BalletFleming

Classical. Modern. Innovative.

Alice in Wonderland

Presenting a classical, family-friendly interpretation of Lewis Carroll's beloved Alice in Wonderland, just in time for spring!

 

BalletFleming, together with dancers from the Philadelphia area and the Tricia Sloan Dance School, presents an original ballet adventure choreographed by former New York City Ballet dancer and world-acclaimed choreographer Christopher Fleming. Follow Alice down the rabbit hole as she meets the weird and wonderful characters of Wonderland - have tea with the Mad Hatter, play treacherous croquet with the Queen of Hearts and meet a White Rabbit who leads her all the way!

 

Featuring five performances at the Scottish Rite Theatre in Collingswood, NJ and the Painted Bride Arts Center in Philadelphia, PA. Alice in Wonderland is the first event in a new partnership between the Scottish Rite Theatre and BalletFleming. Christopher Fleming is "thrilled to partner with both the Scottish Rite and the Painted Bride to expand the BalletFleming to a whole new audience in and around the New Jersey and Philadelphia area. While we have worked with the Tricia Sloan Dance School for some time, most recently in December's performances of The Nutcracker at the Scottish Rite, this new partnership will allow us to continue to bring new, exciting works to one of the area's best and most beloved theatres."

 

Performances are Saturday, May 11 at 1:00 and 5:00pm at the Scottish Rite Theatre and Saturday, May 18 at 4:00pm and May 19 at 1:00pm and 5:00pm at the Painted Bride Arts Center.

 

Tickets are $25 each, available through the Company's website: www.balletfleming.org or by calling the Studio: 215-454-2858. The Scottish Rite Theatre is located at 315 Whitehorse Pike in Collingswood, NJ. The Painted Bride Arts Center is located at 230 Vine St in Philadelphia, PA.

 

 

Painted Bride Art Center

230 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 925-9914 – info@paintedbride.org
www.paintedbride.org

Scottish Rite Theatre
315 White Horse Pike, Collingswood, NJ 08107
(856) 858-1000

 

Video Set Designer Bio

China Mckenzie is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance, Production Management. Throughout her time in college, China has gained experience in lighting design, set design, and costume design, having designed both lighting and costumes for various guests artists at UNLV. China recently stage managed the faculty concert in Fall 2012 that she took to Seoul, South Korea in which she designed costumes and designed the lighting for James Jeon, Artistic Director of the Seoul Ballet Theater. China has been the lighting designer for Bernard Gaddis, Artistic Director of Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater, and Don Bellamy, former principle dance of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. China will be pursuing an MFA degree in the future and hopes to continue working both in production and in choreography.

Photos

click here to see Alice rehearsal photos

Review for Alice in Wonderland

 

Lost in a New Wonderland

by Whitney Weinstein

 “We’re the new kid in town!” said Artistic Director Christopher Fleming as he welcomed the audience with beamish gratitude. It seemed appropriate that his relatively new company, BalletFleming, produced a show about exploration, new friends, and life’s enlightening journeys.
 
Alice in Wonderland was a contemporary twist on a classic story and traditional ballet technique without being exaggeratedly experimental. Anticipating its third season, BalletFleming unleashed an original production of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. The company cavorted alongside youth dancers from the Tricia Sloan Dance School and the Philadelphia area. With an appetite “to educate, entertain, and feed the soul,” Philly-based BalletFleming is curious about combining storytelling, expression through music, and elements of musical theatre into a repertory that appeals to audiences young and mature. 

The assemblage listened to a recorded overture before meeting Alice, danced by Adriana de Svastich, who fit the storybook portrayal: blond, wearing a blue dress with a white apron, frolicking in the green grass by a tree. After a lively duet of springs and hops, the White Rabbit (Shannan McCormick) bounced into scenes just long enough to dramatically check his pocket watch and stretch his hand out to Alice, expressing concern. Alice followed him down a hole, depicted by the projected image of a downward spiral into darkness. Figures covered in black lifted and twirled Alice in the air until she plopped into the “slithy toves” (as Carroll might say). Her delicate fingers seemed to lift her to standing, and she hurriedly continued her White Rabbit chase. As the characters bustled through the tale, I sensed my captivation growing. I lost myself in Wonderland. 
 
Alice was also lost, but soon discovered new company. When the Caterpillar exhaled a burst of imaginary smoke behind Alice, it rippled her body into a spell of dizziness. She leaned backwards and the Caterpillar slid her, feet first, on a downstage diagonal. Her expression rested in overwhelming confusion. From here, Alice’s Wonderland adventures continued in burbled befuddlement.
 
Almost every dancer demonstrated strong character commitment, supporting the show’s overarching success. Even when they weren’t center stage, characters animated the background as they conversed over tea, plotted a trick, or intently watched other dancers. Throughout the show barely anyone missed a beat—literally. Each leap, jump, and gesture was perfectly timed, synchronized, and executed.   I was astonished to see such a professional standard from a company so fresh. Fleming certainly chose dancers with well-developed abilities.

Equally impressive were the costumes designed by Gina-marie Battista. Each one was remarkably specific: the White Rabbit wore a white leotard with elaborate face makeup, white suit coat, vest, gloves, and top hat with ears; the playing card characters were sandwiched between opposing sides of heart cards, with identical underclothes for uniformity; the hookah-smoking Caterpillar wore a bluish-purple, head-covering unitard with stuffed gloves stitched to his sides. Rich colors illustrated every scene, while craftsmanship and detail propelled me further from reality. Not a single mismatched ensemble or loose stitch existed to remind me that this realm was imaginary.
 
The Caterpillar, danced by Nick Peregrino, showed an immense amount of control in his slow side bends and wide leans over forced arch, which contrasted with his later role as the goofy, mind-changing Mad Hatter. A Mad Tea Party was the most fun of all the scenes. Tweetle Dee and Tweetle Dum (Hallie Berger and Christina Monteleone), March Hare, (Matthew Stern), and Tea Mouse (tiny Analisa Varricchio), were led by the Hatter, who flailed with clarity. Though his temperament mimicked madness, each directional shift was portrayed with unswerving intention. As they set the table, the four dancers comically rearranged their seating order by crawling under, sliding over, and turning along the perimeter of the table. The audience chuckled and snickered.    

After traveling home, Alice was awoken by her School Teacher (Alyson Pray), who also appeared as the Queen of Hearts. The last character seen in the show, Teacher sauntered offstage, discreetly revealing part of her Queen of Heart’s costume. From the time Alice stepped foot into the fantastical place, I sat in “uffish” thought and “gimbled in the wabe.” That night, I carried a piece of Wonderland into the real world with me, anxious to see what adventures BalletFleming will take me on next.
 
Alice in Wonderland, BalletFleming, The Painted Bride, April 18-19. Scottish Rite Theater, May 11.
 Whitney Weinstein