The Colorado Ballet has always presented themselves in a magical light that beautifully expresses the talent and skills of the artists within the ballet. With every performance the stories presented place their audience under a spell, with slight of hand or properly placed props, the audience transcends into each tale that is presented. No story is better told with this enchantment than the surreal Alice (in wonderland). The Colorado Ballet has clearly outdone themselves with this presentation.
We all are familiar with the story of Alice and her adventures real or imagined, however, no remake of this story is better told musically, with sets, costumes and overall performance than this particular storytelling from the Colorado Ballet.
: Alice daydreams as her family swirls around her chaotically. She is mesmerized by the mysterious and quirky Lewis Carroll, a family friend, who takes Alice on a boat ride and picnic in the country.
DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE : During their picnic, Lewis Carroll begins telling Alice an astounding story of a little girl’s adventures in a wonderland. As Alice drifts to sleep, a White Rabbit hops by. The nervous Rabbit checks his pocket watch because he’s late. He quickly leaps into a rabbit hole; Alice follows. She falls for what seems like miles.
Alice lands with a thud in a hallway filled with closed doors. She drinks a potion and grows quite tall; she fans herself and shrinks quite small. Through a keyhole, the tiny Alice catches her first glimpse of the evil Queen of Hearts. When Alice eats a bit of cake and returns to normal size, she can no longer fit though the tiny door that leads to the wondrous world.
The story isn’t quite over with the above and we learn more about how fascinating and surreal this story truly is in Act II. Act II is typically told without the Queen’s Jabberwock, however, not so with this version presented by The Colorado Ballet as they bring back the Jabberwock.
QUEEN’S GARDEN PARTY AND CROQUET GAME : Card gardeners have accidentally planted white roses in the Queen’s garden. The Queen of Hearts only wishes to grow red roses. Fearing her wrath, they paint the roses red. The Queen’s court spills by and Alice sees her friend the White Rabbit and the Queen’s Joker. Alice is invited by the Queen to play a very different game of croquet using Flamingo mallets and Hedgehogs as croquet balls. Blaming the Hedgehogs for losing the match, the Queen proclaims, “off with their heads.” Alice saves the Hedgehogs and the angry Queen chases her into the forest.
TWEEDLE DUM AND TWEEDLE DEE AND THE JABBERWOCK: In the forest, Alice happens upon a Rocking-Horse-Fly, a Bread-and-Butterfly and beautiful Snap-Dragon-Flies. Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee playfully argue as they pass by. Alice reflects on her amazing journey with the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit and the Tweedle Twins. The languid group is suddenly threatened by the ultimate danger: the Queen’s Jabberwock. To protect her new friends, Alice slays the beast.
I would also like to recognize and celebrate Sharon Wehner’s 20th Season with the Colorado Ballet. “For me, it must feel like the ground here is still fertile. I’m cultivating good dance and good art, and my work is also relevant tot he community. Inside my soul, I have to feel like I am growing as a dancer, and ultimately as a human being. That’s why I stayed for 20 years. There is a kind of balance I try to maintain – looking back and looking forward at all the dancing I still want to do, and then just being present and feeling like this is also just another season and an opportunity to grow as a dancer. It all comes down to loving what you do. It’s really just about love, in the end.” – Sharon Wehner.
While Alice (in wonderland) is now SOLD OUT for all remaining performances, we can remain hopeful that is will be brought back for future audiences to enjoy. Please check the box office as Alice continues through Feb. 28 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Tickets are $30 to $155 and available at 303-837-8888 ext. 2 or coloradoballet.org, as one never knows.
The Colorado Ballet continues to excite the mind, the body, the level of creativity and artistry presented on all levels. If you haven’t attended a performance by The Colorado Ballet, what are you waiting for?
Experience something extraordinary, allow yourself to escape into the stories that the Colorado Ballet so exquisitely tells. Visit www.ColoradoBallet.org for more information about upcoming performances.