Tonight my sister and I went to the Royal Winnipeg Ballets showing of Wonderland – which is basically their own version of Alice in Wonderland – a few little spins on the story bringing a new contemporary vision.
The description RWB themselves gives for the show is as follows:
Wonderland is a dynamic re-interpretation of Lewis Carroll’s beloved characters, events and themes that is sure to surprise and delight. The Queen of Hearts, The White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter are all on hand, displaying generous doses of wit, camp and humour. The surreal and dark elements that lurk at the original story’s fringes are bravely realized in explosive passages of breathtaking dance and innovative multimedia. Shawn Hounsell, acclaimed choreographer and RWB alumnus, has transformed Wonderland into a multi-sensory experience, with edgy and athletic movement, an inventive electro-acoustic soundscape and unexpected visual treats.
This ballet was everything they explained it to be and even more. So here is a little taste of what I felt about the show! Well I loved all of it! The choreography was very well done and it fit very well with the ‘topsy turvy’ idea of Wonderland. It seemed disjointed at times but yet all fell together beautifully. The movements (I especially noticed in the White Rabbit) were sporadic and hit with just the right amount of force. It did not seem to follow all of the typical most known ballet rules (such as pointing those toes all the way through the foot forcing the energy out) but brought in contemporary style (having the foot strongly dorsiflexed through moves). It was all very whimsical and seemed to be done with such little effort. Not only was the ballet dancing amazing but the music and visual effects went along perfectly with the dance and story. Those two things really helped pull you in and steal your attention from the world outside and take you along a journey through Wonderland with Alice.
Overall, it was a magnificent ballet!! I will share a few of my favorite moments of the performance with you (even though they will probably mean nothing to you just try to imagine what it could have been). The part with the Cheshire cat smoking hookah was very well done – it was very different but some of the most beautiful dancing. There was also a fight scene with the Duchess and I believe it was the Cook. In the original Lewis Carol it has the Duchess being violent (the Duchess says she talks severely to her boy and beats him when he sneezes) and does not discuss her appearance much but basically that it is not very attractive. So in the performance the Duchess was a more muscular man with a big beard – the fight scene was the most unusual and was just made even more powerful by having 3 second flashes of the fight up on the backdrop. It was very interesting and very intriguing! I could probably go on describing numerous other scenes from the show but then I would have explained the entire show to you! 🙂 But besides those few I mentioned there was also amazing dancing done during the Garden of Live Flowers and also there was a scene at the beginning which was just amazing! And well every other part was amazing too!! ❤
But yes – AMAZING!! I love the ballet and am so pleased that Andrea and I were able to go and watch this ‘most peculiar’ ballet! The RWB will never cease to amaze me as they have the both times they have been to Saskatoon since I have been here! Now I have Moulin Rouge and Wonderland on my list of ballets. A very small list indeed but I am most anxiously awaiting the next one to be added to it!
“I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is ‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!” Alice
“Well! I’ve often seen a cat without a grin; but a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious thing I ever say in my life!” Alice