together and dance a thrilling pas de deux reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet requiting their love for one another.

An innovative ballet troupe, Ballet Victoria has developed a strong reputation for fun and narrative contemporary choreography, the Company’s artistic director Destrooper strives to bring a new polished technique and artistry to ballet adding a mix of humour, classical and popular cultural references with an emotional depth that appeals to audiences of all ages and cultures.

Frankenstein: A Zombie Love Story, Nov. 1, at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre, $32 for Adults, $29 for Seniors, and $27 for Students, 604-391-SHOW(7469) or www.chilliwackculturalcentre.ca