Dracula Lucy’s dream Review
Yngvild Aspeli’s Dracula Lucy’s dream is stunningly beautiful. The life-size puppets come to life in a ghostly atmosphere. The multiplied figure of Lucy confronts the monsters that covet her, as well as her inner demons. Fascinating.
A muffled nightmare
The myth of Dracula never ceases to haunt us. Created by Bram Stoker in the 19th century, the novel featured Jonathan Harker, a young man who travelled from London to the Carpathians to negotiate the sale of a house. In Count Dracula‘s castle, the hero was confronted by the vampire and his creatures. After many adventures, Jonathan Harker managed to kill Dracula.
Yngvild Aspeli‘s show focuses on a secondary character in the novel, Lucy, the friend of Jonathan Harker’s fiancée. The story describes her as a victim of the Count. Subjected to sleepwalking, the young woman soon develops two marks on her neck. Despite receiving blood transfusions to alleviate her asthenia, Lucy slowly slips into madness and death. Every night, the creature continued to suck her blood. Just before she dies, the young woman attacks the man who loved her.
Dracula Lucy’s dream retains the broad outlines of the narrative, but Yngvild Aspeli takes Bram Stoker‘s literary work, as she did with Hermann Melville‘s Moby-Dick, and translates it into a totally visual language. Lucy wanders the stage in a dream that resembles a nightmare. Populated by life-size puppets, sometimes taller than her, the world she travels through confronts her with her fears but also her hidden desires. Her unreal wanderings plunge her into a menacing universe. Each step seems to lead to a blurred labyrinth. The labyrinth of the mind wandering. The body abandoning itself to its first sensual emotions.
« Blood and honey »
In Dracula Lucy’s dream, the fascinating work of Compagnie Plexus Polaire lies in the fact that the puppeteers merge with the creatures of wood and fabric. Lucy is embodied in a number of human figures, as if through manipulated bodies. The line between reality and creation is so thin that sometimes the audience can’t tell which is the « real » vision. Lucy is constantly fighting against herself. Between the young girl and the creature she is becoming, the bodies mingle, struggle and merge, each trying to gain the upper hand over the other.
Opposite Lucy’s multiplied body stands a gigantic representation of Dracula. With his emaciated face and supple, terrible body, he emerges from the shadows to satisfy his ferocious, lustful urges. The puppet with strange powers transforms into a wolfhound or a bat. Whether on land or in the air, the vampire glides from one form to another in a world that’s soft and threatening.
Columns move around the stage. Moving and changing, they create a place whose contours are constantly slipping away, slowly imprisoning Lucy. They are both elements of the set and representations of a troubled mental space. A kaleidoscope of digital projections envelops the whole with floating forms. Children’s of the night, an enchanting song that accompanies certain scenes. It’s a rhyme that invites Lucy to accept losing herself and to give in to whatever is trying to constrain her.
However, Dracula Lucy’s dream departs from the novelistic model. At the end of her struggle against the forces that wish to suck her in and enslave her, the heroine manages to overcome her fears and confront what mixes « blood with honey ». Surrounded by her sisters of wood and cloth, she kills the evil being who had entered her room. To drink his blood and revel in his youth. Everyone can read it as they like. But Dracula could well be the terrible representation of an incestuous figure.
Dracula Lucy’s dream, directed by Yngvild Aspeli, is a highly accomplished show with captivating visual power.
M La Scène’s LM (elle aime / she likes) : LMMMMM
Dracula Lucy’s dream
From Bram Stoker
du 7 au 24 juillet – Relâches : 12, 19 juillet
- Stage direction : Yngvild Aspeli
- Performer(s) : Yejin Choi, Marina Simonova, Kyra Vandenenden, Sebastian Moya, Dominique Cattani
- Lighting control : Emilie Nguyen
- Sound and Video : Baptiste Coin, Pierre-Aimé Ballot
- Music : Ane Marthe Sørlien Holen
- Video : David Lejard-Ruffet
- Costumes : Benjamin Moreau
- Compagnie Plexus Polaire
Would you like to read another M La Scène review of a production by Yngvild Aspeli? You might also be interested in: Moby Dick review