Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Snow White Ballet in China

Just in case you think I only have Robin Hood on the brain this week, here is a Snow White ballet being performed in China right now. From Snow White as you've never seen before by Cecily Huang at the Global Times:

A hauntingly dark and ambiguous take on classic fairy tale Snow White sees the magical story come of age with the collaboration of choreographer Angelin Preljocaj and couterier Jean Paul Gaultier presenting audiences with a brilliant and complicated contemporary ballet based on the Brothers Grimm work. The production will begin its China tour in Shanghai this weekend.
The modern adaptation sees Snow White depicted as an Oedipus-like figure, with Gaultier daring to dress her in shock-value outfits with low-neckline lingerie-like garments scantily held together, a fitting interpretation of Preljocaj's work.

"I have followed the Grimm Brothers' version, with just a few personal variations based on my own analysis of the symbolism in the tale," Preljocaj, a self-professed lover of fairy tales, told the Global Times.


Preljocaj uses all of his imagination to do justice to the classic fable. In the pas de deux between Snow White and her wicked stepmother - where she is seduced into eating the poisoned apple - Preljocaj has the stepmother shove the apple into the young girl's mouth and hold it there slowly and cruelly. It is "perfectly in its sadistic voluptuousness," he said.

He also uses acrobatic movements when the seven dwarves first emerge from the forest, while the prince's desperate duet with his lover's lifeless body elicits strong emotions.

Now this is a ballet I would love to see, especially have having seen The Nashville Ballet perform a wonderful version of A Midsummer Night's Dream a few weeks ago.  (Most of my birthday presents were tickets to events, specifically to see Great Big Sea in concert and the ballet, both wonderful nights out.)

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