Dancers enter the dark side

Veronica Rodriguez
Staff Writer

The Inland Pacific Ballet hosted the Halloween spectacular “Vampires, Ghosts and Black Swans” Ballet Saturday and Sunday at the Bridges Auditorium in Claremont.

The production included “Dracula,” “The Other Side” and “Swan Lake.”

The dancers appeared in their white dresses and white painted faces with dark makeup around their eyes.

As they came toward the front of the stage they rolled in a black coffin above fog.

The music of Camille Saint-Saens and Sergei Prokofiev set the tone for Dracula to emerge from his coffin in his bright red cape as his brides and the ghostly entourage danced on his command.

Mina, the only dancer in a red dress, becomes the latest victim to Dracula.

In contrast to Dracula’s stage, “The Other Side” had a solid curtain as a background where you could see the shadows of the dancers as they moved.

The dance started with five dancers on the ground with their bodies layered on top of each other.

Once the music of Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky began, they started to rise slowly back and forth as if it was a heartbeat and moved into a new formation.

The dancers kept their movements intense and energetic throughout this performance and their movements were more dramatic and abrupt than the Dracula performance.

The music grew louder and the action faster.

Four dancers ran off the stage and into the aisles one by one during the last song with only one remaining on stage.

They stood still looking toward the stage. This dance was the most contemporary of the three.

“It was wonderful, I liked that this performance had a modern technique,” audience member Kima Christian said.

The Inland Pacific Ballet is a company that focuses mainly on contemporary ballet.

The performers displayed modern footwork while the classical soundtrack added final touches to the presentations.

For the performance of “Swan Lake,” 17 swans and one queen danced in a forest setting. They danced to Tchaikovsky’s music with impeccable footwork.

The queen swan in both her white and black dresses awed the crowd with her fluidity on the tips of her toes.

She was able to nimbly move on her toes while moving toward the crowd at the same time.

The crowd responded with overwhelming applause.

The queen swan, Allynne Noelle, has been with Inland Pacific Ballet since she was about seven years old and her expertise was apparent with her performance.

Each 30-minute performance had its own distinct theme.

“Dracula” emphasized Halloween, “The Other Side” emphasized modernity and “Swan Lake” expressed the classical side of the ensemble.

“Most of the dancers have been with Inland since they were in elementary school, which is why it was easy for them to rehearse only four to six weeks prior to the show,” artistic director spokeswoman for the Inland Pacific Ballet Victoria Koenig said.

Veronica Rodriguez can be reached at

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