Alberta Ballet is putting a modern twist on Mary Shelley’s 200-year-old tale, Frankenstein.
“The Frankenstein family’s very rich. They live in West Palm Beach,” explained Jean Grand-Maitre, Alberta Ballet Artistic Director.
Grand-Maitre explained the ballet takes place in modern times, with iconic characters attending school and even getting married.
“Victor Frankenstein goes to Harvard Medical School in Boston and creates his monster… and they finish the honeymoon in Jasper and then he hunts the monster all the way into the northern Yukon.”
“We thought it would make more sense even now with the science we’re seeing and the development in cloning and genetic mutations,” Grand-Maitre said. “So these things are more believable today than they ever were.”
With the help of six other designers, special effects, lights, make-up, and a sinister soundtrack, Grand-Maitre hopes to recreate all the darkness and drama Shelley had intended.
‘You have death, you’ve got monsters, you’ve got all these things. It’s amazing what you can do on stage with some lighting, some make-up,” dancer Kelley McKinlay who portrays Dr. Victor Frankenstein said.
Australian Zacharie Dun plays Frankenstein’s monster.
“It’s one of those roles I wouldn’t have considered. You know, when you think of going to the ballet or even in my career, you think, you know, we do the Nutcracker or those things so when Jean told us that I would be dancing the role of this character, it kind of opened up all these doors,” Dun said. The Australian had moved to Canada two years ago to join the local dance company.
He was chosen for the lead thanks to his unique dance style and acting abilities.
“When the monster appears, the contrast between his movement and normal human’s is so dramatic and so we’re able to create two aesthetics that come in collision together in the same ballet,” Grand-Maitre said.
With Frankenstein, Alberta Ballet is hoping to open the door to new audiences.
“For those who just want to go out and have a good time and see a horror flick or a horror ballet, they’ll be pleased because it’s quite a sophisticated production,” he saId.
Frankenstein makes its world premiere at the Southern Jubilee Auditorium on October 23rd and will make it’s run through to the 26th.
Audiences are encouraged to wear costumes to the performance. A ‘best costume’ contest will be held on opening night.