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Ballet Preljocaj - Snow White


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Ballet Preljocaj perform Snow White at Sadler's Wells this week (mid-May, 2012), and here are a few glimpses from the recent photo call:

 

 

 

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Ballet Preljocaj - Snow White (Snow White and her Prince, Virginie Caussin & Sergio Diaz)

© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

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Ballet Preljocaj - Snow White (Snow White and her Prince, Virginie Caussin & Sergio Diaz)

© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

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The Court dance to pay homage to the King and the Princess

© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

 

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Set on Flickr of Ballet Preljocaj

Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

Edited by zxDaveM
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I hate Snow White's costume! It's so ugly and unflattering. It's even more unattractive than the vest and pants combo which the women wore in Carbon Life. Is this Jean Paul Gaultier's handiwork? If I were a female dancer I would go on strike if I had to wear such hideous costumes.

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I've just had a look on the clips of the ballet on Sadler's Wells' website, and it's clear that the costume is actually sewn like that, as opposed to it being caught up between the dancer's legs as she moves, as I first thought. I'm afraid it does give the appearance of an overlarge, yet all too revealing, nappy. But I haven't seen this ballet in the flesh, as it were. Perhaps the costume gives a different impression on stage.

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No, I'm afraid the costume looks quite as bad on stage as in the photos. Whatever happened to sweet innocent Snow White? This girl is a sexy teen with no dress sense and no mother to advise her. Presumably the amount of thigh on show can be given intellectual justification by making some sort of oedipal triangle (Snow White v. Stepmother in competition for the King). If so, what tosh!

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I have no problem with a "15 certificate" version of Snow White. On the contrary, I think that it's an appealing idea. The Disney-type versions of the story are a long way away from the rather dark original fairy-tale. However, that doesn't, IMO, excuse or explain this hideous costume for Snow White. It actually put me off going to see the ballet which I had planned to see.

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I think this is the version Staatsballett Berlin do - it has been very successful there the last few years with other ballets being replaced by repeat performances! Just seeing the costumes alone has put me off seeing it. Agree SWs is awful!

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getting put off seeing a ballet by the costumes in a couple of photos is staggeringly shallow. They actually allow a great deal of freedom of movement, and while you'd never say they were 'pretty & pink', they are effective within the piece.

 

If you didn't go and see it cos of the costumes, its your loss

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Dave, it's the company's loss too. And I object to you telling Don Q Fan and me that we're "staggeringly shallow." When you go and see a ballet you want to enjoy the whole package and that includes the costumes. Other people agree with us about the unattractiveness of Snow White's costume, and so I really don't know why you are attacking us. I actually find the costume borderline insulting to the dancer. As for freedom of movement, there are plenty of other types of costume which would have allowed this. I don't require "pretty and pink" and I don't object to the rest of the costumes, just Snow White's.

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I saw this production on Sky a while age now. The actual ballet was fascinating but I found myself too distracted by SWs costume to fully appreciate the production- I kept trying to work out how it was all put together.!

 

I too don't do pretty and pink, that can also detract from a dancer. Costumes should be complimentary to a dancer, enhancing lines and certainly not a distraction which for me SWs costume certainly is.

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IMO, by any criterion Snow White's costume was not a success. As well as being unattractive, it did not enhance the dancer's performance, as hfbrew has said, and this is surely the most important requirement of a costume.

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I also tried and failed to get tickets to this because it was sold out - the very short run at SW doesn't help. I don't do "pretty and pink" either, and the fact that I wasn't keen on one costume definitely wouldn't put me off!

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Let me proudly raise my hand as one of the leaders of the 'staggeringly shallow' brigade.

 

I thought Snow White's was about the silliest, most vulgar and unflattering costume that I have ever seen, and imposed of course by a male designer and a male choreographer/director. If it had been a great, or even good, dance piece then I might feel more forgiving but it was unencumbered by interesting choreography, drama or narrative coherence, made little use of the potentialities of the story and presumably had Mahler turning in his grave.

 

Having found Preljocaj's Le Parc interesting, witty and clever when Paris Opera Ballet brought it to London in 2005, I was eager to see Snow White but in the event was very disappointed.

