Internationally renowned set and costume designer Desmond Heeley will design a new version of the ballet The Snow Maiden, a co-production of Houston Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.
Choreographed by Houston Ballet artistic director Ben Stevenson and starring legendary Bolshoi prima ballerina Nina Ananiashvili, The Snow Maiden premieres in Houston in March; American Ballet Theatre then performs it in New York during its spring season.
Heeley's versatile 50-year career spans designs everywhere from the Old Vic to the Guthrie Theatre, the Metropolitan Opera to Opera at La Scala in Milan, and the Ballet Rambert to the Stuttgart Ballet. Among his numerous honors are Tony Awards for sets and costumes for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1968).
"As a basis for the first act," Heeley has said, there will be "a glittering Russian forest." The second act comprises "vibrant reds and blues of Russian folk art [and] wooden architecture," the third act "is set amid the splendor of the czar's palace and its courtyard. It's silver spires, domes, and immense barbaric chandeliers."
Overall, Heeley's vision is 'storybook.' "I try to evoke a fairy-tale Russia rather than a literal one." -- By Peter Szatmary