Synetic Theater’s unique performance style is a composite of the arts, blending drama, movement, dance, mime, and music — it is no wonder then that its production of Dracula is swarming with erotic imagery and sensual choreography. It is unfortunate though that this show never defines itself as either an erotic tale of terror or just an awkward attempt at campy humor.
Based on Bram Stoker’s classic novel of Vlad Dracula’s slip into darkness director Paata Tsikurishvili as the Count glides from victim to victim as if on roller skates. This effect is more comical than scary and I found myself chuckling each time. Blood drips and skin is exposed as the cast plods through Jonathan Leveck’s script that at times becomes tedious — more entertaining however were the lush visuals on stage and a delightfully stimulating blend of gothic keyboards and operatic vocals. Anastasia Ryurikov Simes‘ costumes of red, black and white are stunning especially Satan’s flaming red jammies. Colin K. Bills’ lighting had just the right mixture of looming, sinister shadows and piercing rays of light. Even the stormy ocean voyage to the Count’s new London home is creatively depicted with a swirling bolt of black fabric as the ship’s bow that almost had me searching for dramamine. Synetic’s Dracula is a feast for the senses but ultimately I was left wanting more from this show — I don’t think the material has anything left to give.
Dracula, by Jonathan Leveck, based on Bram Stoker’s novel. Directed by Paata Tsikurishvili. Choreography, Irina Tsikurishvili; set and costumes, Anastasia Ryurikov Simes; lighting, Colin K. Bills; sound, Irakli Kavsadze and Paata Tsikurishvili. With Philip Fletcher, Miguel Jarquin-Moreland, Nathan Weinberger, Dan Istrate, Geoff Nelson. Approximately 90 minutes. Through Oct. 23 at Rosslyn Spectrum, 1611 N. Kent St., Arlington. Call 703-824-8060 or visit the website.