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Saw Snow White last night, it was actually reading an article about the costumes that made me want to see it, plus the mostly good reviews, and I managed to get a ticket online. I did wonder if I would like it and will agree that the costume for Snow White didn't seem appropriate for such an innocent character, it lacked modesty to say the least, but overall thought the ballet was a mix of some boring passages (mainly as it used whole movements of Mahler symphonies), and some very powerful moments indeed. The costumes in the main were striking, also the designs, it made a very dark impact, didn't realise just how unpleasant the original tale was, (thanks to the excellent programme notes from Graham Watts) I can remember the Disney film and this was a long way off, since this was the point I would have to say it was a success, just hope there weren't too many children at the matinee!

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Dave, it's the company's loss too. And I object to you telling Don Q Fan and me that we're "staggeringly shallow." When you go and see a ballet you want to enjoy the whole package and that includes the costumes. Other people agree with us about the unattractiveness of Snow White's costume, and so I really don't know why you are attacking us. I actually find the costume borderline insulting to the dancer. As for freedom of movement, there are plenty of other types of costume which would have allowed this. I don't require "pretty and pink" and I don't object to the rest of the costumes, just Snow White's.

 

Sorry, but I think its daft to say "don't like the costume, therefore I'm not going to see the ballet". I too agree with you its an unattractive costume, but something like that wouldn't stop me going to see something.

 

A seemingly general delight in glorying in negativity, always depresses me wherever it comes from, but I am sorry you felt I was 'attacking you'.

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getting put off seeing a ballet by the costumes in a couple of photos is staggeringly shallow. They actually allow a great deal of freedom of movement, and while you'd never say they were 'pretty & pink', they are effective within the piece.

 

If you didn't go and see it cos of the costumes, its your loss

 

I'm not avoiding it because of the costumes, I'm just utterly skint!

 

I just happen to think the costumes are ugly. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

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I'm not avoiding it because of the costumes, I'm just utterly skint!

 

I just happen to think the costumes are ugly. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

 

Of course they are (opinions), and I can't say I like them much either (the costumes) - my point is that to say you're not going to see something because of one element of the production is just a bit lame, is all. Especially when everyone jumps on the bandwagon trying to out-do each other in slagging something off.

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I didn't see anyone trying to out-do anyone else in slagging the costumes off; I saw a lot of people agreeing that the costumes really aren't to their taste.

 

In times like this when money is tight then people generally are more careful about how they spend their money. If I had spare money at the moment for tickets - which I don't - then I would make sure to spend my money carefully on something that appeals to me on many levels.

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Of course they are (opinions), and I can't say I like them much either (the costumes) - my point is that to say you're not going to see something because of one element of the production is just a bit lame, is all. Especially when everyone jumps on the bandwagon trying to out-do each other in slagging something off.

 

Dave - I think people jump on passing waggons as they feel appropriate and can justify. Of itself there is nothing wrong with expressing a view in common with others.

 

Telling people they are acting in a 'lame' way or are 'staggeringly shallow' for certain views seems out of kilter with the style of the forum - though obviously it is under new and more diverse management now. Although I dissociate myself totally from such words I do have sympathy with your frustration. The costumes are one component of the show, and in actuality are nothing to cause a major increase in blood pressure. If I took 'bad' costumes as a guiding principle, then there are a lot of ballets I would not be seeing and enjoying I suspect.

Edited by Bruce
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Obviously acceptable music is a rather more important element of the production, then :)

 

John, thank you for those photos, and good to see you contributing again. That second one is marvellously atmospheric.

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I think this discussion raises two interesting topics which could be discussed elsewhere: firstly how much does costuming add to (or subtract from) a dance work and what does it tell us about the creator's intentions, and secondly how much can one learn about a production from still photographs.

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Looks like Clement Crisp in today's FT didn't think much of the costumes either!!

 

 

"Why this grotesque court, dressed in the height of modish fatuity by Jean Paul Gaultier and reluctant to wear shoes? Snow White, played as a stalwart and deeply uninteresting girl, wears an unflattering white shift for the larger part of the event without a slipper to her name, save in an apotheosis when she acquires a skeletal crinoline and unbecoming court shoes. Her Prince is, unwisely, in a curious zipped pink body-hugger, with braces."

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