Reviewed by Paula Citron
Mad Hot Wonderland
National Ballet of Canada
Four Seasons Centre
Jun. 21, 2011
In the last few years, the National Ballet has mounted a fundraising gala that has been open to the public. Everyone dresses up and has a good time. Needless to say, fascinators, made popular by the recent royal wedding, were out in force. This year the title was Mad Hot Wonderland.
The company always performs excerpts from a longer piece, and, of course, it was Alice with the cast headed by Heather Ogden and McGee Maddox. Just seeing 20 minutes of the work a second time revealed the depth of Christopher Wheeldon’s choreography, and the riches it still has to reveal.
There were also award-winning pas de deux by company members Robert Stephen and Guillaume Côté that show them to be talented choreographers in the making.
And finally, the great Greta Hodgkinson performed Fokine’s Dying Swan for the first time, and was magnificent. She’s one of the few ballerinas who understand the build of desperation in the piece, and one could see her very last breath.