Creating Characters: Fairies


Preston Powell Photography.

In this series, we take a behind-the-scenes look at the inspirations of the characters of PAN…

“Fairies are born from the most enchanting of all human experiences – laughter, particularly the first laugh of a child,” says SALT Artistic Director and PAN choreographer Michelle Nielsen, who took inspiration for PAN’s fairies from one of the most famous lines in J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan:

“When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.”

“In our tale of PAN, it is the fairies who do the most impossible and magical task of all – connecting the hearts of two people whose laughter and love have all but disappeared,” she explains.

“Peter’s father has forgotten the laughter and the light of his enchanting wife, Peter’s late mother. In Peter’s most desperate moment the fairies appear, lighting the beach with dozens of sparklers and twinkle lights–connecting reality and fantasy, healing hearts.”

For costuming these enchanting creatures, designer Candice Nielsen used flowers as her inspiration. “We turned fluffy tulle skirts into little fairy dresses,” she says. “Their floral camouflage helps them dance about freely as if no one is watching.”

See the fairies’ magic in PAN, the untold story of Peter Pan, which runs through July 28. Purchase tickets here.

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