Conejo Civic Ballet Company's
Snow White is one of the Grimm’s fairytales and is well known to western audiences in no small part because of the Walt Disney animated movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. As a ballet, the story has much to offer and it is no surprise that it has been staged for dance many times. However, only one version exists with music composed specifically for this story. A ballet libretto for Snow White was written by Witold Borkowski and Stanislav Piotrowski following the Grimm’s fairy tale.
Bogdan Pawlowski composed a musical score for the ballet which had its premiere performance at the Janacek Theatre in Czech Republic on May 30, 1973 with the choreography by Witold Borkowski. However, until Conejo Civic Ballet Company introduced the Southern California community to Pawlowski’s Snow White in recital at Moorpark College Auditorium on May 29 and 30 of 1999 it remained unknown to United States audiences. The first full performance was at the Scherr Forum Theatre, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza on January 21, 2000 with a repeat performance on January 22, 2000. Since then, CCBC has performed Snow White many times. Here are photos from the last two later performances.
Scene One: Castle Garden
The Queen, jealous of Snow White’s youth and beauty, orders her to make herself useful by tending the garden. After the angry Queen leaves, the garden becomes an enchanted place where colorful flowers, exotic birds, buzzing bees, a beautiful butterfly and dazzling dragonflies distract Snow White from her chores. In the distance the sound of a hunting horn drifts into the garden. A prince enters the garden. Captivated by Snow White’s innocence and beauty he declares he has never seen anyone as lovely. The Queen returns, and orders the Prince to leave and banishes Snow White from the castle forever.
Scene Two: Witches Lair
Vowing to be rid of Snow White forever the Queen summons her evil goblins. Together they brew a magic potion, which produces a poison apple and transforms her into an ugly witch.
Scene Three: Forest
Exhausted from her journey, Snow White falls asleep in the forest surrounding the castle. The animals are curious about the stranger in their kingdom and one by one each of them comes to look at her. Realizing that she will not harm them, they try to cheer her with their antics. Seven dwarfs wander through the forest on their way home from the mines. They sense something is different and wonder what it could be.
Scene One: Cottage
The animals take Snow White to a rural cottage. Finding it in disarray the animals help Snow White tidy up the cottage. Snow White grows tired and the animals help her to bed.
A short while later seven dwarfs return to their cottage. They become suspicious when they notice it has been cleaned and someone is sleeping on their beds. They approach the intruder with caution and are relieved to find it is only a girl. Snow White wakens and tells the dwarfs how she was banished from the castle the only home she has ever known.
The dwarfs return to work leaving Snow White alone in the cottage. The queen disguised as a witch knocks on the door of the cottage and asks Snow White for a drink of water. To thank Snow White for her kindness the witch gives her an apple. Snow White takes a bite of the apple and falls to the ground.
The animals and dwarfs return to find Snow White’s lifeless body. Believing her to be dead they mourn the loss of their beloved companion. The prince arrives. Unable to believe the beautiful girl he met in the castle garden is dead, he kisses her. The kiss from her one true love brings her back to life. The Prince, Snow White and the dwarfs leave the cottage and return to the castle.
Scene Two: Castle
The Queen invites the members of her court to a ball. She consults her magic mirror and is horrified to learn that she is not “the fairest of them all.” The dwarfs enter the castle to confront the wicked Queen for poisoning Snow White. No one will come to the Queen’s rescue. She is once again transformed into an ugly witch. The Prince pushes the witch into the magic mirror where she will remain trapped forever. All the members of the kingdom join in a triumphant wedding celebration.