Snow White is in the air: the movie Mirror, Mirror, with Julia Roberts as the stepmother, the less colorful approach in Snow White and the Huntsman, starring Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart and the TV series Once upon a time with Ginnifer Goodwin as the fairest of them all.
However, four years ago, and ahead of a global trend, one of France’s most successful choreographers, Angelic Preljocaj, created an award winning dance adaptation of the Brothers Grimm’s fairytale.
Performed by a company of 25 dancers, it came to London, to the Sadler’s Wells Theatre, at the beginning of May this year. With a dark and poignant atmosphere, stripped of any sweetness, the production had an emotionally charged lighting by Patrick Riou and a haunting set design by Thierry Leproust that worked together to perfection. The score was set to Gustav Mahler, with added electronic strokes by 79D. As for the costumes, Jean-Paul Gaultier designed them all: bondage attires, corsets, fringes and straps, and kinky black leotards.
Preljocoj’s characterically physical choreography bridged from classical to contemporary, finding its identity towards the second half of the piece. The mirror scene was masterly achieved, both with the set design and the performances. The romantic softness of Virginie Caussin as a graceful Snow White was full of virtuosity. The aerial entrance of the seven dwarves, the awakening kiss duet and the warped dance sequence around the poisonous apple stood out as the most arresting scenes.
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