I wrote this piece on Christopher Wheeldon’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” for the Times. I must say the ballet looks like great fun, and the score, by Joby Talbot is wonderfully clever. Looking forward to seeing the National Ballet of Canada perform it at the Koch Sept. 9-14.
And a short excerpt: “What is clear is that every Nutcracker is a reflection of its creator. Ratmansky’s is tender and full of fantasy; Chernov and Kirkland’s is reverential and deeply considered; and Balanchine’s is diamantine, lucid, with no space for indulgence. TheNutcracker can be all these things.”
On June 27, I saw “A Dancer’s Dream,” at the new York Philharmonic. The program was a collaboration between the orchestra and the production company Giants Are Small and included two Stravinsky ballets (Baiser de la Fée and Petrushka) and a piece for piano four hands by Louis Durey. Sara Mearns and Amar Ramasar, of New York City Ballet, performed, amid puppets, projections, and cameos by the orchestra players. And while the concept didn’t completely work (especially in Baiser), the rendition of Petrushka was so vibrant that the evening came alive. Here’s a link to my review, for DanceTabs.”Toy toboggans careened down miniature mountains, onion domes danced, a Russian toy chicken pecked its wooden platform…The musicians too got in on the action, performing little cameos for the camera (like drinking tea from a samovar). At one point, a violinist lay down her instrument and proceeded to juggle colored scarves, perfectly on the beat, and did a Russian dance to boot.”
Christopher Wheeldon’s new “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” will be performed at the Kennedy Center Jan. 18-23, by the National Ballet of Canada. In this interview in the Washington Post, he talks about his career, his return to storytelling, and the importance of entertaining people.
Here’s an excerpt:
“I have a lot to learn still, with storytelling and with dance,” he said. “I had been making a lot of work, and a lot of abstract work. . . . Describing characters through movement was something that I hadn’t done very much of. It was refreshing, like throwing all the windows open and airing out just a bit.”