Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (2011) is a full-evening story ballet adapted from Alice in Wonderland, with choreography by Christopher Wheeldon and music by Jody Talbot. The ballet was co-produced by the Royal Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada, both of which have staged their own productions. It debuted in the USA in late 2012, when the NBC performed it in Los Angeles; in 2013, the Royal Ballet staged a live cinema performance and later took the ballet to Japan. Opus Arte released Alice on DVD in 2011.In the original version, Act I opens with a garden party at the Liddell household, where an adolescent Alice gives one of the young gardeners, Jack, a tart. However, Mrs. Liddell accuses Jack of stealing the tart and fires him, much to Alice's dismay. The party itself includes such local notables as a Rajah, the vicar, the verger, a magician, and Lewis Carroll. When Carroll asks Alice to pose for a photograph, the lighting changes, Carroll's photography bag expands, and Carroll turns into the White Rabbit. Alice falls through the photography bag and winds up in Wonderland. Among other adventures, she encounters Wonderland's version of Jack, the Knave, who is on the run from the Queen of Hearts.Act II is set at the Court. Besides playing croquet with flamingos and hedgehogs, Alice sees the Knave again. But he is soon arrested and put on trial. Although he and Alice eventually manage to convince almost everyone in the court of his innocence, thanks to The Power of Love, the Queen of Hearts tries to execute him herself. Alice manages to knock over the entire Court before waking up in the twenty-first century, suggesting that this may have been a Dream Within a Dream.The revised 2012 staging breaks the evening into three acts. Act I now incorporates more dancing for Alice and the Knave, and ends right before Alice's encounter with the Cheshire Cat. The DVD preserves the two-act version.
There are multiple references to The Nutcracker, including the dance of the flowers that ends Act I (or II, depending on the version). The White Rabbit is also closer to Drosselmeier than to Carroll's original.
The final arabesque pose in George Balanchine's Apollo appears in the middle of the Mad Hatter's Tea Party.
All There in the Manual: The synopsis clarifies where the ballet deviates from the original, especially in the trial sequence (where Alice tries to take the blame on herself).
And You Were There: All of the Wonderland characters appear as their Victorian equivalents in the garden party prologue.
Funny Background Event: Unlike the classic story ballets, where the corps and mime characters sit quietly watching the other dancers go through their variations, there's a lot of comical action taking place in the background during the courtroom sequence. The King, the Mad Hatter, and the Cook are most notable in this regard, although the Queen's reactions to the testimony are also very funny.
Giant Food: The Mad Tea Party includes an oversized Victoria sponge cake (doubling as a trampoline) and two huge cupcakes. The revised version also has a gigantic jelly mold that appears during the garden party prologue.
Off with His Head!: That being said, as in the novel, it's not clear that anybody actually loses their head—in fact, the Card slated for execution during the Jam Tart Adagio shows up again for the trial.
Oh Crap: One of the Cards has this reaction once he realizes that he was supposed to give the tart to the Queen, not eat it himself...
Parent Service: The Caterpillar, very much. Although his counterpart in the garden party is the Rajah, the Caterpillar's scene is a genderflipped version of the Arabian dance, Coffee, from The Nutcracker.