Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: ballet, costumes and entertainment at their very best

March 21, 2024

Earlier this month, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland made its triumphant return to the National Ballet of Canada’s 2023/2024 season. It sold out quickly, which was not surprising considering the exquisite ballet performances, the stunning set and costume design, and the fabulous orchestra that accompanied each show.

In this version, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, Alice is all grown up. The three-act show takes the audience through several centuries and is just as entertaining as it is stunning. 

Despite its extensive runtime of 2 hours and 40 minutes, the pace is energetic and invigorating, with three acts and two intermissions. We were on the edge of our seats the whole time, gasping at the beauty of each movement, costume, and set detail or prop. Bob Crowley should be applauded for his immaculate set and costume design that make the entire show come alive and invite the audience to escape into Alice’s wonderful worlds, accompanying her on her many adventures.

The facial expressions of each dancer added another fabulous layer to each performance, making it more powerful and exquisite. In the show that we attended on March 14, Emerson Dayton was the delicate and lovely Alice, Keaton Leier was the charismatic and elegant Jack/The Knave of Hearts, Siphesihle November was the energetic and magical Lewis Carroll/The White Rabbit, Chelsy Meiss was the powerful and incredibly entertaining Mother/The Queen of Hearts, Ben Rudisin was the colourful and fun Magician/Mad Hatter, and Larkin Miller was the acrobatic and magnificent Rajah/Caterpillar. Each ballet dancer perfectly complemented the other. Not surprisingly, there was much applause throughout, and a standing ovation at the end.

This is the second time I have seen this show, having last attended it a couple of years ago. Due to the nature of the subject, I can safely say that it would be enjoyed by all ages. I attended the last one with my mother and the one this month with my almost-six-year-old daughter. I also saw many younger children in attendance, who were having a blast, and literally jumping up and down on their seats.

All that to say: you will want to get your tickets quickly when Alice comes back to the National Ballet of Canada next time! 

Photos by Karolina Kuras (courtesy of The National Ballet of Canada) and by Hannah Yakobi.


Story by Hannah Yakobi

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