France’s leading contemporary dance ensemble, Ballet Preljocaj, will perform the Chicago debut of the company’s mercurial Snow White, a modern take on the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale, choreographed by company artistic director and Bessie Award-winner Angelin Preljocaj with costumes by legendary Haute Couture designer Jean Paul Gaultier. The Harris Theater is one of only three venues that will present Snow White during the company’s U.S. tour, which will also include performances at New York’s Lincoln Center and the Los Angeles Music Center.
Set to the symphonies of Gustav Mahler, the full-length story ballet, Snow White, enters on the relationship between Snow White and her aging stepmother, a woman bent on destroying her younger, more desirable stepchild. Preljocaj, whose repertoire has been described as “part-Peter Bruegel, part-Henri Rousseau and, at its most edgy, part-Quentin Tarantino” (Los Angeles Times), conjures imagery from the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale of 1812, a story that has since inspired countless pop-culture interpretations for film, television, music, and dance. Adding to the ballet’s allure is the sartorial vision of Snow White cast by the captivating designs of Gaultier, famous for his iconic designs that notably include Madonna’s cone-shaped bra from the 1990s.
“Snow White combines singular classicism with the excitement of a modern day thriller,” noted Michael Tiknis , Harris Theater’s president and managing director. “This is a ballet unlike any other, a visceral mix of style and story with broad appeal—from the athletic choreography to the fashion-forward costumes of Jean Paul Gaultier. We’re proud to bring this highly innovative performance to Chicago for the first time.”
Based in Aix-en-Provence of France, Ballet Preljocaj’s Snow White debuted in 2008 at the Biennale de la Danse de Lyon. In 2009, the piece won France’s Globes de Cristal for Dance Spectacle. Angelin Preljocaj has created more than 45 works for his company, some of which are featured in the repertoire of the such ballet companies as the Teatro alla Scala and the New York City Ballet.
Performances* are slated for Friday, May 2 and Saturday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 4 at 2 p.m. at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. For more details about the performance or for tickets, visit HarrisTheaterChicago.org, or call the Harris Theater Box Office at 312.334.7777.
*Readers will note that the company’s Friday and Saturday performances will include brief nudity. Sunday’s matinee performance will be performed without nudity.
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts