Snow White vs the Evil Stepmother, danced to Mahler and designed by Gaultier

Cinderellas and Snow Queens, we’ve had a few. Sleeping Beauties, more than a few. But Snow Whites? Very few.

The last time Australian audiences saw a ballet version of Snow White was in 2000, when Natalie Weir choreographed Mirror, Mirror, for the Australian Ballet.

But now a new Snow White is on her way with a Brisbane season of Blanche Neige, the French interpretation of Snow White, choreographed by Angelin Preljocaj for his own company in France.

Blanche Neige is not a tutu ballet, but a contemporary dance work based on the Brothers Grimm version of the tale.

The company of 26 dancers will tour to Australia in September with a season at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s Lyric Theatre.

QPAC is presenting the ballet in association with the Brisbane Festival and with financial support from Tourism and Events Queensland.

Danced to extracts from Mahler symphonies, and designed by Jean Paul Gaultier, the ballet premiered in France in 2008 and has since toured to London and a number of major cities in the United States.

Preljocaj says that the stepmother is the central character in his interpretation of the fairy tale.

“She is the one who I examine through her narcissistic determination not to give up on seduction and her role as a woman, even if it means sacrificing her stepdaughter”.

The production is partly based on the Freudian interpretation of Snow White in The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales, written by the American psychologist, Bruno Bettelheim.

Blanche Neige, the ballet, is not for children, but then again, neither is the grimness of the Brothers Grimm tales that have lost much of their grit since their wash and clean through the saccharine machine of Disney in the 20th century.

The season in Brisbane runs from 2 to 11 September.

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Angelin Preljocaj, photo © Jorg Letz

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