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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer magic!
I bought this ballet by way of introducing my 2.5 year old grand daughter to dance, music and of course, Alice in Wonderland. She and I have watched hour upon hour. It was a huge undertaking for the Royal Ballet and it does not disappoint. Imaginative use of various media bring this classic tale to life. The score is wonderful and the dancers both faultless and...
Published 23 months ago by Penny

versus
5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great ballet, poor DVD
Utterly beautiful ballet, but a dreadful DVD - it's mildly pixelated and really jerky when there is any fast movement. An appalling choice of filming, however they did it, for something that's an almost entirely visual medium. Why is it NTSC if it was filmed in England at the Royal Opera House? However, if you can get past the bad picture and forget about it, the...
Published on 9 Feb 2012 by DB


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer magic!, 9 Oct 2012
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I bought this ballet by way of introducing my 2.5 year old grand daughter to dance, music and of course, Alice in Wonderland. She and I have watched hour upon hour. It was a huge undertaking for the Royal Ballet and it does not disappoint. Imaginative use of various media bring this classic tale to life. The score is wonderful and the dancers both faultless and humorous! Don't hesitate to consider this for the families christmas stocking - a lovely way to relax after christmas lunch or coping with the long dark winter. A must for anyone who enjoys ballet.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love, love, love., 6 April 2013
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Nicola Brown - See all my reviews
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I first discovered this ballet when I was writing my masters dissertation on Alice in Wonderland's cultural influence two years ago. It's just fantastic. Whilst I love the portrayal of Alice, the show is stolen by the ballerina who plays the Queen of Hearts. The sets, costumes and music were excellent and I found myself totally immersed. I'm afraid I'm not very good at reviewing the technical aspects of either a ballet performance or the DVD quality (I found no faults with either myself, although I'm sure you can find this information in another review). If you like ballet, or Alice in Wonderland, or just a good show - please buy this and enjoy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars STUNNING! Ballet and story-telling at its very best!, 3 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Talbot: Wheeldon: Alice's Adventures In Wonderland [Blu-ray] [2010] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Throughout the years many versions of Lewis Carroll’s classic masterwork have been transcribed to film in one form or another but pretty much all of the adaptations seriously fall short of what the allegories in the story are all about – be it Alice floundering helplessly as she floats down the one-way rabbit hole of life; her being ensnared in a bland clinical environment and trying doors to escape – only to discover that the paths that she (as a female) wishes to take are sealed by locked doors that bar her from entry (some for her own good); drowning in her sorrows as she shrinks within herself but having the fortitude to swim out of the mess she finds herself in – only to be confronted by a bunch of sly deceitful confidence tricksters who trick Alice out of her wealth (her sweeties) before she meets a bombastic rabbit who is always in a rush and flurry and has Alice at his beck and call until she reaches a state when she finds the walls of his house are closing in all around her while the rabbit throws rocks at Alice and orders others to go in and sort it out.

On the way we meet the wise (and truly STUNNING) caterpillar who instructs Alice to be more alert to what is going on around her; and the frog footman and the fish footman who perform a wonderful parody on the syllogisms of the Duchesses invitation to play croquet with the Queen. ‘An invitation; for the Duchess; from the Queen; to play croquet’ says the fish footman. So – that’s ‘an invitation; from the Queen; for the Duchess to play croquet’ says the frog footman. That’s right – says the fish footman – ‘an invitation; to play croquet; from the Queen; for the Duchess’ – as the Duchess snatches it away with an emphatic ‘is it for MOI!’)

ASIDE: In Carroll’s whimsical ‘must read’ publications ‘Symbolic Logic’ and ‘The game of logic’ (both books now published as ‘Mathematical Recreations of Lewis Carroll’ – available from Amazon) Lewis Carroll was the first to publish the fact that Aristotle’s method used in classical logism to debate a set of premises – a word that here means assertion - to search for commonly held truths, is bunkum. By creating this wonderful childrens game - a game filled with hilarious whimsical situations to teach children how to see and recognise truth from fallacy - Carroll paved the way for George Boole to formally define symbolic logic as mathematical constructs – which led to Alan Turin inventing the machine that changed the world – the computer.

