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Ballet in Wonderland

07 Sep 2017

Ballet in Wonderland Image

By Chelsea Cucinotta

Renowned choreographer Christopher Wheeldon is taking on Lewis Caroll’s classic tale and translating it into dance with the performance of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

It will be Wheeldon’s fifth work for the Australian Ballet, which he created for the Royal Ballet back in 2011.

Wheeldon describes it as “both a coming of age story, as well as a whimsical journey of great adventures and discovery”.

This colourful performance will include puppetry, projections and optical illusions. Vibrant costumes will paint the stage, including an indigo caterpillar designed with eight pairs of “bejewelled pointe shoe-clad feet”.

Everyone’s favourite Mad Hatter will be tap dancing around the stage, while the Cheshire Cat and its unnerving grin will come to life with the help of six dancers.

Composer Joby Talbot pairs the romance expected of a 19th century ballet with a more contemporary and witty score, as performed by Orchestra Victoria. The score will reflect the very absurdities of Alice’s encounters.

“Alice’s journey is quite a rollercoaster ride. She shrinks, grows, nearly drowns, is threatened with capital punishment and rescues a baby from the cooking pot. All these adventures have to be expressed musically and I have used every trick I can think of to chart her extraordinary adventures,” Mr Talbot said.

The show will run from September 12 to 30 at Arts Centre Melbourne. artscentremelbourne.com

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