Go back to my childhood today, to the time of mystery & magic, to the time when gifts fell from the sky – a little rare, but it happened . So here I am, back to what amazed and terrified my childhood: the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but every adult who talks about Alice remembers the magical and beautiful sides. But when you’re young, it’s just absolutely terrifying to find yourself in a world where no landmarks are valid, where rabbits are maniacs of the hour, where you can’t enjoy pulling the queen of hearts when you play cards.
I was afraid of this Alice’s adventure.
It is this first fear that I do not forget when I now see live adaptations of this novel – masterful – but not at all made for little girls. In any case, not for little girls on their own.
I have seen many, many Alice… – I’ve seen very mawkish adaptations an incredible number of times.
Very cartoon adaptations a few other times.
And once – but I’ve only seen it on video – I saw a masterful adaptation.
It was the Royal Ballet’s creation of Alice.
And there… I was frankly, absolutely, totally amazed.
Especially since it’s classical dance. And I admit – well… yes I do – it’s not my art of heart – I have a bit of trouble hanging on to it.
So, when I finally get hooked, it’s because a feat has just been achieved on the stage.
This passage enchants me every time – there is something literally perfect about it.
The character is a bit disturbing – a bit too flexible – a bit too fast – but at the same time it is not played to terrify, just to make our certainties shake a bit: perfect then.
The queen of hearts… she is infectious – despicable – terrorizing – but at the same time she is funny and the staging is made to amuse us: when the dance manages to amuse me, I think the dance has won!
And for fun: here are some ballet rehearsals.
When you don’t know anything about an art, seeing the rehearsals – it’s still a great moment of “getting under the spell”. We understand the difficulty – we understand what is being created before our eyes – we find it hard for the artists too and we fall in love with it so much more easily.
Featured Image : Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – created by the Royal Ballet – 2017