The tenth anniversary season of Glorya Kaufman presents Dance at The Music Center continues with the U.S. debut of The National Ballet of Canada's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon with music by Joby Talbot, at The Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with live orchestra for five performances only October 19-21, 2012. Karen Kain is the Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada.
Created through a partnership between The National Ballet of Canada and The Royal Ballet (UK), the production had its world premiere in 2011 and features 70 dancers, with sets and costumes by Bob Crowley and projections by Jon Driscoll and Gemma Carrington.
When Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland first arrived on the stage in 2011, it was instantly acclaimed as a classic on both sides of the Atlantic. Joby Talbot's score combines sweeping melodies, which gesture to ballet scores of the 19th century, with contemporary effects. Bob Crowley's wildly imaginative sets and costumes draw on puppetry, projections and masks to bring Wonderland to life.
Alice encounters a cast of extraordinary characters down the rabbit hole: from the highly-strung Queen of Hearts, who performs a hilarious rendition of the famous Rose Adagio from The Sleeping Beauty, to dancing playing cards, a sinuous caterpillar and a tap-dancing Mad Hatter. There is a love narrative for Alice and the Knave of Hearts, and they dance a tender pas de deux at the close of Act II. But the ballet does not avoid the darker undercurrents of Lewis Carroll's story – a nightmarish kitchen, an eerily disembodied Cheshire Cat and an unhinged tea party are all created in vivid detail. As Christopher Wheeldon related to The Telegraph, his own first contact with Lewis Carroll's book came via a taped reading of the book. "But the main thing for me is that it is so obviously theatrical. The characters are so physical on the page that they scream out for movement."
The Globe and Mail says, "Christopher Wheeldon's new ballet, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, is a monumental achievement. This production has to be the best dance adaptation of Lewis Carroll's beloved children's classic on the planet." The New York Times said that Alice is "A brilliantly theatrical superbly designed extravaganza of color, costume, madcap action and fluent dance".