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Snow White

Snow White is the second of balletLORENT's trilogy of fairytale adaptations written by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. balletLORENT's mystical adaptation of this classic Brothers Grimm fairytale is co-produced by Northern Stage and commissioned by Sadler's Wells.

The success of Rapunzel has inspired Artistic Director Liv Lorent and her team of world class collaborators to work together to create a trilogy of fairytales. Carol Ann Duffy, Murray Gold, Phil Eddolls and Malcolm Rippeth have joined Liv Lorent and the balletLORENT team once again, alongside new collaborators Libby Everall (Costume Design) and Lindsay Duncan (Narrator) for this dance theatre adaptation of Snow White, created for family audiences.

 

Snow White is a tale of a mother’s devastating jealousy, and a band of wild, forest dwelling miners who reveal for us the importance of inner beauty. The classic fairytale is brought to life by a dynamic cast of characters in this visually striking show.

Artistic Director Liv Lorent has said:

"Snow White is so much about the fear of losing beauty and power as a woman, and the challenging pursuit that so many of us have: to capture a desired reflection of ourselves.

In our production - as in the earliest version of this Grimm tale - Snow White's real mother, the Queen, lives, and it is she who succumbs to the terrible jealousy of her daughter's beauty, plotting to destroy her own child. There is much decadence, dancing and grace in the Queen's palace. We see how a life full of optimism and expectation goes sour when the Queen gets exactly what she desired - a beautiful daughter. Snow White has the beauty that the Queen wished for - pure snow skin framed by hair the colour of her ebony window frame, and blood red lips.

In this classic story, retold with brilliant insight by Carol Ann Duffy, we are also able to explore the landscape of the forest where seven strange, funny and eccentric miners live and work. Their underground life of grafting reshapes their strong bodies oddly, and their dancing is unlike anything that Snow White has ever seen.

We have found so much to love in the story of Snow White. It is full of darkness and light, like the very best fairytales often are.”

Snow White premiered at Northern Stage on the 16th October 2015. Recommended Age 7+

 

Running Time: 1 hour 44 minutes, including a 20 minute interval.

 

 

Research & Development

balletLORENT received financial support organised through The Jerwood Studio, a major creative initiative developed by Sadler's Wells Theatre and supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, to create Snow White.

Liv was joined by her artistic collaborators, balletLORENT's Associate Director, and 8 of balletLORENT's regular dancers to engage in a four week research and development period to evolve her choreographic movement and to inform set and lighting designs, including one week in the theatre at DanceCity supported through their Creative Summer programme. balletLORENT received in-kind support from Northern Stage for the use of Stage 1 for three weeks of development. Liv invited various dance artists outside of balletLORENT's core dancers to attend some of these R&D sessions, to support the development of Snow White, including Gary Clarke, Robby Graham, Darren O'Kane (Jelly), Akeim Toussaint Buck and apprentice dancers Gabi Serani Busquets and Virginia Scudeletti.

Following the success of the Rapunzel young cast programme with 6-16 year olds, Liv was interested in engaging 5-8 year olds in Snow White. At this slightly younger age, children are more uninhibited and express themselves very freely and naturally. Liv worked with a group of DanceCity’s CAT (Centre for Advanced Training) students for 1 week in July 2014 in order to gather ideas for this project, and the company also delivered 6 trial workshops to primary schools in areas of low arts engagement in Newcastle in Autumn 2014, including Westgate Hill Primary School, Hotspur Primary School and St Charles Primary School. 12 children selected from these pilot workshops were also invited to participate in a Snow White research and development week at Northern Stage in January 2015.

 

Snow White Young Cast

On the back of our initial research and development, we delivered Snow White workshops to over 400 children aged from 5-8 years in 9 different schools and community centres in Newcastle upon Tyne, to find our young cast for the premiere performances of Snow White at Northern Stage, and for our dates at the Durham Gala Theatre. From these workshops, 70 children were invited to join the balletLORENT Snow White ensemble for 2 more creative workshops. 21 children were then shortlisted to participate in a further 7 workshops as part of the creation of Snow White in June and July 2015, before the final 11 young cast members were confirmed.

Confirmed young cast for performance dates at Northern Stage and Durham Gala Theatre:

Kaelys BeuttlerWestgate Hill Primary
Katy DawsonThomas Walling Primary
Alyssa ScottKnop Law Primary
Amelia BellKnop Law Primary
Jessica SparkHawthorn Primary
Shiv SharmaThomas Walling Primary
Cameron EarlKnop Law Primary
Michael RanceKnop Law Primary
Shane CowanCentral Walker Primary
Finn CaffreyHotspur Primary
Jack HaycockKnop Law Primary

We would like to give a special thank you to all of the children who took part in this pilot scheme, particularly those who took part in the final 7 workshops: Arifa Khamon, Beatrice Duncan, Annie Murray-Bryan, Musa Garba, Calvin Infante and Logan Milligan.

"The World Should Dance"

"I felt extraordinary"

"Epic. I Love Dancing"

"I felt calm, peaceful, happy and sad fun joyful pleasure freedom friendly thankful."

balletLORENT will continue with their plans to seek 12, 6-9 year olds from each place that we tour to with Snow White to rehearse and perform with our professional dancers. We will be focusing on working with and supporting naturally talented children with little to no access to dance or the arts.

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Snow White

 Credits

Director
Liv Lorent

Choreography
Liv Lorent
in collaboration with the Company

Scenario Writer
Carol Ann Duffy

Music Composed by
Murray Gold

Set Designer
Phil Eddolls

Costume Designer
Libby Everall

Lighting Designer
Malcolm Rippeth

Narrator
Lindsay Duncan

Music Performed by
Royal Northern Sinfonia and Murray Gold

Soprano
Elin Manahan Thomas

Conductor
Jeremy Holland-Smith

Orchestrations & Music Preparation
Dave Foster

Recorded by
Jake Jackson at the Sage Gateshead

Orchestral Mixing by
Jack Sugden

Associate Director
Debbi Purtill

Dramaturg
Ben Crompton

Associate Lighting Designer
Matt Britten

 

Dancers

Gwen Berwick
Akeim Toussaint Buck
Gavin Coward
Toby Fitzgibbons
John Kendall
Caroline Reece
Ray Roa
Juliet Thompson
Natalie Trewinnard
Philippa White
Giulia Coti Zelati

 

Premiered:
Northern Stage, 2015

Performed:
Gala Theatre, Durham

Theatre Royal, Winchester

Cast, Doncaster

The Lowry, Salford

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Warwick Arts Centre

Pitlochry Festival Theatre

Sadler's Wells

 

balletLORENT Limited is a registered charity in England and Wales (no.1162921) and a registered company (no.05093450)