To counter yesterday’s grouchfest:
The National Ballet of Canada’s “Alice in Wonderland” – presented this week by the Joyce Theater at Lincoln Center – is the most magnificent ballet (maybe any form of dance) production I have ever seen. Not quite Cirque (Soleil or Eloize) territory, but I would never expect this kind of costuming, staging, automation, animation, physical comedy and puppetry within a framework that so totally respects classical dance. Yes, there was strong influence of modern ballet and contemporary theater arts of all kinds, but this was reverent and irreverent at once. Perfectly lovely traditional corps lines, pas des deux and solos happily shared the stage with a tap-dancing Mad Hatter, a deliciously twitchy White Rabbit, and a sexy-flexy Caterpillar doing the worm. Oh, and the puppeteered Cheshire cat is appropriately outsized and inscrutable. Seriously, this was an amazing experience.
Sometimes I think I should cut back on shows, as I spend so much money on tickets, but this magic is exactly what I’m always chasing. Highest recommendation.