Alice in La-La Land 3


We were delighted to see that on her day off the lovely National Ballet of Canada ballerina, Sonia Rodriguez, who with her pristine arabesque did her best to lend sparkle to Christopher Wheeldon‘s lumbering three-act ballet, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” took a tour of our Wonderland-on-the-Pacific. Welcome to life through the looking glass, Sonia.

The Wheeldon production, sadly The Royal Ballet‘s first new full-length work in fifteen years (co-commissioned by the Canadians), disappointed. The adventurous Alice, who upon the instruction “Drink me” shrinks down, and then, when commanded to “Eat me,” balloons up, similarly slipped through the choreographer’s grasp. Some things are too big, too profound, to get your arms around and Lewis Carroll‘s rarefied masterpiece seems to have stymied Wheeldon. His kitchen sink of disconnected episodes bumped and thumped to Jody Talbot‘s discombobulating music, while Bob Crowley‘s clunky mise-en-scene (a huge design failure, his use of red displeased) paraded before the audience. The biggest let down was that the choreographer, although a Briton, did not deliver a ripping Mad Tea Party. How could he mess that up?

Wheeldon and his all-male production team — this is now standard — got undone by the plucky lass Alice. You go girl!

3 thoughts on “Alice in La-La Land

  1. debra Oct 23,2012 12:56 pm

    It pains me to write negatively. I want ballet to be great! But I believe your money has better outlets than this “Alice.”

  2. Sa Oct 23,2012 9:21 am

    Way to call it, Deb. You just saved me $50 😉

  3. Larry Billman Oct 21,2012 1:44 pm

    Am very disappointed. The other reviews I had read raved about Wheeldon’s work and I think he is an “up-and-comer” in the classic dance dance. Mr. Carroll’s “Alice” is not an easy piece to translate to other forms. It is not linear and definitely not a love story. As a book, we can free-associate and paint our own pictures. Disney did not “get it right.” That film is episodic and tough going for the kiddies who adored “Dumbo,” “Bambi,” “Pinocchio,” etc. – and for this Dad who took them to see those films. Even the Disney composers did not get a hit song out of their score. And in my live stage work for the Disney Company, “Alice” always stymied me. Thanks for more food for thought.

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