Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Christopher Wheeldon

March 6 – 17, 2024

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Christopher Wheeldon

March 6 – 17, 2024
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Please Note: theatrical haze, pyrotechnical effects and strobe lighting effects are used throughout this production. There is also a gunshot from the stage in Act I.

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Overview

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has charm and spectacle in abundance and is beautifully choreographed by a leading innovator in the story ballet, Christopher Wheeldon. A tap-dancing Mad Hatter, hurried White Rabbit and comical Queen of Hearts join the fanciful cast of characters who bring Lewis Carroll’s story to life, with the addition of a love interest for Alice. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland features puppetry and video projections in a brilliant design by Bob Crowley, an original score by Joby Talbot and lighting by Natasha Katz.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Trailer

The Story

The story begins innocently enough, with Alice attending a garden party on an ordinary afternoon. But things become curious (and curiouser) when her friend Lewis Carroll transforms into a rabbit right before her eyes and falls headfirst down a rabbit hole to Wonderland, with Alice following closely behind. Wonderland proves anything but predictable and Alice soon finds herself in unusual, often sinister, company. All the while, she is falling in love with the Knave of Hearts.

Read Full Synopsis

Five Things to Know
  1. 1Wheeldon received an audio tape of Lewis Carroll’s story as a child and was entranced by its mysteries and wordplay. He has said, “It was the vividness of the book’s characters and the way they all lend themselves to being communicated through movement” that intrigued him.
     
  2. 2Alice includes several fun references to other famous ballets. For instance, in Act III, the Queen of Hearts’ hilarious dance with her partners in the Tart Adagio is a parody of the well-known Rose Adagio in The Sleeping Beauty.
     
  3. 3The characters from the prologue reappear in Wonderland in different guises and are linked to specific instruments and musical themes. Lewis Carroll, who turns into the White Rabbit, is associated with the celesta and Alice’s Mother, who turns into the Queen of Hearts, is associated with the violin.
     
  4. 4Alice incorporates 284 pairs of footwear that are not pointe shoes, including heeled court shoes, wellington boots, tap shoes and gold slippers. There are also embellished pointe shoes for the dancers in the Caterpillar’s body – each pair has 100 Swarovski crystals.
     
  5. 5Toronto’s premiere run of Alice in 2011 broke box office records and made Wheeldon’s ballet the highest grossing mainstage production in the history of The National Ballet of Canada. It continues to be one of the company’s most popular story ballets today.
Watch and Explore

Wheeldon on Wonderland

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Mad Hatter: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Rabbit: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

The Queen of Hearts: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Alice: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Alice View Gallery

Read Article: Wheeldon on Wonderland

The Choreographer

Christopher Wheeldon is Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet, former Resident Choreographer of New York City Ballet, and a former dancer with both companies. He is now a multi-award-winning choreographer creating work internationally for ballet, theatre and film. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2016.

The Composer

English composer Joby Talbot has written widely for opera and dance. His collaborations include Wayne McGregor’s Chroma and Entity, and Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Winter’s Tale, both co-productions between The Royal Ballet and The National Ballet of Canada.

Reviews

“a sophisticated ballet, born aloft by thrilling dancing that will tug you out of your theatre seat into a world of wonder.” – The Hamilton Spectator

“Alice is a monumental piece of dance art. The lavish combination of choreography, projections, sets, costumes and original music is a veritable assault on the senses.” – The Globe and Mail 

“An eye-bogglingly spectacular adaptation of a children’s literary classic filled with colourful characters, innocent romance” – Toronto Star

“Ingenious stagecraft and special effects… Mr. Wheeldon lent the story a new energy and meaningfulness, and a score by Joby Talbot provided an aching sentiment” – The Economist

“Over the course of nearly three hours, the theatrical wonders of choreographer Christopher Wheeldon's three-act Alice's Adventures in Wonderland keep tumbling and flowing into place.” – The Wall Street Journal

“A brilliantly theatrical, superbly designed (by Bob Crowley) extravaganza of color and costume, madcap action and fluent dance” ‐ The New York Times

Running Time

  • Act I 45m
  • Intermission 20m
  • Act II 30m
  • Intermission 20min
  • Act III 45min
  • Total (approx) 2h 40m

Casting

Alice
Tirion Law* (March 6, 8, 12, 15 at 7:30 pm/March 10 at 2:00 pm) 
Emerson Dayton* (March 7, 14, 16 at 2:00 pm/March 9 at 7:30 pm) 
Hannah Galway* (March 7, 13, 16 at 7:30 pm/March 9 at 2:00 pm) 
Jeannine Haller* (March 14 at 7:30 pm/March 17 at 2:00 pm) 

Jack/The Knave of Hearts 
Naoya Ebe (March 6, 8, 12, 15 at 7:30 pm/March 10 at 2:00 pm) 
Keaton Leier* (March 7, 14, 16 at 2:00 pm/March 9 at 7:30 pm) 
Harrison James (March 7, 13, 14, 16 at 7:30 pm/March 9, 17 at 2:00 pm) 

Lewis Carroll/The White Rabbit 
Donald Thom* (March 6, 8, 12, 15 at 7:30 pm/March 10 at 2:00 pm) 
Siphesihle November (March 7, 9, 14, 16 at 2:00 pm/March 7, 9, 13, 16 at 7:30 pm) 
Spencer Hack* (March 14 at 7:30 pm/March 17 at 2:00 pm) 

Mother/The Queen of Hearts 
Svetlana Lunkina (March 6, 8, 12, 15 at 7:30 pm/March 10 at 2:00 pm) 
Chelsy Meiss* (March 7, 14, 16 at 2:00 pm/March 9 at 7:30 pm) 
Heather Ogden (March 7, 13, 16 at 7:30 pm/March 9 at 2:00 pm)  
Alexandra MacDonald* (March 14 at 7:30 pm/March 17 at 2:00 pm) 

Father/The King of Hearts 
Rex Harrington† (March 6, 7, 8, 12, 15 at 7:30 pm/March 9, 10, 14, 16 at 2:00 pm)  
Johnathan Renna* † (March 7, 17 at 2:00 pm/March 9, 13, 14, 16 at 7:30 pm) 

Magician/Mad Hatter 
Ben Rudisin (March 6, 8, 9, 12, 15 at 7:30 pm/March 7, 10, 14, 16 at 2:00 pm) 
Donald Thom (March 7, 13, 16 at 7:30 pm/March 9 at 2:00 pm) 
Noah Parets* (March 14 at 7:30 pm/March 17 at 2:00 pm)  

* Debut  
† Guest Artists 
All casting subject to change.  

Credits

Choreography:
Christopher Wheeldon

Staged by:
Elizabeth Toohey and Jillian Vanstone

Music:
Joby Talbot
Orchestrated by Christopher Austin and Joby Talbot

Scenario:
Nicholas Wright

Set and Costume Design:
Bob Crowley

Lighting Design:
Natasha Katz

Projection Design:
Jon Driscoll and Gemma Carrington

Sound Design:
Andrew Bruce for Autograph

Premiere: The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, London, UK, February 28, 2011 

The National Ballet of Canada Premiere: Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto, June 4, 2011

A co-production of The National Ballet of Canada and The Royal Ballet (UK).

Lead philanthropic support for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is provided by an anonymous friend of the National Ballet with additional support generously provided by The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, Richard M. Ivey, C.C., Rosamond Ivey, Robert & Judith Lawrie and Wallace McCain & Margaret McCain, C.C.

Running Time

  • Act I 45m
  • Intermission 20m
  • Act II 30m
  • Intermission 20min
  • Act III 45min
  • Total (approx) 2h 40m

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