Nadya Geras-Carson

A new ‘Snow Queen’ part 2: Building an ice palace from scratch

Second in a series: Eugene artist and designer Nadya Geras-Carson fashions a fairy tale edifice for Eugene Ballet's upcoming new production of 'The Snow Queen'

Story and photos by BOB KEEFER

Editor’s note:Eugene arts journalist Bob Keefer is tracking the creation of a new version of The Snow Queen by Eugene Ballet.  ArtsWatch will be reposting the series here after each installment appears on Keefer’s Eugene Art Talk blog.

The walls of the palace were of driving snow, and the windows and doors of cutting winds. There were more than a hundred halls there, according as the snow was driven by the winds. The largest was many miles in extent; all were lighted up by the powerful Aurora Borealis, and all were so large, so empty, so icy cold, and so resplendent!

That’s Hans Christian Andersen’s description of the Snow Queen’s palace in his popular fairy tale “The Snow Queen.”

Now just imagine designing and building that same palace from scratch – on a theater stage.

Nadya Geras-Carson, set designer for Eugene Ballet's new 'Snow Queen.'

Nadya Geras-Carson, set designer for Eugene Ballet’s new ‘Snow Queen.’

That’s exactly what Eugene artist and designer Nadya Geras-Carson is doing. The results will be on view at the Hult Center next April, when Eugene Ballet premieres its all-new ballet version of Andersen’s eerie and redemptive story of Gerda, Kay, a magic mirror, and an icy queen. Geras-Carson will also, of course, be designing sets for the rest of the tale, including a village scene and a forest.

So, we asked her, how do you go about creating a fairy tale world on a real-life stage?