Tanz der Vampire (Dance of the Vampires) is a musical by Roman Polanski, based on his movie ‘The Fearless Vampire killers’ from 1967. A professor by the name of Abronsius heads to Transsylvania with his help/student Alfred to search for vampires and to prove their existence. They encounter numerous characters in the village where tey stay, like the innkeeper Chagall, his wife Rebecca and their beautiful daughter Sarah, whom Alfred directly falls in love with. When Sarah disappears, the professor and Alfred go on the lookout for her. And that’s when the adventure begins. The musical went in premiere in Vienna in October 1997 with Steve Barton starring as Graf von Krolock, an actor who is a huge source of inspiration for our studio. Via this musical, Sanne came to join this studio, it brought everyone together. The music with lots of rock influences is wonderful (Jim Steinman, the man behind Meatloaf), the story is funny, dark and touching at the same time. The costumes too are very inspiring and still we aren’t done admiring it, so we will keep prducing more things inspired by this musical in the future. We made replicas of various characters (Alfred, Sarah, Herbert, Graf von Krolock) and the ensemble (finale costumes of the sheperdess and the king) as well as costumes inspired by the musical.


Sarah’s ball gown
The blood red ball gown of Sarah from the Tanzsaal scène; a beautifiul colour and nicely decorated with roses.

This dress was both Anja’s and Sannne’s first big sewing project; Anja made a Oberhausen version (2009) and Sanne made her version like the one in Vienna (1997) like Cornelia Zenz and Marleen van der Loo wore it.

For both versions we made the roses by hand, using different techniques. The necklace we made ourselves too, like the gloves with sewn on little roses in two colours of red.

Sanne’s replica is decorated with Swarovski rhinestones, Anja’s version has nice beads for a sparkling effect. The most beautiful version however is the one we made for a customer, a few years later. Our skill hase improved and despite the fact that our previous dresses were not bad at all, the latest version is our nicest one until now. The hand-made necklace with Swarovski heart pendant and tiara with red rhinestones make the costume complete.

With this version, the roses are hand-made too and the lace is decorated with Swarovski rhinestones and little roses. The base of the dress is satin with layers of organza in various colours of red to create a depth of colour like the original has.
Graf von Krolock
Graf Von Krolock, the feared master vampire of the musical, is a figure who is as seductive as he is terrifying who is dressed in an impressive costume.

It consists of a coat and tails with a subtle shine which has pointy cuffs, under that a black and silver and in other versions white with silver vest. On top of this costume he wears a heavy, wide cape with an enormous collar, from which his long grey hair is flowing. Furthermore, the costume is decorated with a bow tie, tie and lace sleeves. Next to that, we used our make-up skills and had ourselves photograph like musical stars.

Our versions are based on the Oberhausen version, played by Kevin Tarte amongst others and the Vienna version, played by the first Graf Von Krolock, the celebrated artist Steve Barton. There are some subtle differences between two versions, like the choice of fabric and colours and the colour of the wig, but the overall vibe stays the same: watch out for this lethal yet seductive vampire.

In 2010, there was a more modern version of this musical in Vienna, played by, amongst others, Drew Sarich. We made replicas of the red and black coat from this version, as you can see on the pictures. This version, which looks more baroque, has a long coat with vest and a tie decorated with a pin. After seeing the show we had to make them. The coats are decorated with an intricate knot-pattern made of black tress-cord, like the ones on older uniforms. These versions are in no way less impressive than the original ones and do justice to this interesting character.
Herbert von Krolock, the openly homosexual son of the count, is a wonderful character, that adds a little humour to the show. He is graceful, bold and funny and he wears a few different outfits in the musical.

One of them is, in the Oberhausen version, a coat and tails in white and light blue colours, for which we found the perfect fabric that looks a lot like the original fabric. We also made his two-layered cape. Together with all the details, like a lace cravatte and lace sleeves, together with a beautiful blond wig and vampire make-up, our version turned out to be just as impressive; scary and bold.

In the Vienna version of 2010, Herbert wears a costume in various shades of lilac and pink, which, like his father’s costume, is based on baroque attire and is also decorated with intracate knots. This replica also represent the feel of the musical very well; faded glory, but also fearful elegance.

In one scène, where Herbert tries to seduce the character Alfred, he is wearing a wide, theatrical blouse with lace cravatte and sleeves on a pair of tight, black pants. We have tried, by looking at poor video-material of this scène, to look at the blouse from all sides and make an exact as possible replica of it.

We used a semi-transparent fabric decorated with flowers and embellished it with luxurious, pointy lace and a pointy collar. By wrinkeling it up at the right pickup points and decorating it with Swarovski rhinestones, we delivered a costume worthy enough to be on stage.
Finale costumes
At the end of the musical Tanz der Vampire, all vampires from the story return once again. Each character is wearing a modern, gothic version of the costume he/she wore before. For a customer, we have made two such costume: the costume of the sheperdess and the costume of the king.

The sheperdess wears a short, more bold version af her deceivingly cute dress from former scenes. It consists of a chiffon hoopshirt with a clearly visible boning structure emphasised with a leather strip and on top of that a tight bodice, that is trimmed with irregular band along the lower rim and along the neckline a supple, black frill as a kind of sleeve. A whimsical, ruffled band goes across one shoulder. Under her skirt she wears a somehat wide, knee-length pair of underpants with pointy, leather frills. Around her neck, a ruffled, grey and black band serves as a necklace. The end result could no doubt participate in the final dance scène.

For two different customers we made a costume from the same scene, for the king character. He too is wearing a modern version of his kingly attire. This costume consists of a long black tunic with sleeves. The upper half of the sleeves consists of a layer of black fabric and a layer of mesh fabric on top of it and the lower half is a leather sleeve that ends in a point with on top of it a huge chiffon sleeve.

The tunic has a double collar, made of a frame with black ribbon covered with mesh. The stiff collar is pointy and quite impressive. On top of the tunic there’s a corset-like belt, that can be closed as such.

Lastly, a crown goes with the costume. It consists of an irregular frame of wire, covered with black mesh and decorated with black ribbon and various types of lace or sequins. The end result is a presence that is just as impressive as the real character from the musical.
This costume was one of the first we were allowed to make for a customer.

It is a wide coat from the time of Mozart, that the character Alfred steals from a vampire in the second act of the musical in order to be able to infiltrate in the vampire ball. We have made this beautiful and detailed coat for a female customer, who has also worn it on top of a skirt, which gave an effect that was just as gorgeous.

Nice detail: we have made a similar little coat for her Alfred doll, which was a fun challenge for us.

The coat, made of pink fabric with flowers, is lined with a pink satin and has been decorated with white and silver flower applications and pieces of lace, to replicate the torn and ruffled effect of the costumes that the vampires wear who come climbing out of their graves. For the cravatte and sleeves we wrinkeled up layers of stiff lace. For the vest we used a darker pink fabric and lace decorated with sequins.

The end result is a credible coat, that could have easily been worn on stage.

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