When the Queensland Performing Arts Centre first opened its doors in 1985, Angelin Preljocaj was founding a ballet company with two other dancers on the other side of the world in France.
Today Ballet Preljocaj is internationally acclaimed, with Preljocaj being commissioned to work with some of the world’s leading artists at La Scala, The New York City Ballet and the Paris Opera Ballet. This year, as part of QPAC’s 2016 International Series and Brisbane Festival, Ballet Preljocaj is coming exclusively to Brisbane with Snow White.
Set to symphonies by the Romantic composer Mahler, this ballet is choreographed by Preljocaj himself and promises to be a gloriously dark take on the beloved fairy tale.
In his choreography, Preljocaj returned to the original Grimm story and worked very closely with each of the 26 dancers in the cast. He aims to explore the dark, psychological phenomenon that he dubs the ‘Snow White Complex,’ where older women are threatened by their young daughters’ burgeoning sexuality and feel pressured to maintain their seductive side.
Striking costumes have been individually created for each of the dancers by none other than Jean-Paul Gaultier which, like Preljocaj’s choreography, are dark, sumptuous, avant-garde and sexy.
Interestingly, this production coincides with Opera Queensland’s production of Snow White, and with screenings of the 1916 silent film and the 1937 Disney Snow White at GOMA. Having this Snow White series at the centre of the Brisbane Festival is a decidedly novel and bold concept. I hope audiences explore the fairy tale in all its permutations, rather than splitting audiences across the events.
Preljocaj’s Snow White will play at QPAC’s Lyric Theatre from 2-11 September. For more information, see QPAC’s website.
Warning: Contains adult themes and nudity.