Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland arrived on the stage in 2011 with a burst of colour, theatrical magic and inventive choreography. It was The Royal Ballet’s first full-length work since 1995 and was instantly acclaimed as a classic. 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.
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