This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

23Apr/14

BALLET PRELJOCAJ: SNOW WHITE

(photo by Jean-Claude Carbonne)

Anjelin Preljocaj offers a unique take on the classic Snow White fairy tale (photo by Jean-Claude Carbonne)

David H. Koch Theater
20 Lincoln Center, Broadway at 63rd St.
April 23-27, $25-$125
212-645-2904
www.davidhkochtheater.com
www.preljocaj.org

As the thirtieth anniversary of his company approaches, Angelin Preljocaj is keeping Ballet Preljocaj plenty busy these days. Born in 1957 in Paris to Albanian refugee parents, Preljocaj formed BP in December 1984 and has been melding classical ballet with contemporary dance on the cutting edge ever since, integrating movement, sound, and design in dynamic and unique works that dazzle the eyes and ears. Last November, he brought the thrilling And then, one thousand years of peace to BAM, examining the apocalypse as only he can, preceded in October by Spectral Evidence, which he choreographed for the New York City Ballet, a mesmerizing piece that examined the Salem Witch Trials, with music by John Cage; his previous work for NYCB, 1997’s La Stravaganza, is being performed as part of the “21st Century Choreographers II” program on April 30 and May 3. But first, Ballet Preljocaj will be at the David H. Koch Theater April 23-27 for the New York premiere of his widely hailed Snow White, presented in conjunction with the Joyce Theater Foundation. Preljocaj goes back to the original Brothers Grimm story, not the Disney fairy tale, instead intently focusing on the complicated relationship between the wicked stepmother — portrayed as a kind of dominatrix — and Snow White, incorporating the psychoanalytical ideas of Bruno Bettelheim. “The central motif of ‘Snow White’ is the pubertal girl’s surpassing in every way the evil stepmother who, out of jealousy, denies her an independent existence — symbolically represented by the stepmother’s trying to see Snow White destroyed,” the Austrian psychologist wrote in his 1976 book, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales. “‘Snow White’ is one of the best known fairy tales. Its origins lie in the cycle of complexes described as ‘oedipal’ and date back to the Greek tragedies. . . . It is a story about the sometimes difficult relations due to jealousy and competition that arise amongst families. It is also about the warnings of what not to do, while not necessarily stating what to do.” There’s seemingly nothing Preljocaj won’t do in this 110-minute production, which features music by Gustav Mahler and 79 D, costumes by Jean Paul Gaultier, and sets by Thierry Leproust. Get ready to be amazed.

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