Maine State Ballet Presents ALICE IN WONDERLAND, 3/23- 4/8

Maine State Ballet Presents ALICE IN WONDERLAND, 3/23- 4/8Maine State Ballet takes you down the rabbit hole this spring with a three week run of the comic ballet, Alice in Wonderland, March 23 through April 8, at Maine State Ballet's Lopez Theater.

Based on the classic novel by Lewis Carroll, with a score gleaned from Alexander Glazunov's "Raymonda" and Sir William Walton's "Façade," Alice in Wonderland is a critically acclaimed original ballet by Artistic Director Linda MacArthur Miele. It is one of the only narrated ballets in the Maine State Ballet repertoire, which makes it easy for young children to follow.

When Alice follows the White Rabbit down his hole, she finds herself in a fantasy world occupied by fanciful characters including The Cheshire Cat, the sly Caterpillar, the tap dancing Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, and the clever Knave of Hearts. She attends the Mad Hatter's hilarious Tea Party, and she almost loses her head during the wildest game of croquet ever played.

The set designed by Associate Director Gail Csoboth, along with lighting designed by Fred Bernier, transports the audience into the fantastically surreal pages of the Carroll novel. Csoboth's costume designs, including the Garden of Live Flowers, the Queen of Hearts with her deck of cards, and giant lobsters dancing the Quadrille, could be a show unto themselves. Add in impressive choreography performed by the talented dancers of the Maine State Ballet Company, and you have a production everyone will love.

Company soloists Kendra Murray and Brooke Sowerby split the role of Alice, and they couldn't be more excited.

For Murray, 18, of Falmouth, this marks the third time she has performed in Alice in Wonderland.

"I started out as a tiny Rocking Horse Fly back in 2007, and the next time we did Alice I was in the background as a White Lily Bud. So to be cast as Alice for my first major solo role is a dream come true," she says. It's Murray's first time carrying a ballet, and she was surprised by the amount of acting she has to do and how much planning goes into every detail of the pantomime scenes. "I'm used to dancing solos or being part of the corps, but now I realize how every little gesture or movement Alice makes has to be correct in order to advance the story. It's definitely a challenge."

Sowerby, 18, of South Portland, debuted as Clara in The Nutcracker in November, and she is happy to have the opportunity to be featured in another iconic role this season.

"I never expected to be cast as Alice, so I'm over the moon right now," she says. "I feel honored knowing that Mrs. Miele trusts me enough to give me another incredible opportunity this season." Sowerby says her favorite part of Alice in Wonderland is the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. "It's just so funny! The characters, especially the March Hare, are ridiculous. I have so much fun doing that scene, and I know the audience will love it as much as I do."

Murray and Sowerby could not be happier about sharing the role of Alice. They have been hoping to split a role for years, but casting just never worked out that way. They're thrilled that it finally worked out for during their senior year!

Maine State Ballet's Alice in Wonderland runs March 23 through April 8, 2018, at Maine State Ballet's Lopez Theater, 348 U.S. Route One, Falmouth.

Performance times are Friday evenings at 7:00pm, Saturdays at 2:00pm and 7:00pm, and Sundays at 2:00pm.

Tickets are priced at $19-$25 for reserved seating, with a $2 discount for seniors (62 & over)and children (12 & under). Order tickets online at www.mainestateballet.org or call Maine State Ballet at 207-781-7672 for more information.

Maine State Ballet, based in Falmouth, Maine, is one of New England's leading performing arts institutions and twice named Maine's Best Dance Group by Downeast Magazine. Its two components are the School for the Performing Arts, offering instruction in ballet, tap, jazz and other dance styles to more than 500 children and adults; and the Maine State Ballet Company, comprised of more than 25 professional dancers. Maine State Ballet is a nonprofit organization.

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