balletLORENT: Snow White | Edinburgh Festival Theatre | Rating ****
So inevitably, a few attendees thought balletLORENT’s Snow White meant a pretty, pointe shoed version of the Disney film.
Their early departure left the rest of us (the vast majority of a pleasingly full Festival Theatre) to enjoy this clever, imaginative and often beautiful dance theatre production.
Gone are the seven dwarfs, replaced by hard-working miners who spend their days beneath the palace, unearthing jewels to keep the Queen happy. Gone too is the Stepmother, replaced by Snow White’s actual mother, who can’t bear to see her beauty and status usurped by her blossoming offspring.
Director and choreographer Liv Lorent assembled a strong team of collaborators to add depth and modern resonance to the tale. Poet Laureate, Carol Anny Duffy has re-shaped the Brothers Grimm original, placing greater emphasis on the mother/daughter relationship and society’s perennial quest for beauty and longevity, regardless of the cost.
A team of astute designers keep the piece rooted in fairytale tradition, working hand in hand with Murray Gold’s gorgeous and evocative score to drench the show in atmosphere. The choreography has a free, fluid style that feels more like natural bodily movements than complex steps – which might have left the work looking undercooked were it not for the aforementioned collaborators, but is suitably surrounded to ensure the whole production is rich and full.