I was at the cinema on Thursdsay, an event so rare in itself that it deserves a mention. What was the last thing that you saw in the cinema? There’s a high chance that it was something fairly recent, and I have to admit that recently I’ve done not too bad for cinema trips with this being my 3rd one this year (Monsters Inc 3D and Les Mis being the first two, both brilliant). Thursday’s cinema trip was slightly different however, because I wasn’t there to watch some new release Blockbuster movie, or remake of a childhood favourite or anything in between. I was there to see the ballet.
Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, as performed by The Royal Ballet, was broadcast live from The Royal Opera House to over 600 cinemas worldwide, one of which was Aberdeen Vue. After 6 weeks of trying to get a group of people together, I finally managed to find one friend willing to humour me about 4 hours before the show actually started…but I would have gone alone anyway. If you’re in the Twitterverse go follow @The_Mouse_Cat, because I promised her a mention in this post (then follow me @Kirshizzle, because I’m awesome).
To sum it up quickly, the ballet performance of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was amazing, beautiful and completely mesmerising. Fantastic choreography, wonderful music and mind blowing set (why not check out #ROHalice for opinions from people worldwide?). I went to see the Scottish Ballet’s Alice in Wonderland 2 years ago at the theatre and was completely enchanted by it, but I have to say that this just completely blew it out of the water.
I did not write this blog to tell you that I went to the cinema though, regardless of how rare an event it may be. I have decided, however, that instead of writing one lengthy review about the wonders of Wonderland on pointe I’m going to highlight a few things which I think everybody needs to know (or at least the people who read this…)
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is completely sold out for all their shows, and this meant that I couldn’t find out the prices for tickets to sit in ROH, but I can tell you that 50% of ROHs tickets cost under £65 apparently. Vue’s normal student ticket is £3.90, but for this show we were £10. Regardless of the fact that it was more expensive than normal, I’m pretty sure that it was still a lot cheaper than the in-house tickets would have been, and we had the best seats in the house.(best seats bar perhaps the little girl sitting behind us who kept asking if Alice was dead yet.)
My new girl crush, and also the prima who was Alice. She’s absolutely perfect in every way. She is a wonderful dancer, a brilliant actress, a beautiful face and I’m sure she’s a lovely person. I have to note that sometimes when there was a group of people dancing she appeared to be about a half beat behind the other dancers, such a minute error yet unfortunately very noticeable. This seemed to settle out after the first while though, either that or I just stopped noticing. Research tells me that she danced the swan in Swan Lake earlier this year too, so if anybody is wondering what to get me for my birthday I’d like her please.
The Mad Hatter
Can I marry him please? The Mad Hatter is possibly my favourite Alice character across all versions of the story, and this time was no different. His story was told more through the means of tap dance than ballet, but it worked. In fact, I think it fitted the character perfectly and conveyed him an awful lot better than any combination of ballet steps could have. He’s a fun character and you could see the dancer having fun in this role. Danced by Steven McRae.
Danced by Eric Underwood, who said that he felt that his legs and his feet did ballet, but the rest of him “just danced, like you are dancing in the kitchen at home with the music on.” Needless to say that I’m pretty sure I don’t look like that when I’m dancing around in my kitchen, but maybe I’m just not listening to the right music. The choreography for this character was beautiful, and the lights and the music combined with his fluid movements helped the audience to feel the same entrancement that Alice did. We were drawn in to this character, somewhat seduced by the smoothness of the scene…or maybe that was just the sparkly pointe shoes.
One could not review Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland without paying attention to the character of the Red Queen, lest one may lose one’s head. In this production the Red Queen is danced by Zenaida Yenowsky, and she is so incredibly brilliant that it is indeed a necessity that she finds herself in this review. Never have I seen this character portrayed so magnificently, so humorously or so perfectly. Helena Bonham Carter eat your jammy wee heart out. Take special note of her Tart Adage, a Wonderland mock up of one of ballet’s more famous dances in the 3rd act.
Danced by Kirsten McNally, she was like a dancing Helena Bonham Carter, utterly brilliant and perfectly cast.
Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon
Music by Joby Talbot
Set by Bob Crowley
Shannen and I have now decided that we are going to marry ballet dancers.
This production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is apparently now available on DVD, Blu-ray and iTunes. So much for trying to save money…
There was so many perfect things about this production that I still get goosebumps thinking about it.
Full cast list, details and story here: http://cinema.roh.org.uk/sites/default/files/documents/alices_adventures_in_wonderland_cast_sheet_eng.pdf