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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

43 customer reviews

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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland + Cinderella - Birmingham Royal Ballet + The Royal Ballet: Tchaikovsky- The Sleeping Beauty
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Lewis Carroll's ever-popular story provides the basis for Christopher Wheeldon's spectacular new work, starring Royal Ballet Principal Lauren Cuthbertson. Captivating designs by Bob Crowley, an engaging and passionate score by Joby Talbot, and Wheeldon's breathtaking choreography combine to produce in the words of The Times 'spectacular family entertainment brought to life with enormous theatrical verve.'

Review

...a monumental achievement. This production has to be the best dance adaptation of Lewis Carroll's beloved children's classic on the planet. --The Globe and Mail

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Lauren Cuthbertson, Sergei Polunin, Edward Watson, Zenaida Yanowsky, Steven Macrae
  • Directors: Christopher Wheeldon
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (DTS 5.1), English (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: October 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005LVEFTA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,703 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Satish Kamath on January 5, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
No efforts have been spared, sets-wise, dance-wise as well as money-wise to make this production worth owning for home viewing. I cannot say more than most others have said about the dancing. Excellently shot video as well. At the end of it, a very satisfying production, for a night that I would not miss... especially the second act, which 'saves' the production.

So why just 4 stars?

The Plus Points:

1. Almost all the characters in the ballet have a significant role to play dance-wise. The story offers such a bevy of diverse characters, and each have been portrayed rather competently, with something for everyone on the stage.

2. Nice innovations within the ballet, especially for the Tap Dancing Mad Hatter, a brilliant move that brings out the character of the Mad Hatter in to the dance form beautifully. The role of the Duchess has been performed by the 'imported' theater personality brilliantly. The Pax de Deux in the ballet are simply superb, both dance and music-wise, and this is where Cuthbertson and Polunin are at their very best. The parody within the ballet, - a take off on Aurora's birthday party dance by Tchaikovsky is quite very apt and beautifully choreographed and executed.

3. Sets, Lighting and special effects lift this ballet to the 21st century, and an indication of the the shape of things to come... Excellently shot video too.

4. Well performed and recorded music.

A Neutral Point to Ponder:

According to me, whether a ballet becomes a 'classic' or falls by the wayside or into an occasionally performed piece is solely dependent on the strength of its music. The more successful productions of the ROH have had excellent music to support the dances. In Mayerling, it was the music of Liszt...
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By lilium_auratum on November 11, 2011
Format: DVD
I have not been this captivated by a ballet in my memory. The choreography, costuming and set design are all exceptional, and Lauren Cuthbertson makes an extraordinary Alice. She basically never leaves the stage, and her dancing and acting remain consistently excellent. It also must be said that Zenaida Yanowsky is outrageous and fabulous as the Queen of Hearts. This is a ballet I will watch over and over again!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Michael Birman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 10, 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
In Jennifer Homans' magisterial history of the ballet, "Apollo's Angels", she reaches the rather melancholy conclusion that dance as an art form is in its death throes. Ballet's creative essence seems no longer capable of sustaining the necessary energy or infrastructure needed to generate a stream of dance works that merit description as art. Terpsichorean jewels such as those created by the great choreographer George Balanchine, especially in collaboration with composer Igor Stravinsky, appear to be relegated to a poignant late-Romantic decadence, an early evening gloaming just before the eternal night of total artistic irrelevance. It is a sobering conclusion and her evidence is substantial if not ultimately convincing.

Since Balanchine's death in April 1983 no choreographer has emerged to unambiguously don the mantle of genius. That may weigh heavily in Homans' calculations of ballet's future prospects. What we have had are glimpses of new styles of dance, of pastiche ballets, of a new irreverence that upends ballet's history. That playfulness that we signify as irreverence often toys with our expectations of what we think are the genuine artistic pretensions of modern dance versus what are merely a form of glamorous kitsch in motion. Mark Morris' ingenious and witty 1991 version of The Nutcracker, "The Hard Nut", is a landmark representative of several of these trends and the very embodiment of the new playfulness.

With the 2011 premiere of Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, based on Lewis Carroll's children's book for grown-ups, the various recent trends in ballet have been united in a masterful souffle. Instantly and dramatically obvious is that Alice is only possible in our multimedia era.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Nick2032 on March 9, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
First, let me respond to some of the other reviewers' criticisms.

I do not understand the review that complains about the editing. It is true that the camera is not distant and static, but this work does not have any elaborate compositions for the corps, or even elongated pas-de-deux, that would benefit from this treatment. The closeups are dynamic and exciting, and entirely appropriate to the burlesque nature of the show.

The music is not great, but it is better than any officially sanctioned "classical" music composed after 1950 that I have ever heard, so by those standards you could even consider it melodic and beautiful. The music is perfectly in keeping with the character of the work. Given that ALL modern music is severely debased from classical standards, it would be churlish to complain about the effort made here.

Second, why do I rate this five stars?

Don't try to compare this to a classical ballet. It is a a frivolous work of entertainment. You won't see prolonged displays of elegance. You won't be moved or captivated by its beauty---well, maybe you will be surprised sometimes! But you certainly will be amazed by its virtuosity and creativity.

Within its own aesthetic realm, of color, spectacle, costume and set design, it is absolutely unparalleled. The effects are really superb, and perfectly express the character of the original Alice in Wonderland. If you were to judge any classical ballet by the costuming and design standards set here, you have to fail Swan Lake, Giselle, and countless others. The twists on the original tale are delightful and play off of the Alice story in a delightful way. The whole work expresses a fantastical "Aliceness" that will stay with you after watching. It is joy and wit expressed in movement, and is entirely bold and original. It is true art and artistry, and I can do nothing but applaud the effort.
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