sunnuntai 11. maaliskuuta 2012

Tanz der Vampire: About bites and kisses

You know the essential ingredient of any vampire musical, The Bite? Traditionally vampire's bite is connected with kissing, sex and whatnot, it seems to be a useful metaphor for a big variety of things.

Thomas Borchert on the Hamburg trailer.
In Tanz der Vampire, many Krolocks nowadays kind-of-kiss Sarah right before they bite her. Quoting myself: "I adore the way he [Géza Egyházi] almost kisses Sarah in 'Tanzsaal', right before he suddenly lowers his head and bites her instead. Their lips almost touch, and he has this look in his eyes, a bit like 'I could do this and I'd like to, but we're the centre of attention now and I'm expected to do this  instead. So wait until the guests are gone, honey.'" There are different ways to do the almost-kiss, and Géza's is just one interpretation  - or, rather, this is just my interpretation of one Krolock's way of almost-kissing Sarah. Some Counts are more cruel, some almost pitying or apologing, some just romantic.

The screencap above isn't from a performance but from a rather Twilight-styled trailer back in the times of the Hamburg production in 2004, and I don't think Krolocks did the kiss on stage there. I certainly don't remember seeing it until in Hungary about four years later, but I've understood that the tradition started during the 2006 Berlin production.

The almost-kiss in the Géza Egyházi style, ca. 2009.
Drew Sarich and Marjan Shaki in Vienna, 2011.
© VBW / Rolf Bock
But why a kiss? Krolock is usually not some Edward-like romantic vampire, after all. On the contrary.

In addition to adding a nice erotic touch to the bite scene and connecting bites and kisses more clearly, it's also a clear reference to Sarah's daydream earlier in 'Die roten Stiefel'. In the end of the dance sequence about Sarah dancing with multiple Krolocks, the dream-Sarah is first kissed by Krolock in a most romantic way...

Die roten Stiefel in the Russian production in 2011.

...which turns into Sarah taking over and kissing Krolock fiercely...

The Hamburg production 2004.
...after which he carries her to his white horse away. So, the almost-kiss in the vampire ball shows the contrast between dreams (or romantic vampire fiction?) and reality. The ball turns out to be quite different than Sarah has imagined: in the end there's no romance, and Sarah isn't in control of the situation. Sarah's freedom has its price, and she should probably be careful about what she dreams about because it might come true. ;-) Depends on the way the Krolock does it and how Sarah reacts to it, of course. I think some Sarahs especially in Hungary and Finland know what's coming even when they allow themselves to wallow in dreams for a while. In Finland's non-replica production the dream-Krolock kisses the dream-Sarah's neck gently right where he would bite her, too, and later in the ball the Count nips Sarah's ear in quite an erotic way before he bows down to bite her brutally and then throws her to his vampire minions.

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