Carina Roberts stoked for WA Ballet’s Dracula world premiere

Carina Roberts (Mina) and Matthew Lehmann (Dracula). Picture: Andrew Ritchie d485541
Carina Roberts (Mina) and Matthew Lehmann (Dracula). Picture: Andrew Ritchie d485541

WHEN 23-year-old WA Ballet dancer Carina Roberts was elevated to demi-soloist on closing night of the La Sylphide season in June, she hoped the promotion would lead to dancing “more wonderful roles” with her hometown company – and it has.

The WAAPA graduate, who joined WA Ballet in 2015 after impressing artistic director Aurelien Scannella while he judged a Royal Academy of Dance competition, is adding to her role resume by dancing Mina in the world premiere of neoclassical ballet Dracula.

“I start off as Dracula’s lover Elizabeth in the prologue which happens about 200 years earlier,” Roberts said.

“Dracula is about to go off to fight at war and Elizabeth is distraught that he’s going away. She hears news that he’s been killed, which is untrue, but because of it she decides to take her life.

“Mina, who I am for the rest of the ballet, is kind of her reincarnate. Dracula falls in love with her and although Mina is in love with her fiance Jonathan, Dracula intrigues her.

“I enjoy having such a rich character to dance because it gives something else to the movement; it’s not just ballet. It’s theatrical, emotional and still beautifully technical with all these amazing costumes and sets.”

Roberts said she watched 1992 film Bram Stoker’s Dracula to prepare for rehearsals with Polish guest choreographer Krzysztof Pastor.

“Krzysztof’s choreography is super-smooth and just feels so wonderful to dance,” she said.

“I think the fact that it is such a dramatic story with so many characters, it’s going to come alive on stage. No one will ever be bored because there’s so much to take in with lots of scene changes and different locations.”

Two audience members who certainly never tire of seeing Roberts perform, including her roles as Clara in The Nutcracker and Tinkerbell in Peter Pan, are her parents Louise and Brett, who both danced for WA Ballet in the late 1980s to early 1990s.

“They’ve always been super supportive,” she said.

“They understand the ballet world and what I go through at work.”

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Dracula

Where: His Majesty’s Theatre

When: September 6 to 22

Tickets: www.waballet.com.au