Mark Bruce – Choreographer and Company Director

Mark Bruce.<br />© Mark Bruce.
Mark Bruce.
© Mark Bruce.
Dracula page and tour details

5 Questions to Mark Bruce about his up and coming premiere and UK tour of Dracula

Looking forward to your new take on a classic horror story – do tell us all about it…

I’ve been wanting to capture the magic of the book for many years, retell a great story but search underneath it and present it in a way that is relevant to our time. I hope it will give people everything they want from a Dracula and more.

Jonathan Goddard as Dracula.© Colin Hawkins. (Click image for larger version)
Jonathan Goddard as Dracula.
© Colin Hawkins. (Click image for larger version)

Many choreographers shun narrative work. You don’t – what attracts you to telling stories in dance?

Of course Dracula is already a written story, but in terms of my other work I don’t start with a narrative – it grows with the process of exploring images, ideas and characters. Stories emerge – and because in this form they are non-verbal (mostly) they are open to interpretation. I like narrative when it is presented through sound and vision. David Lynch is an example of this kind of storytelling. Stories that open the unconscious and before you know it you are writing them in your mind. That way they connect with our dreams. Like this, the novel of Dracula is full of missing things – and I think this is part of its appeal – we all have our idea of who Dracula is – it becomes personal and therefore more real.

Was it inevitable that you would become a dance choreographer? (..along with theatre director, writer, musician… so many skills)

No – I think all the different mediums I work in inform one another. Which medium I employ for the development of an idea will depend on what is best suited to it. I also go with opportunities that present themselves.

Jonathan Goddard and Kirstin McGuire in Dracula.© Colin Hawkins. (Click image for larger version)
Jonathan Goddard and Kirstin McGuire in Dracula.
© Colin Hawkins. (Click image for larger version)

You are based in a small Somerset town – what’s Frome got that London hasn’t?

I wouldn’t want to match London and Frome against each other. London is a great city. It is where I grew up. There is loads going on in Frome – so much I can’t keep up with it all. Creativity is condensed into a small area. Everything is walkable. It’s great for kids and the countryside is just round the corner. There is a great sense of community.

What’s your greatest dance wish?

Make a feature-length dance film. Learn to tap dance like Gene Kelly.

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