Ballet Preljocaj's SNOW WHITE Makes Chicago Debut at Harris Theater This Weekend
France's leading contemporary dance ensemble, Ballet Preljocaj, based in Aix-en-Provence, will perform the Chicago debut of the company's mercurial Snow White, a modern take on the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale, choreographed by company Artistic Director and Bessie Award-winner Angelin Preljocaj with costumes by legendary Haute Couture designer Jean Paul Gaultier. Performance dates for this limited engagement are tonight, May 2 and Saturday, May 3 at 7:30PM and Sunday, May 4 at 2PM at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. The Harris Theater is one of only three venues that will present Snow White during the company's U.S. tour, which will also include performances at New York's Lincoln Center and the Los Angeles Music Center. Tickets for the Harris Theater presentation of Ballet Preljocaj are $40-$95, available at HarrisTheaterChicago.org, or by calling the Harris Theater Box Office at 312.334.7777.
Set to the symphonies of Gustav Mahler, Snow White has been hailed by audiences for its entrancing choreography and stunning beauty. The full-length story ballet centers on the relationship between Snow White and her aging stepmother, a woman bent on destroying her younger, more desirable stepchild. Preljocaj, whose repertoire 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, a story that has since inspired countless pop-culture interpretations for film, television, music, and dance. Adding to the ballet's allure is the work of Gaultier, famous for his iconic designs that notably include Madonna's cone-shaped bra from the 1990s. The Washington Post has called Gaultier's sartorial vision for Snow White "a sexy place."
"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."
Ballet Preljocaj's Snow White debuted in 2008 at the Biennale de la Danse de Lyon. In 2009, the piece won France's Globes de Cristal for Dance Spectacle. Angelin Preljocaj has created more than 45 works for his company, some of which are featured in the repertoire of the ballet company of the Teatro alla Scala and the New York City Ballet, among others.
Note: The Friday and Saturday performances will include brief nudity. Sunday's matinee performance will be performed without nudity.
About Ballet Preljocaj
Created in December 1984, the Preljocaj Company became the National Choreographic Centre of Champigny-sur-Marne and Val-de-Marne in 1989. In 1996, the ballet was welcomed at the Cité du Livre in Aix-en-Provence and became the Ballet Preljocaj-National Choreographic Centre of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Region, the Bouches-du-Rhône Department, the Pays d'Aix Community, and the City of Aix-en-Provence. Since founding his company, Angelin Preljocaj has created 47 choreographic works, ranging from solo to larger formations. The Ballet performs about 100 engagements per year in France and abroad.
Beyond the repertory performances, the Ballet Preljocaj has been multiplying its local actions in Aix-en-Provence and neighboring communities, to share its passion for dance with a broader public: lectures on dance interpretation through video, public rehearsals, contemporary dance classes and workshops, and dance interventions in urban public space-all means of viewing and understanding dance from different perspectives. Ballet Preljocaj is now settled into its new home, designed by the architect Rudy Ricciotti in Aix-en-Provence. The Pavillon Noir is the first production center built for dance, where artists go through the entire creative process, from workshops and rehearsals to staging and performance. The Pavillon Noir opened its doors on October 20, 2006.
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 teachers included the American choreographer Viola Farber and Quentin Rouillier. He joined Dominique Bagouet before founding his own company in December 1984.
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.