Sink your teeth into this new take on a true classic
Mark Bruce's company of ten exceptional dancers bring Bram Stoker's haunting and erotic tale Dracula to life in a heart-wrenching and magical dance theatre production at Frome's Merlin Theatre on November 9 and 10.
Jonathan Goddard plays the infamous Dracula, whose sinister and ruthless ambitions challenge the very fabric of Victorian society.
Here he talks about his career in dance and taking on the role of Count Dracula...
I began dancing at the age of five in Hastings were I grew up – I would jump around to music at the back of a keep-fit class attended by my mother.
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There was a creative movement group in the same venue on other evenings and it was suggested that I might like to give that a go.
After studying dance locally, at the age of 11 I became a Royal Ballet junior associate. I found the competitive nature of the ballet classes difficult and the training hard, so when offered the chance of a full-time place at White Lodge I decided not to go. My parents were supportive and I continued normal schooling, taking dance lessons on the side.
After GCSEs I decided that I would like to try and pursue dance as a career. At 16, I auditioned for a place at a full-time training course, but was turned down by all the classical schools, which was tough. Rambert and London Contemporary Dance Schools offered me places but as I was unable to gain a scholarship to pay for the LCDS fees, I opted to train at Rambert which was free.
I have had many different highlights but I think becoming the first modern dancer to be recognised as "best male dancer" by the Critics Circle was pretty special.
I read the book! I've consciously steered away from watching any Dracula films, I have been getting inspiration from a variety of different sources – Walter Sickert music hall paintings, nature documentaries etc.
I am keen to just see what comes up as an interpretation within myself and work with Mark to realise his vision of the story which is very strong ... on the vampire front I did actually have a re-listen to The Lost Boys' soundtrack – maybe that counts!
I am really enjoying working with narrative – it is interesting having performed and created a lot of abstract dance, which I have always tried to make speak and communicate.
I am enjoying putting my attention into the minutiae: how Dracula might move (or indeed not move) and watching the skill of Mark as a choreographer as he weaves the narrative though and around that.
I am really enjoying working. It feels like a great community in Frome, which I think, interestingly somehow feeds into the production.
I do enjoy touring, if it isn't for too long. I have been touring pretty much non-stop from the past 14 years so I am quite eager to do a little less and stay for longer in just one place.
Dark, unpredictable, seductive, humorous and mysterious.