10 Jahre Tanz der Vampire

Exactly ten year ago today, Jim Steinman and Michael Kunze’s musical Tanz der Vampire (based on Roman Polanski’s The Fearless Vampire Killers —or— Pardon Me, But You’re Teeth Are In My Neck) premiered in the Raimud Theater in Vienna, Austria. That calls for a little celebration.

Although I’ve know of Tanz since ’97, the first time I heard some of the original music was around 2001/2002. Jim was preparing an English version for Broadway, and some demos were made available through its official website. After hearing (original Vienna Von Krolock) Steve Barton sing “Confession of a Vampire (The Insatiable Appetite)”, I knew I had to get me some more of that stuff. I quickly ordered the Vienna cast recording (which I still think is the essential album to have), and that was when it all went wrong.

After leaving Vienna, Tanz drained Stuttgart, and when it was done there, it sunk it’s teeth in Hamburg. Late 2003 plans were made for a Steinmeet. Steinman-fans from all over the world would meet up in Hamburg, and witness the splendor that is Tanz der Vampire. For me it was easy: as opposed to New York, Hamburg was budget, so I arranged a ticket, a hotel and a train ride, went and had a great time.

The next three versions I skipped. Poland didn’t do it for me, Japan was both too far and too expensive, and another German version in Berlin didn’t tickle my fancy either. But when I heard of the Hungarian version in 2007, well, I could see the humor in that. A couple of weeks after I obtained a ticket for Vámpírok Bálja a concert version to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the premiere in Vienna was announced. Quickly ordered a ticket for that one too. Both versions were great.

It’s fair to say that Tanz is by far my favorite musical. I haven’t yet seen a version that managed to disappoint me. (Well, there’s the Broadway Dance of the Vampires, but this abomination we do not speak of.) In Budapest a Korean, Belgian and Dutch version was announced. Bring it on.

Here are were some samples:

  • The one that started it all: Steve Barton – Confession of a Vampire (The Insatiable Appetite) from the Dance of the Vampires Demos
  • Once again, Steve Barton with the original Vienna cast: Tanzsaal
  • From the Polish Taniec Wampirów, Kuba Mol?da as Alfred with Dla Sary (Für Sarah)
  • From the Japanese Live Highlights, Yuichiro Yamaguchi as Von Krolock with ????? (Sei Bereit)
  • And finally, the always impressive Thomas Borgert and Marjan Shaki from the 10th Anniversary Album: Liebesduett / Totale Finsternis