Back to Blog

The Story of Dracula

Dive into the Legendary Tale: The Story of Dracula

David Nixon’s Dracula has been a crowd favorite for years and we are so excited to bring you this classic and spooky tale for our 46th season.

First published in 1897, Bram Stoker‘s Dracula introduced the world to the legendary vampire Count Dracula and established many of the vampire genre’s enduring tropes. Set against the backdrop of Victorian England, the novel and ballet follows the journey of Jonathan Harker, a young solicitor sent to Transylvania to facilitate Count Dracula’s real estate transactions in England. What unfolds is a tale that brings about female vampires, horror, suspense, and the battle between good and evil as Dracula sets his sights on London and its unsuspecting inhabitants.

Act I

 

Prologue

A man, Dracula, steps from a coffin. Naked we step into the world, naked we re-enter.

Voyage

Jonathan Harker, a young attorney-at-law, boards a carriage alone. This is the final leg of a journey that has brought him far from his home in England.

Arrival and Sojourn

Jonathan’s decision to enter Count Dracula’s castle will have an eternally significant impact on his life and the lives of many others. Jonathan, terrorized by the vampire, reads through his papers as Count Dracula watches, listens, and observes. As the scene ends, we ask ourselves: Is what happened reality, fantasy, or a combination of the two?

The plot thickens

BalletMet dancers portray the story of Dracula in David Nixon's ballet.

Jonathan strengthens his mettle by looking at a photograph of his beloved Mina. Count Dracula reaches into Jonathan’s mind and conures the living image of Mina. The door is locked; Jonathan is alone as a prisoner. Though the though of Mina is with him, Jonathan succumbs to the seductive brides of Dracula. These creatures are dispersed by Dracula who claims Jonathan for his own. Jonathan watches Dracula depart for England as, simultaneously, the real Mina and Lucy are seen in their English Garden.

Engagement

The young Lucy Westenra awaits her suitors. The intelligent yet melancholy Dr. Jack Seward is sadly rejected, while the confident and flamboyant Lord Arthur Holmwood is accepted with joy.

Fluttering Bats

Skittering among his fellow bats, Dracula arrives at Renfield’s cell, clearly demonstrating that Dracula sees Renfield as his pet. The master feeds before his servant.

The sanatorium

Dr. Seward returns from Lucy’s unaccepting arms to the study of his most peculiar patient, Renfield. Renfield, who craves bugs, spiders, and all living things, grows more violent as he cannot get his way with Seward. The doctor obtains relief through morphine injections.

foreshadowing

Alone in England, Dracula seeks his new wives. While sleepwalking, Lucy is lured by Dracula into a cemetery. He lulls her into his arms and feeds upon her blood. Once he has his fill, Dracula opens the veins of his wrist to infect Lucy with his blood.

celebration

BalletMet dancers portray the story of Dracula in David Nixon's ballet.

Lord Arthur and Lucy celebrate their engagement with a party. Lucy arrives late upon the arm of an unknown stranger. She draws attention as, uncaring of social protocol, she displays her sensual enjoyment. As the party proceeds to its climax, the real Lucy resurfaces and runs out in embarrassment and exhaustion.

One Dance

Dracula stops Mina from following Lucy. Time stands still. Dracula, who should feed upon Mina, cannot; Mina, who should be repulsed by Dracula, is drawn toward him. Unbidden, the vision of Jonothan brakes in upon the intimate couple. Mina leaves upon reading a message that Jonathan has returned.

Anger, Retribution

BalletMet dancers portray the story of Dracula in David Nixon's ballet.

Dracula flies into the night, imprisoned by the shadows which he has chosen. Dr. Van Helsing arrives to view the ailing Lucy. Dracula, as an invisible creature longing to walk with Mina, stalks Mina and Jonathan. Tortured by the grasp Mina has upon him, Dracula seeks his retribution upon Lucy. In a final wild seduction, Dracula draws the last drops of life from Lucy. Holmwood, Seward, and Van Helsgin arrive. Through blood transfusions, they hope to save Lucy, but they must simply sit out the death watch.

– INTERMISSION –

Act II

 

Funeral

Final respects are paid to Lucy as she is interred in the Westenra family mausoleum.

Grieving

Friends and lovers grieve the loss of Lucy. Collectively they give support, yet individually they face their personal shadows. Mina cannot free herself from thoughts of Dracula.

Freedom

BalletMet dancers portray the story of Dracula in David Nixon's ballet.

Dr. Van Helsing leads the young men back to the mausoleum where Lucy is entombed. To their horror, the men discover that the coffin is empty. Lucy returns as dawn approaches, seeking her tomb. She attempts to lure the men but is driven back by the cross of Van Helsing. Lucy seeks the refuge of her coffin, but she is staked and beheaded.

The Hunt

The men return with Mina to the Sanatorium where she is to spend the night. Van Helsing hypnotizes Renfield and learns of Dracula’s hiding place. The men seek out and destroy Dracula’s crates, bearing unhallowed earth. As the crates are burned, Dracula punishes Renfield and seeks out Mina to have his ultimate revenge.

Two become One

Alone in her room, Mina realizes that although she should not love Dracula, she harbors a deep passion for him. The exhausted, hunted, and broken-down Dracula arrives to seek revenge by ravishing Mina, but instead crumbles and crawls to her feet.

Discovery

The men return to discover Renfield dead and Mina lying in Dracula’s arms. Dracula flees into the night.

Paths to be followed

Jonathan finds his wife once more in a strange trance. Mina feels for Jonathan as much as she fears for him. She attempts to escape into the night but is stopped by Van Helsing, Holmwood, and Seward. Van Helsing leads all on his crusade to free Mina and the rest of the world from Dracula. Now, all of the characters live simultaneously with fear and grief. They follow their respective paths which they must, and in doing so, come to the end of our story.


Now that you have read the story of David Nixon’s Dracula, it is time to see the show! Get your tickets to see David Nixon’s Dracula, opening at the Davidson Theatre on October 25 – November 2, 2024.

Want to learn more? Meet the characters from the show!