Sugar Houses is an evening-length dance theater piece for 6 singer/dancer/actors created by Rosanna Gamson, pulling from the story of Hansel and Gretel and the fairy tale's historical origins: the Great European Famine of the 1300’s. Sugar Houses will premiere at REDCAT in 2020 and be available for touring nationally and internationally immediately following the premiere.
NEW DANCE THEATER by Rosanna Gamson with Mallory Fabian, Clementine Gamson Levy, Kearian Giertz, Simon Greenberg, Kayla Johnson, Paul Outlaw, Kevin Zambrano with vocal arrangements by Fahad Siadat, inspired by the story of Hansel and Gretel and the fairy tale's historical underpinnings, coded antisemitism and violent imagery. Pulling a deconstructed narrative from the story of Hansel and Gretel and jump-scares from horror movies, the choreography explores the extremes of physicality, evoking the grotesquery and violence of fairy tales as well the savage intimacy of siblings.
The story of Hansel and Gretel is really the story of the Great Famine of 1315 to 1317 and the brutal behavior, witch-burning, and anti-semitism it spawned. Children were abandoned, and possibly eaten, during the famine precipitated by the Little Ice Age (one of the first climate change disasters reported as it occurred) and the children’s disappearances were blamed on deviltry. SUGAR HOUSES uses the Brothers Grimm’s tale and historical texts wrapped in the devices and structure of the horror genre to evince the dark themes of Hansel and Gretel–guilt, innocence and blame; scarcity and gluttony; abandonment, enslavement and incarceration– and bring forward hidden histories, the ongoing real-world dynamics of scapegoating, and the complexity and complicity of looking the other way.