The Snow Queen Ballet

This extraordinary tale by H.C. Andersen is one of the most complex and wonderfully colorful of his stories. It is written in seven parts, with characters ranging from the two innocent children to demons, robbers to royalty, animal friends to snowflake warriors—and a host of others—all against the backdrop of the influence of the formidable Snow Queen.

Illustration by Milo Winter
Illustration by Milo Winter

This array of movement styles supported by a tremendously varied emotional landscape made a ballet setting seem a choice well suited to exploring and highlighting the meanings in the story. As I often and dismayed at having to look at program notes to follow the events depicted in ballets, my score also calls for a narrator, whose words are woven into the fabric of the show.


As this is a long-term work in progress, I will be making updates on The Snow Queen blog. Fo now, I’d like to share a sample of the music.

This midi realization sample illustrates the opening scene:

There is a Demon. He creates a mirror which distorts everything into its opposite. He has students, and tells them that by looking in the mirror, they can see reality. The students take the mirror everywhere, laughing at how it makes the world appear. They try to take it up to Heaven, to mock the angels. But the higher they go, the harder it is to hold, and finally, they drop it. It crashes to Earth, splintering into millions of tiny pieces. These pieces fly everywhere —into people’s eyes and hearts, causing them to see and feel the world opposite of what is true.