The frog footman then advises Alice to ‘look before you leap’ (Alice: ‘How do I get into the house?’ Footman: ‘The question you should be asking is why do you want to go in there in the first place’) when Alice wishes to enter the house of a truly vile Duchess to seek directions – only to discover it is a hovel filled with people on drugs (pepper) having a horrendous argument over trivia whilst trashing everything that is useful (the crockery) and abusing the child who must be ‘beaten when he sneezes because he only does it to annoy’.

As a terrified Alice dashes out of the hovel with the baby in an attempt to prevent the baby from further harm, the baby transforms into a pig and Alice then meets the wise (and utterly FANTASTIC) Cheshire Cat who enquires: ‘What happened to the baby?’

Alice informs the cat that ‘the baby turned into a pig’ and the cat replies ‘I THOUGHT it might’ – informing us that the baby grew up to be a pig because of NEGLECFUL NURTURING.

When Alice asks the cat for directions, the Cheshire cat asks Alice which direction she wishes to go. When Alice says that she isn’t really bothered the cat replies: ‘Then it doesn’t matter which direction you take’ – informing Alice that SHE has choices in life – and not to aimlessly go through life without any goal or purpose because otherwise you will flounder and end life in a mess.

On the way Alice enters the Gentleman’s club where she encounters the tap-dancing Mad Hatter seriously bullying the dormouse, and the March Hare always siding with Hatter – where in their cruel attempt to be rid of Alice because women are not welcome, they ask Alice riddles that do not have an answer to make Alice feel foolish (Why is a raven like a writing desk?), and so Alice learns about how people can twist things around to bring things to their own advantage.

Lauren Cuthbertson as Alice Liddell tirelessly dances her way through the complex maze of apparent madness – and as Alice encounters the whimsical characters, each character accurately depicts each and every lesson that Lewis Carroll has masterfully hidden in plain sight in a fabulously delightful way for the astute child (adult?) to see and learn from for themselves - which makes the ballet compelling viewing over and over again – always supplemented with LOTS of discussions with children and adults – both during and afterwards - on what is REALLY taking place and what lessons are to be learned from Alice’s adventure in ‘Wonderland’.

The ballet is immersed in spectacular sets; stunning costumes; and wonderful use of technology. Along the way there are beautiful references to Lewis Carroll being a photographer – depicted at the beginning - and some fabulous references to ballet as the enchanting music takes us on a wonderful, spectacular journey of mime, movement, and mystery.

The game of croquet – with spectacular 'flamingo' puppetry from the ballerinas, and younger members of the Royal Ballet depicting the hedgehogs – is utterly hilarious, but for me, the ‘showstopper’ is the fantastic performance given by Zenaida Yanoswsy, who depicts ‘The Queen of Hearts’ with a wonderful comedic spirit that has you creased up with laughter as she performs a spoof ‘Rose Adagio’ from Sleeping beauty with the four ‘cards’ who were painting the red roses white (a reference to 'The War of the Roses' – ‘The Queen of Hearts’ being Queen Elizabeth – who beheaded anyone who crossed her).

A quick aside: modern playing cards are derived from the ‘minor’ suits of the Tarot – ‘CUPS’ depicting ‘The Holy Grail’ – representing the Church; SWORDS representing the armed forces who PROTECT the Church (a ‘vorpal weapon’ is a weapon that ‘speaks truth’ – hence the ‘vorpal sword’ Alice uses to slay the Jabberwocky in ‘Alice through the looking glass and what she found there’); PENTACLES representing the merchants that provide the WEALTH of the realm; and STAFF – representing the LABOUR FORCE that copse the woods and till the fields to provide food and shelter. These are NOW depicted as HEARTS (everlasting and unconditional love); CLUBS (the armed forces); DIAMONDS (wealth); and SPADES (the workforce) – the ACE of spades representing the GRAVEDIGGER!

This version of Carroll’s wonderful story – a story filled with many lessons of life we wish we could have learnt when we were young – is truly magical and utterly captivating from start to finish. The sets are spectacular; the cinematography is stunning; the costumes are dazzling; the performances are spell-binding; the MUSIC is heavenly; and the stellar cast are on FIRE!
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Be warned! Once you watch the ballet you will find the contents to be curiouser and curiouser – and you will watch it again and again.

