A review of the National Ballet of Canada
by Leilah Bernstein for Los Angeles magazine.
What made Alice’s experience especially tangible—and put the production on par with anything American Ballet Theatre might bring—were the video projections, three-dimensional props, and live orchestra accompaniment. Each worked together to transport the viewer from the 19th century to the modern digital age. When Alice vanished down a Victorian jelly mold on her way to Wonderland, we were treated to a computer-generated simulation of a tunnel with cascading letters of the alphabet (a clever nod to the story being told). When the Cheshire cat materialized, its body parts spinning and merging and then breaking apart, it was a masterful feat of puppetry. When the percussion section executed composer Joby Talbot’s fantastical score, the chimes and incessant tick-tock made you shiver.
Dancers of the National Ballet of Canada returned Monday from their debut appearance at the Los Angeles Music Center with the cheers of enthusiastic audiences still ringing in their ears.
Though critical response was divided, Karen Kain, the company’s artistic director, says audiences at the five performances of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland were “ecstatic. After the intermissions they were chomping at the bit for more.”