Ballet Preljocaj's SNOW WHITE to Make Chicago Debut at Harris Theater, 5/2-4
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 Friday, 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.
Throughout his career, Preljocaj has received numerous awards, including the Grand Prix National de la Danse, awarded by the French Ministry of Culture in 1992, the Benois de la danse for Le Parcin in 1995, the Bessie Award for Annonciation in 1997, Les Victoires de la musique for Roméo et Juliette in 1997, and the Globe de Cristal for Snow White in 2009. He is an Officier des Arts et des Lettres and a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur and he was appointed an Officier de l'ordre du Mérite in May 2006.
Since October 2006, Ballet Preljocaj has resided at the Pavillon Noir in Aix-en-Provence, a building entirely dedicated to dance, with Preljocaj as its artistic director.
About Jean Paul Gaultier
Jean Paul Gaultier was born in Arcueil in 1952 and joined Pierre Cardin's team at the age of 18. In 1976, his first clothing collection made a sensational entry. Known as the "enfant terrible of French fashion," he constantly revolutionized it, with recycled materials in 1980 (leather from cars and tins became clothing and jewelry), the Corset Dress in 1983 followed by the skirt for men two years later. His triumphal success allowed him to maintain his fight against racial and geographical barriers and intolerance. The themes of his collections illustrate his desire to mix genres and break with codes: The concierge is on the stairs, Rock Stars, A wardrobe for 2, Black Beauties, etc. Alongside fashion, accessories, and theater costumes, he created his line of perfumes beginning in 1992. He is now the favorite designer for several stars, and he designs costumes for full-length feature films and dance productions, working in particular with Luc Besson, Pedro Almodovar, and Régine Chopinot. In 1997, he achieved his dream by opening his own Haute Couture house, Gaultier Paris. In July 2001, the designer was made a Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur. In 2003, he succeeded Martin Margiela as the head designer at Hermès, and produced the debut of his first Haute Couture collection for autumn/winter 2004-2005. In June 2010, he received an Inspiration Award for his lifetime contribution to men's fashion and the fight against AIDS. In 2012, Gaultier was appointed Diet Coke's new creative director for advertising and new online project. As a designer for a limited-edition bottles line, he followed the footsteps of Karl Lagerfeld, Matthew Williamson, Gianfranco Ferre, Marni, and Roberto Cavalli.
••• All programs, prices and dates are subject to change •••
Harris Theater for Music and Dance
The Harris Theater's mission is to partner and collaborate with an array of Chicago's emerging and mid-sized performing arts organizations to help them build the resources and infrastructure necessary to achieve artistic growth and long-term organizational sustainability. Now in its 10th season, the Harris Theater for Music and Dance was the first multi-use performing arts venue to be built in the Chicago downtown area since 1929 and today the Theater continues to host the most diverse offerings of any venue in Chicago, featuring the city's world-renowned music and dance institutions and the Harris Theater Presents series of acclaimed national and international artists and ensembles.
The Harris Theater is proud to have the support of The Northern Trust Company as its 2013-2014 season sponsor. United Airlines is the Official Airline of the Harris Theater. Hyatt Regency Chicago is the Harris at 10 Hotel Sponsor. The Harris Theater is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. All performances are performed on the Elizabeth Morse Genius Stage. The Harris Theater gratefully acknowledges the Irving Harris Foundation for its leadership support of the Presenting Fund, established in 2006 to bring artists and ensembles of the highest caliber to Chicago in order to complement the works of the Theater's resident companies and build audiences.
To learn more about the Harris Theater, please visit HarrisTheaterChicago.org or call the Box Office at 312.334.7777 to request a brochure or additional information.