Following the success of Rapunzel, balletLORENT are back with a striking adaptation of the Brothers Grimm classic, Snow White.
In a return to true Grimm style, there is no wicked stepmother – instead the evil queen is Snow White’s biological mother. Following the sudden death of the King, young Snow White and her mother have a close and loving relationship for a number of years. It isn’t until Snow White becomes a beautiful young woman and her widowed mother decides to look for another love, that problems begin to manifest.
In a witty, modern and practical approach, writer Carol Ann Duffy illustrates that the Queen’s youthful looks are attributed to surgery rather than magic. In a bid to secure a nearby suitor, the affected Queen sends a portrait of herself painted years earlier, which the Prince mistakes for Snow White. In a vicious turn, the Queen is overcome with envy and sets out to have her own daughter executed.
With the ominous sound of a clock ticking in the background, Liv Lorent’s choreography conjures up beautiful images of the passing of the seasons – the young dancers blowing white feathers like snowflakes and playfully skipping with kites through an autumnal breeze. Phil Eddolls’ set design of a huge lavish dressing table is suggestive of Snow White’s coming of age – the drawers being used to emerge and conceal baby, child and young woman; another speedy turnabout and the set becomes a leafy forest to protect Snow White from the Huntsman who has been sent to kill her.
In addition, a mysterious group of miners take the place of the seven dwarves – their bodies twisted due to the amount of time that they spend underground. They move to the soundtrack of industrial banging and clanging, their headlamps bouncing in the darkness of Malcolm Rippeth’s gothic lighting design.
Natalie Trewinnard gives a youthful, athletic and passionate vision as Snow White – the duet with Huntsman Gavin Howard is beautifully expressive – gentle and impassioned all at the same time. Gwen Berwick’s as The Mirror impresses en pointe in a duet with Caroline Reece’s malevolent Queen.
balletLORENT consistently produce high-quality dance productions which are suitable for all ages. With an emphasis on storytelling, this contemporary ballet of Snow White is a perfect introduction to dance and I will certainly be waiting for the next production in balletLORENT’s fairy tale trilogy.
ballet LORENT’s Snow White is at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh from 22nd – 23rd January 2016 before continuing the tour at Warwick Arts Centre in February. For more dates through 2016 please click here.