Fuse Dance News: Sarah in Londonland

By Debra Cash.

Sergei Polunin as the Knave of Hearts and Lauren Cuthbertson as Alice in Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Photo: Johan Persson/ROH.

Don’t be late for a very important date when the Coolidge Corner Theatre hosts a Sunday morning, high-def broadcast of the Royal Ballet’s production of Christopher Wheeldon’s celebrated Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on May 5.

This three-act ballet, originally coproduced with the National Ballet of Canada, has continued to develop since its 2011 premier and by all reports is a revelation. Special critical praise has gone to designer Bob Crowley’s incorporation of multimedia effects including digital playing cards and a trip down the rabbit hole. And of course, this being Wonderland, there are hedgehogs, flamingos, a dissolving Cheshire Cat, and a tap dancing hatter who is very, very mad. Even author Lewis Carroll makes a strategic appearance.

The Royal Ballet’s upcoming broadcast of Alice has some special Boston connections. Sarah Lamb, the lovely Brookline native and former Boston Ballet principal who moved across the pond in 2004, portrays Alice, who manages to retain her equanimity and dignity while encountering absurdity. The deranged and hilarious Red Queen—who performs her own peculiar take on Sleeping Beauty’s Rose Adagio and at one point rocks a sculptural costume that would have pleased Florenz Ziegfield—is danced by French-born ballerina Zenaida Yanowsky, whose brother is longtime Boston Ballet principal Yury Yanowsky. Which makes Boston Ballet principal Kathleen Breen Combes her sister-in-law.

c 2013 Debra Cash

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