Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet: Wonderland

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB) has made the Northrop dance season an American home for its original, full-length story ballets. Last year, the Canadian company held its world premiere of "Moulin Rouge" at Northrop. This weekend, it will present the U.S. premiere of "Wonderland" at the Orpheum. If I were asked to sum up RWB's work in one word, it would be "spectacle." The company embeds its dancing in exuberant costumes, characters, lighting, scenery, and storytelling that fill the stage with color, forms, and drama. Choreographer Shawn Hounsell's version of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland promises to be no different. In the ballet, Alice is a grown woman reflecting on her trip down the rabbit hole, the Queen of Hearts (in red bell bottoms and ruffled collar) screeches her demands through a microphone, and other famous characters like the White Rabbit and Mad Hatter are rendered as crazy camp. Videos projected onto moving panels form the kinetic backdrops, and signs flash instructions to performers and audience. Needless to say, this "Wonderland" is probably closer to Tim Burton's film version than Carroll's beloved story, with extra emphasis on the surreal. (Photo by David Cooper)
Sat., Nov. 12, 8 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 13, 3 p.m., 2011

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Orpheum Theatre

910 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403


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