Once you discover some of the ‘inner secrets’ of Lewis Carroll’s amazing books, and see ‘beyond the story’ – you will discover – or are discovering - just what a fabulous ‘guiding light’ filled with lessons in life that Carroll’s masterwork is – and long may you continue to explore and enjoy its many lessons and mysteries that are ‘hidden in plain sight’ – as they quietly wait for you to discover them.

Should you be motivated to purchase the masterwork in BOOK form then my recommendation is the magnificent version ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass’ published by THE COLLECTORS COLOUR LIBRARY (ISBN 978 1 907360 36 7). Available from Amazon, this beautiful publication is the perfect size to fit into a jacket pocket or handbag and all of Tenniel’s drawings are reproduced in full colour.

Have a frabjous day.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! Great! Wheeldon's Alice in Wonderland, 12 Mar 2012
I loved it and watched twice in the same day. The lighting, costumes, coreography, the stage decoration are amazing, dancers fabulous, it is more than ballet! A masterpiece! Watched it with my daughter aged 13 studying ballet in conservatory, my husband who is an architect and my nephew only 6 years old. We all were fascinated by Wheeldon's Alice version. Use of new visual technologies with ballet were fabulous. Thank you Wheeldon and the team and dancers of Royal Ballet!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Wheeldon, 6 Nov 2011
This is one of Wheeldon's master pieces. The story is clearly explained with no moment of relax. Scenes are passing by while you find there the mistery, the charm, even the fair one can experience in Carroll's tale. Also a great sense of humour, Zenaida Yanowsky is brilliant!! All dancers are at their best, Lauren Cuthbertson, the heroin who dances and dances non stop. McRae, Polulin, great dancers for an amazing Wheeldon!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The white rabbit learns to dance, 26 Aug 2012
By 
Cressida (Minstead, Hampshire UK) - See all my reviews
The Royal Ballet's new version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is certainly adventurous. It must be fantastic to see on stage. Sadly, on this DVD, the sometimes MTV-style camera work detracts rather than enhances.

This new ballet is quite ambitious with lots of clever costumes and effects (although a few would probably be more at home in a Lloyd Webber musical). The large and energetic cast give it their all, in particular Lauren Cuthbertson as Alice who seems to be almost constantly on stage. But the real star for me was Zenaida Yanowsky as the Queen of Hearts who gives a wonderfully comic and virtuoso performance. In fact, I was feeling somewhat restless during the first half of the ballet. But once the Queen of Hearts came into it, the whole thing was lifted immeasurably.

On the downside, the music is largely functional rather than memorable and a few scenes went on longer than they really needed to. On the whole, it is an enjoyable ballet. But I'm not certain I will be returning to it as often as I do some others. Still, it's always nice to see the Royal Ballet doing something new and different.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing, 18 Feb 2014
Every good thing has been said about this production in previous reviews, except for one. What about the wonderful scene with the equally wonderful Steven Mcrae as the "tap-dancing" mad hatter. Wash the sound of his "tapping" was on the cd.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Classic!, 9 Feb 2014
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Loved this from start to finish. The dancing and music were sublime. I did find a little pixelation around the edges at times but it didn't detract from my enjoyment and I put it down to not having a high-definition TV. This ballet has all the potential of a true classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ballet Adventures of Alice in Wonderland., 21 Jan 2014
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B. J. Laidler "Happy Printer" (Surrey UK) - See all my reviews
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Wonderful ballet with outstandin special effects and beautiful music. My Grandaughters aged 5 & 7 were spellbound and it is difficult to get them away from the computer. Highly reccommended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful ballet production, 5 Feb 2012
By 
Miss M. Potter "marcia" (england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Talbot: Wheeldon: Alice's Adventures In Wonderland [Blu-ray] [2010] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Everything about this production is perfect. The classic story of Alice in Wonderland has been brought to life as a ballet in a very spectacular way. The choreography is very expressive and captivating. And the visual presentation is a delight.
The costumes and sets are very interesting and help to give the production a magical feel.
There are bright and colourful sets that are very pleasing to the eye and the special effects make the whole show a convincing and entertaining presentation.
The music score is of equal quality with rich expressive passages that perfectly convey the story through rich sound.
This is a show that could appeal to the whole family and the picture and sound are excellent.
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Talbot: Wheeldon: Alice's Adventures In Wonderland [Blu-ray] [2010] [Region Free]
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