David Wilkinson's Astra von Berlifitzing


A Fire-Filled Gothic Waltz Ballet
Based on the stories of Edgar Allan Poe

To Preview in Los Angeles on April 2nd, 2009

Los Angeles (April 2, 2009)--- Astra von Berlifitzing, a dazzlingly macabre waltz-ballet based on the tales of Edgar Allan Poe, will preview at the Electric Lodge, a solar powered self-sustaining theater in Venice, CA on April 2-4 at 8:00 p.m and April 5 at 6:00 pm. Doors open 1 hour prior to show time.

Written by UCLA professor David Wilkinson, with a score composed by High Priestess Regan Remy, Astra von Berlifitzing is based on the themes and locales of two of Poe's most passionate short stories: Metzengerstein and Ligeia. Set in the Austrian Empire of 1809, then 1825, and at last in the 21st century, Astra tells the story of two lovers trapped by an ancient family feud whose passionate and ultimately disastrous affair culminates in a fiery reunion in the afterlife. This hour-long performance is a bold mixture of traditional Austrian minuets and waltzes with burlesque, punk and gothic music, accented by dramatic simulated fire dancing and further enhanced by traditional and contemporary costume-stylings.

Astra�s preview coincides with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe. Born in Boston in 1809, Poe is widely recognized as one of the foremost American poets of the Romantic era, best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre. The spirit of Astra reflects Poe's words: "The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?"

"The Austrian Empire during the early 1800�s was a very sensual place pre-occupied with the pursuit of pleasure, but the Romantic Era was beginning," states David Wilkinson, Astra creator and dance company founder. "I felt the stories of Edgar Allan Poe perfectly captured the rising intensity of the era, and that their themes could be brought effectively to life through dance. As a lover of the waltz, I felt traditional waltz movements, combined with current gothic styling, and driven by the magical compositions of the brilliant muse Regan Remy could transport modern-day spectators into the era of Regency Europe and into the spirit of Poe's saying, 'All that we see or seem/ is but a dream within a dream'."

To further enhance this evening of dance, art, music and beauty, an absinthe lounge complete with harpist to set the mood will be open 1 hour prior to the show and at intermission. And for dance enthusiasts a waltz lesson and ball in the studio at the Electric Lodge will follow each performance. The audience is invited to come dressed in ball attire and enjoy a romantic evening of theater!

For ticket information please visit The Astra Dance Company website at www.astradance.com. To purchase tickets on line please visit www.brownpaperticket.com and to reserve tickets please call the Reservation Line at 310.823.0710. For more information on the Electric Lodge theater, please visit their website at www.electriclodge.org

The Astra Dance Company (The Astratroupers) is a Los Angeles-based dance company founded by David Wilkinson to perform the Gothic waltz-ballet 'Astra von Berlifitzing," to promote, preserve and teach the traditional waltz and ballroom dances of the Regency-era Austrian Empire, and to enhance those dances with the original music of composer Regan Remy, as well as with stylistic fusion and combination with ballet and modern dance. The Astratroupers are available for private, educational and corporate performances; solo, couple or full-company performances of antique, classic and contemporary waltzes can be arranged. Lessons are also available to accompany these performances.

For more information on cast, production team, history and performance schedules, please visit our website at www.astradance.com.