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SNB Presents Dracula the Ballet, a Brand New Production!

Published August 18, 2023

SNB Presents Dracula the Ballet, a Brand New Production!

by Rosine Bena

Sierra Nevada Ballet is starting on a great adventure: the creation of a brand new, original story ballet and tale of horror to welcome the Halloween season in October. Performed to the haunting tango music of Astor Piazzolla and created by award-winning artist and SNB Associate Director, Ananda Bena-Weber, SNB’s Dracula (the ballet)will be presented in both Reno and Carson City!

Domingo Rubio as Dracula

The horror story is based on one of the most famous pieces of English literature about the frightening vampire Count from Transylvania.  

“We have tried to stick to the original story,” Bena-Weber said. “We have had to make some changes in order to present it as a ballet, and we’ve added some fun things, like a masquerade ball.”

The original novel Dracula by Bram Stoker, published in 1897, begins when solicitor Jonathan Harker, who is engaged to Mina Murray, takes a business trip to stay at the castle of the Transylvanian nobleman, Count Dracula. Harker escapes the castle after discovering that Dracula is a vampire, and the Count moves to England and plagues the seaside town of Whitby, encountering several interesting characters including Mina and her best friend, the beautiful Lucy Westenra and her three suitors. After Lucy dies mysteriously, a small group led by Abraham Van Helsing hunts Dracula and, in the end, kills him.

Rehearsal of SNB's DRACULA-The Ballet with Domingo Rubio as Dracula and Sara Weir as Mina

“Dracula is timeless,” Bena-Weber said, when asked why she chose the novel that draws upon Transylvanian folklore and history. “It is one of those stories that will live forever; much like the title character. It addresses some fundamental aspects of what it means to be human. We all like to think of ourselves as virtuous and good. Dracula asks the questions: what would it take for me to be seduced into doing something unthinkable? Would I have the strength to resist temptation?” 

The leading character in the original story was based upon the historic Romanian despot, Vlad III: Vlad Dracula (son of the Dragon), who was a brutal, sadistic leader with a thirst for blood and famous for torturing his foes. In the ballet, Count Dracula has a hypnotic charm and a great seductive power which he uses to attract his victims. 

“I knew from the start that I wanted Domingo Rubio to dance the title role,” said Bena-Weber.

A former Joffrey Principal dancer and star of the Robert Altman film The Company, Domingo Rubio has performed the title role before in other professional productions but claims that Bena-Weber’s ballet is “very innovative, exciting, erotic and yet frightening.” Domingo has assisted Bena-Weber in creating some of the hauntingly beautiful and sensuous duets in the ballet.  

Rehearsal of SNB's DRACULA-The Ballet with Domingo Rubio as Dracula and Sara Weir as Mina

Finding the right music to match this dramatic story took some time. Bena-Weber chose the famous Tango music of Astor Piazzolla. “Piazzolla is a rare genius,” she said. “I thought his music would be perfect for Dracula because his melodies, while exquisitely beautiful, also include strange ratchet sounds, sounds of decay, strains of the hauntingly mysterious, as well as notes of angst and even of horror. Plus, using his music is a great excuse to create a tango-inspired Dracula, which I think is a really exciting idea! I love tango movement and often use it in my work. The dance itself has an air of mystery and sensuality that I think fits perfectly with this story.” 

SNB will premiere this brand new work with a full cast of professional dancers on October 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Carson City Community Center and on October 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts in Reno.   

I am both honored and excited to work on this production with my daughter, Ananda Bena-Weber. She is an award-winning artist who creates work that appeals to modern audiences. She created two of SNB’s most popular original story ballets in A Midsummer Night’s Dream - A Steam Punk Ballet and Twelfth Night - A Ballet Noir. Dracula promises to be a production in keeping with the Halloween spirit that will attract a large fun-loving modern adult audience. 

Bena-Weber expresses it very well: “Dracula is a seductive horror story. Anything that is sexy and scary at the same time is always fun. I think that modern audiences will love the Victorian/steampunk style of this piece and the tango vibe. It’s erotic and thrilling and perfect for Halloween. I hope our audiences will want to dress up too!”

We invite you to wear your favorite costume, bring your friends, and join SNB for this brand new original story ballet based on the tale of horror, Dracula.  

Be prepared to be scared!


For ticket information visit or call 775-360-8663.

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