Talk about jaw-dropping, innovative, precedent-setting, captivating grace combined with athleticism! The beautiful production by Ballet Prejlocaj has it all. Only the French could re-imagine and re-tell this Brothers Grimm tale with this much power and grace. Walt Disney would hardly recognize his happy little tale. Why? Because Walt’s light-hearted story was about the seven dwarfs (I’ll bet you can name at least four of them!)
This gripping, visually lush ballet is about Snow White, Blanche Neige. Her epic struggle with her evil (make that EVIL) stepmother is so gripping yet so compelling, you can’t take your eyes off the stage even though you pretty much know what’s going to happen. Or do you? Absolutely nothing about this story is predictable or ordinary.
BLANCHE NEIGE, THE SUM OF ITS MANY ARTISTIC ELEMENTS
In this Prejlocaj’s narrative ballet, the story is vividly brought to life by
- Thierry Leproust’s sets including the rock wall down which the seven dwarfs dance and rappel to Snow White’s rescue.
- Jean Paul Gaultier’s (famous for his iconic designs that notably include Madonna’s cone-shaped bra from the 1990s.) gorgeous, sexy, fluid costumes.
- Gustav Mahler’s dramatic, tragic, soul-searching symphonic music complete with a plaintive “Frère Jacques” just when you least expect it.
- Angelin Preljocaj’s choreography 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, utilizing every 21st century trick in the book.
“Snow White combines singular classicism with the excitement of a modern day thriller,” said Harris Theater President and Managing Director Michael Tiknis. “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.”
About Angelin Preljocaj
Angelin Preljocaj was born in the Paris region in France and began studying classical ballet before turning to contemporary dance, which he studied with Karin Waehner. In 1980, he went to New York to work with Zena Rommett and Merce Cunningham, after which he resumed his studies in France.
His productions are now part of the repertoire of numerous companies, many of which also commission original productions from him, notably the ballet company of the Teatro alla Scala of Milan, the New York City Ballet, and the Paris Opéra Ballet.
About Jean Paul Gaultier
Jean Paul Gaultier was born in Arcueil in 1952 and joined Pierre Cardin’s team at the age of 18. In 1976, his first clothing collection made a sensational entry. Known as the “enfant terrible of French fashion,” he constantly revolutionized it, with recycled materials in 1980 (leather from cars and tins became clothing and jewelry), the Corset Dress in 1983 followed by the skirt for men two years later. His triumphal success allowed him to maintain his fight against racial and geographical barriers and intolerance. The themes of his collections illustrate his desire to mix genres and break with codes.
Harris Theater for Music and Dance The Harris Theater’s mission is to partner and collaborate with an array of Chicago’s emerging and mid-sized performing arts organizations to help them build the resources and infrastructure necessary to achieve artistic growth and long-term organizational sustainability. Now in its 10th season, the Harris Theater for Music and Dance was the first multi-use performing arts venue to be built in the Chicago downtown area since 1929 and today the Theater continues to host the most diverse offerings of any venue in Chicago, featuring the city’s world-renowned music and dance institutions and the Harris Theater Presents series of acclaimed national and international artists and ensembles.
To learn more about the Harris Theater, please visit HarrisTheaterChicago or call the Box Office at 312.334.7777 to request a brochure or additional information.
The Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Chicago’s state-of-the art 1,525 seat performance venue, can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.
Photos: JC Carbonne