Reviewed by Paula Citron
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon
National Ballet of Canada
Four Seasons Centre
Jun. 4 to 25, 2011
Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is a monumental achievement. It’s a new classic for the National Ballet.
Alice cleverly begins in reality, with a garden party at the home of Alice Liddell’s parents. The family and guests become the denizens of Wonderland.
The one deviation away from Carroll’s story is to make Alice a teenager, so she can have a crush on Jack, the gardener’s boy. Jack becomes the Knave of Hearts in Wonderland which allows Wheeldon to create three lushly romantic pas de deux.
Alice is Wheeldon’s homage to traditional ballet. The piece is wall-to-wall dancing, all designed to show off formidable technique. Nonetheless, the British choreographer has added in his own touches, so that the dance itself seems completely fresh.
Joby Talbot’s original score, Bob Crowley’s sets, costumes and props, and Jon Driscoll and Gemma Carrington’s projections are all simply magnificent.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland continues at the Four Seasons Centre until Jun. 12, with another run Jun. 23 to 25.