We’re all familiar with the story of Snow White, the Disney princess and heroine of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale. This year, the timeless story is brought to life by Ballet Manila in a charming and sweet watch that’s perfect for kids and kids at heart.
For those who are not familiar, the tale of Snow White follows the titular princess who lives with her wicked stepmother. The stepmother is envious of her good looks, so she sends for a huntsman to dispose of her. The huntsman takes pity on Snow White and leaves her in the forest, where she is adopted by seven friendly dwarves.
The story first appeared in 1812 when the Brothers Grimm included it in the first edition of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. It gained widespread popularity when Walt Disney adapted it to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, becoming the studio’s first animated feature. Disney won an honorary Oscar, receiving a full-sized Oscar statue and seven miniature ones to represent the seven dwarves.
Ballet Manila’s version effortlessly channels the charm and sweetness of the story, effectively translating it from the novels and the screen to the stage. Katherine Barkman portrays Snow White with a joyful vulnerability, which goes well with Joseph Phillips‘ boyish exuberance as the Prince.
Barkman and Phillips’ innocence was complemented by the wickedness of Abigail Oliveiro as the Evil Queen, who owned the stage with her grace and her marvelous costume. She even had a large crown on, but she was so deft that she was able to leap, be carried, and even flipped over without it coming off.
What I loved about Ballet Manila’s Snow White is that everyone got their fair share of screen time. Godwin Merano matched Oliveiro as the witch in the mirror; Alfren Salgado shone as the huntsman, along with Violet Hong and Carlos Luna as his wife and son.
Like the Disney classic, a hit from the ballet version is the seven dwarves, played hilariously by Alvin Santos, John de Dios, Anselmo Dictado, Glenn Ragel, Sean Pelegrin, Jamil Montibon, and Rudy de Dios. They were so adorable, especially Santos as Dopey!
The choreography was spellbinding and it’s no surprise considering it was developed by prima ballerina and artistic director of Ballet Manila Lisa Macuja-Elizalde. She developed Snow White after the success of last year’s Cinderella. Like Cinderella, Snow White is a happy, positive, and lighthearted show perfect for Christmas.
Snow White may be a fairy tale but the ballet version is an enjoyable watch, whether you’re eight years old or 28. After all, inside every adult is a curious child just waiting to be let out.
This story is in partnership with Ballet Manila. Ballet Manila’s Snow White will be staged on November 25 and December 2 at 6:00 PM, and November 26 and December 3 at 3:00 PM at the Aliw Theater. For tickets, visit www.balletmanila.com.ph or follow Ballet Manila on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Tickets are also available through all Ticketworld outlets. Please call 8919999 or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph.
*All photos courtesy of Ballet Manila