Vampires of the modern times: Italian Etoile Ballet Theater in Egypt

Nevine Lamei, Friday 29 Jul 2022

In their first visit to Egypt, the Italian company Etoile Ballet Theater performs Vampiri at the Cairo and Alexandria Opera House.

Etoile Ballet Theater

 

Ballet in two acts and eleven scenes, Vampiri (Vampires) stages a total of four performances taking us to the misadventures of Dorian (Walter Angelini), a young boy, and Ambrosia (Ines Albertini), the seductive queen of vampires who gains the attention and emotions of Dorian, her new victim.

Written and choreographed by Albertini and Angelini, the artistic directors and principal dancers of the Etoile Ballet Theatre, Vampiri premiered in Italy and was then staged internationally. 

The ballet’s story is soaked in many emotions which are at the base of movement that relies on supple, elegant and graceful sensitivity, topped with passionate and energetic scenes.

All is packaged to pieces taken from the classical music repertoire,  Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, alongside composers such as Karl Jenkins and others.

Through their dance, Ines Albertini and Walter Angelini ask numerous questions such as: Is love between a human and a vampire possible? The answer comes through the choreography.

This is not the first creative encounter of the pair, also a married couple. They both worked as artistic directors and principal dancers of the US International Ballet (2017 – 2020) before they founded their own company Etoile Ballet Theatre in September 2020.

The repertoire of the latter, with innovative neo-classical and contemporary choreographies, fuses theatrical work on the characters and role-playing. The performances are suitable for the audiences of all ages and cultural backgrounds.

The same approach characterises the company’s previous productions such as Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, Scheherazade, Snow Maiden, The Seasons of Love, etc.

Appearing several centuries ago, and perhaps even several millennia, the myth of the vampire continues to incite a dosage of anxiety of the finest minds. Their presence in theatre, films or a dance work is often accompanied with images of blood.

The dramaturgy of Vampiri is inspired by the story of Elizabeth Bathory, nicknamed The Bloody Countess, and Count Dracula. This powerful fantasy drama, Vampiri opens with Ambrosia bathing in the blood of her victims, feeding on psychic energy, to feel rejuvenated and beautiful. The scene is followed by the vampires arrival on stage which projects the magic evoking a classic feel of the Eastern European Renaissance era.

The viewer sees in Ambrosia the evil influence that she exercises on those around her. She does so with lighting underscoring the blood red color setting background to a number of dance pieces, such as tango and the dance of love.

Based in Piacenza, Italy, the Etoile Ballet Theater resides at the Piacenza Art Ballet, in a 400 m2 building, dedicated solely to dance. The company brings together professional ballet dancers from different nationalities, many of them being graduates of the companies training programme. It is through those trainings that Albertini and Angelini work on improving and perfecting the dancers’ technique.

The company keeps welcoming new dancers for its upcoming shows.

The ballet Vampiri by Etoile Ballet Theatre is staged on 28, 29, 30 July at the Cairo Opera, and on 31 July 31 at the Alexandria Opera House.

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