"Into the Dark Wood" brings out the dark side of fairy tale heroines

Under new leadership Brooks and Company explores familiar stories through dance

Image Brooks and Company's Into the Dark Wood is one of the first dance productions of what promises to be a busy new year on the Atlanta dance scene. The show, which plays at the Balzer Theatre January 5-7, explores the dark side of three fairy tales: Hans Christian Anderson's “The Ice Queen”; the Slavic folktale "Baba Yaga”; and the Bluebeard-like English tale “Mr. Fox.”

“I would say they're 'dark' only because we're telling the original versions, not the Disney versions,” says the show's creator and choreographer Kristyn McGeehan. “When you string the stories together, it tells a larger story. The first one is innocent, and each of the heroines gets a little darker as it moves along. It felt like the arc of a life to me.”

The stories are linked together by a narrator but are told primarily through dance. Though the dancers in Brooks and Company are classically trained, the segments of the show utilize a range of styles: “The Ice Queen” is told with balletic movement, “Baba Yaga” in a more modern style, and “Mr. Fox” has a jazz feel, McGeehan says.

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