Created, choreographed and directed by Austin McCormick
Adapted by Jeff Takacs
"Like nicotine and drink, children," the narrator told the overwhelmingly adult audience on a recent Saturday night, "beauty to the vain only intensifies their thirst for more." Paradoxically, the Gowanus-based dance-theater troupe Company XIV's take on the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale Snow White (through January 15), directed and choreographed by founder Austin McCormick and adapted by Jeff Takacs—who plays the narrator in circus ringmaster-like top-hat and red coat tails—is a thing of decadent beauty. Its narrative warns against vanity, envy and pride, but there's nothing modest, moderate, or demure about its sets, costumes, songs and dances. McCormick cautions through baroque excess.
There are too many beautiful details and dance sequences to enumerate, but the queen's early tag-teaming with her high-heeled courtesans and Snow White's duet with the prince (Joseph McEachern) who wakes her from her frozen perch—a hoop suspended from the silver tree—are among the best. Throughout, the company's lavish postmodern aesthetic, which includes a giant digital projection serving as the queen's magical mirror, conjures images of incredible beauty and dizzying vivacity. Despite the narrator's warning, we must be vain, because so much beauty only makes the audience thirst for more.
(Photo: Steven Schreiber)