Dracula's Garden Rising

Dracula’s Garden Rising is a contemporary dance film. In this film, we showcase material from ‘Dracula’s Garden’ series of Gothic ballet poems. Through movement, this dance series explores the universe of Gothic literature: its stories, creatures, and themes. We are interested in how Gothic literature and its themes evoke a range of emotions, from love to horror. Curiosity, excitement, exploration of something dark or dangerous, adventure, loss, deformation, search for humanity – the themes reflected in these stories that continue to appeal to us many decades after they were written. This film investigates the blend of the uncanny, the uneasy, and the disturbingly beautiful. Each dance poem addresses these themes from different stories and characters. In this series, dance artists explore the symbolism of pointe shoes and re-imagine and re-invent their meaning and use. The Gothic literature themes and personages provide a juxtaposition to the classical, conventional balletic ideology of beauty. In this film, you will see glimpses of different stories of what is disturbing, what is uncanny, and what is beautiful. You will experience different interpretations of what pointe shoes might be and how they relate to the body: a treasured appendage, a deformity, a weapon, a tragic altar.

  • Alina Sotskova
    Director
  • Gemma Crowe
    Producer
  • Alina Sotskova
    Key Cast
    "Dancer"
  • Rachel Helten
    Key Cast
    "Dancer"
  • Samantha Presley
    Key Cast
    "Dancer"
  • Sophie Brassard
    Key Cast
    "Dancer"
  • Gemma Crowe
    Cinematographer
  • Chris Giles
    Sound Design
  • Alina Sotskova
    Sound Design
  • Gemma Crowe
    Creative Video Edit
  • Ian Cunningham
    Drone Operator
  • Ivan Klyuzhin
    Production Design
  • Jason Kirkness
    Supporting Cast and Production Assistant
  • Alina Sotskova
    Choreographers
  • Rachel Helten
    Choreographers
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Other
  • Genres:
    Contemporary Dance, Modern Dance, Dance on film, Dance, Horror, Gothic, Interdisciplinary, Fantasy, Postmodern
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 51 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 9, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Canada
  • Country of Filming:
    Canada
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • East Van Showcase
Director Biography - Alina Sotskova

Alina is a professional dancer and choreographer, working with a neoclassical, contemporary dance framework. She uses movement as a vehicle to explore the psychological and philosophical questions she is interested in. In her dance practice, Alina’s focus is on integrating physical rigour, experiential approach to movement, and continued goal of finding new movement possibilities. The aim of her dance-making is to push boundaries of imagination and physicality and to stimulate authentic dialogues in the community using performance art as a starting point for conversation. Alina holds a PhD in clinical psychology and her work in depth psychology influences Alina’s artistic practice. Her previous studies in existential philosophy and her career in psychology continue to create spaces for intersections between psychology, philosophy, dance, and other art forms. In 2017, Alina founded Voirelia: Dance, Psychology, and Philosophy Hub. The goal of Voirelia Hub is to be a platform that allows dance artists to collaborate and create work in an atmosphere that strongly values mental health, humanistic psychology and philosophy, and interdisciplinary collaboration with artists, scholars, and scientists. Voirelia Hub creates new contemporary dance and art works and also creates and produces events that bring together the topics of psychology, philosophy, and dance in workshops, public talks, and performance art events.

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Director Statement

The dance works in The Dracula’s Garden dance series investigate social constructions of beauty; ugliness; deformity; both the sublime and the grotesque, and the line between the two. Each work is considered a ‘dance poem:” it is a brief exploration of a specific poem, creature, or idea from the Gothic universe. In our artistic process, we drew inspiration from Gothic poetry and literature, such as Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” and Oscar Wilde’s “The Story of Dorian Gray.” Inspired by works of classical authors, we also created our own poetry. Text and poetry were used as part of movement creation and character development process.
In these dance works, we look for ways to un-demonize and resurrect creatures, habits, humans, and emotions that are banished from cultural spot light. We made this film with the aim of showing different aspects of this dance series, which contains a total of seven brief dance works, totally approximately 50 minutes in total running time. “Dracula’s Garden Rising” film is our way of sharing our creative research and inviting you to reflect on the lines between the uncanny, the disturbing, and the beautiful.