by Luisa De la Concha Montes
Directed by Lisa Millar and choreographed by Christopher Tendai, Wonderland in Alice is an authentic adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s story that explores its themes and tropes by means of up to date dance and music, trippy visuals and dynamic stage design.
This piece, each authentic and daring, concisely brings new angles to the fore, reimagining the character of Alice and boldly asking how her character can actually turn into timeless. From the stage design to the music, every factor ensures that her story is re-told by means of a Queer lens, proposing that the physique is the first area the place id is shaped.
The intelligent costume design by Joca Veiga brings every character alive with a way of non-binary magnificence. The Cheshire Cat (Ann Chircop Beck), styled to embody curiosity and playfulness, fascinates Alice. Hypnotised, she begins mirroring the actions of the cat, creating a young image that explores the thought of belonging and admiration. In a riskier scene, the Mad Hatter (Cameron Everitt) performs a sensual dance for Alice, implying that sexual exploration can be a key a part of discovering oneself. Furthermore, the Queen of Hearts’ (El Haq Latief) efficiency launches a full-on social gathering with the solid, rhythmically build up the tip of the play to a way of ecstasy that reminds us of the hyperlink between LGBTQI+ protected areas and the music scene.
The dialogue is scarce and swiftly interposed between the music. This works properly, because the collective physique language of the ensemble makes up for it, and the few verbal intermissions turn into extra poignant. Nonetheless, at instances, the sound design feels a bit missing because the music is simply too loud for the viewers to listen to the Narrator’s voice.
Alice’s (Kira Nichols) efficiency is a tremendous feat. Her physique language, which by no means falls out of tempo with the music, actually embodies her feelings. One of the crucial highly effective scenes is when she performs what can solely be described as a second of physique dysmorphia. We see her limbs transferring uncontrollably, and we see her breaking down when she is unable to flee the vessel that’s her personal physique. This scene creates a second that’s painful to observe, because it brings her psychological battle to a bodily degree. General, Nichols’ dance model faithfully shows Alice’s progress from an impressionable and passive observer to a self-aware, assured particular person.
The main achievement of this piece is the sense of collaboration current within the bodily stunts. From the opening scene, the place Alice is carried upwards and downwards by the opposite solid members, recreating the sense of falling down the rabbit gap, it turns into evident that fluid motion is the first language of the solid. Every dancers’ ability set and elegance brings one thing to the stage, creating a shocking present that brings the summary and metaphorical great thing about Alice’s journey to the bodily realm.
A single query shines in the back of the stage all through the play: “Who’re you?” As a substitute of answering the query, Wonderland in Alice permits us to witness Alice’s advanced journey, utilizing a collective physique language because the vessel by means of which we journey. In a unusual twist after the play, Christopher Tendai explains how he needed to self-fund the challenge, because it didn’t match any of the packing containers within the grant classes he tried to use for. This assertion brings the challenge full circle, displaying how Queer resistance is an act that continues even after the curtain is drawn.
Wonderland in Alice runs by means of 22 April at Theatre Peckham.
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