The Royal Ballet’s new full length ballet by Christopher Wheeldon, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, premieres on 28th February 2011 at The Royal Opera House, with a short run of performances in early March. Later this year the production will premiere in Canada, when the National Ballet of Canada dance the production.
With just over a week to go, I thought you might like to ‘swot up’ on the original story, and by chance the Kindle version of the book is free to download. I’ve previously reviewed the Kindle and for speed and ease of use I think it’s perfect for this novel.
However, if it’s a proper book you’re after with pictures and annotations, I can recommend The Annotated Alice :
Bringing together a lifetime's work on Lewis Carroll, this work looks at Carroll's puzzles and games of logic and focuses on topics ranging from Alice's influence on the Beat poet, Jack Kerouac to how mercury in hat linings turned hatters mad.
Christopher Wheeldon is basing his Alice on Lewis Carroll’s first novel, not on Through the Looking Glass, but if you want to read the complete works then The Annotated Alice does the trick.
I am yet to be wowed by the choreography but I think Wheeldon is clever in choosing a fantasy as his first full length story ballet because he is at least free to show the story in the way he chooses, whilst staying true to the spirit of the story. Wheeldon has also brought together a first rate team around the project who haven’t necessarily been steeped in ballet; among them - Joby Talbot (score – witty & clever), Jackie Barrett (ballet mistress, who doesn’t miss a trick), Bob Crowley (costumes) & last but not least (in fact he’s my favourite) Simon Russell Beale (actor). Beale has been taking private barre in preparation for his role and his intelligence as an actor (who now dances) is going to bring the ballet alive in a whole new way on stage.
Now, if you’re going to the Gala night or one of the other performances, you’re going to want something to wear that evokes the theme of Alice ! Here is a small selection :
And finally, Lauren Cuthberton, who dances Alice, in the Deanery Garden’s of Christ Church, Oxford, which was the childhood home of Alice Liddlell.