‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ ballet set to premiere in Kazakh capital
NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM - The premiere of the ballet Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will take place on November 19 and 20 at Astana Opera under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. The Hungarian production team offers the capital’s audience unusual choreography, music in the style of American musical, unique sets reminiscent of famous cartoons, as well as spectacular special effects. Choreographer Gyula Harangozó Jr. spoke about the special features of this ballet, Kazinform has learnt from the Astana Opera’s press service.
Your ballet Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is equally loved by both children and adults. Could you please share the secret of such popularity?
I guess it is because I did not try to make a ballet, but a theatrical performance. You do not have to be a ballet fan to enjoy this show and you can be 4 years old or 90 years old, you can follow and enjoy the actions on a level adequate for you. This is not the kind of show, where the parents accompany their children for their sake and are bored during the performance, but they themselves equally enjoy the show.
Many people say that the ballet resembles an animated film due to the frequent change of scenery and the feeling of ‘frame-by-frame’. Did you use this technique intentionally?
Yes, I did it on purpose and I based the show on the Walt Disney animated film, not on the written fairytale. I chose a composer and a stage designer, who used to work with musicals, on purpose, because, if I want to reach a wider scale of audience, I have to work more or less the way how the musical makers work nowadays. You could not call this ballet a musical because nobody sings in it, but you can call it as a ‘dancical’.
Tell us about how you choose ballet dancers for their roles. What characteristics do you primarily concentrate on?
The leading roles are easier to choose, because all dancers must have good classical technique. That being said, Snow White should be cute, the Prince – handsome and a good partner, the Huntsman – a good character and a very good partner, the Queen should be pretty, have a very evil character, and Dopey should have excellent technique and a character, which can be loved by the audience. All the other dwarfs should have their own character and I am looking for dancers who do not just look like, but can play the character they are supposed to dance onstage.
Tell us about the music for the performance.
Due to the fact that I wrote the libretto and we made the music together with the composer Tibor Kocsák, on each rehearsal, I explained to him what the next scene is, how long it is and what is happening in this scene. After that I began to dance the rhythm. He picked it up and improvised a melody to it. Then he worked out that sequence at home for the next rehearsal, where we finally fixed it. It is the reason why all the actions in the ballet fit the music perfectly. The reason why we have so many different types of music is because for each character, I preferred to choose a certain musical character, for example, more classical for the main roles, more folk music for the corps de ballet, more contemporary for the small helper of the Queen. At this rate, with the different kinds of music, we could empathize with each character onstage.
Will there be any special aspects and considerations, particularities in the Kazakh production or will it be exactly the same as elsewhere?
Minor changes could be everywhere, but to make that decision I have to get to know the dancers better and work with them for a while.