Becoming the Queen of Hearts - The Royal Ballet's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

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Becoming the Queen of Hearts - The Royal Ballet's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 5
The Alice's Adventures in Wonderland cast and creative team give an insight into creating the much-loved character of the Queen of Hearts.
Royal Ballet Principals Zenaida Yanowsky, Sarah Lamb and Lauren Cuthbertson, Ballet Master Christopher Saunders and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon give a glimpse into the rehearsal studio into the creation of a modern classic.

Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland arrived on the stage in 2011 with a burst of colour, theatrical magic and inventive choreography. It was The Royal Ballet's first full-length work since 1995 and was instantly acclaimed as a classic. Joby Talbot's score combines sweeping melodies, which gesture to ballet scores of the 19th century, with contemporary effects. Bob Crowley's wildly imaginative sets and costumes draw on puppetry, projections and masks to bring Wonderland to life.

Alice encounters a cast of extraordinary characters down the rabbit hole: from the highly-strung Queen of Hearts, who performs a hilarious rendition of the famous Rose Adagio from The Sleeping Beauty; to dancing playing cards; a sinuous caterpillar and a tap-dancing Mad Hatter. There is a love narrative for Alice and the Knave of Hearts, and they dance a tender pas de deux at the close of Act II. But the ballet does not avoid the darker undercurrents of Lewis Carroll's story -- a nightmarish kitchen, an eerily disembodied Cheshire Cat and an unhinged tea party are all created in vivid detail.


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💬 Comments on the video
Author

Oh my gosh! She's amazing! Its rare to find dancers who can combine acting and dancing quite flawlessly, not to mention comedy! Great dancer!

Author — Karen Santos

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I would pay good money to see this play for the queen or hearts. she totally sold me. what great humor and dancers :).

Author — Spartan159

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I love how Zenaida can be so versatile in her roles, but mostly I just love the fact that as the red queen she can have a laugh and enjoy the comedy and dramatic nature of the red queen. It really cheers me up watching her in this role 😃

Author — Mia James

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Zenaida is just phenomenal as the Queen of Hearts.  She is an exquisite dancer, with sublime acting skills.  Such a strong dancer to be able to use her technique, but still make it humorous.  She is a great artist.  She is my favorite for this part, and this part is my favorite character in this ballet. 

Author — Balletomane

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haha wow that spin at 3:57 looks pretty darn difficult.

Hope one day Christopher Wheeldon makes a ballet just for Zenaida :)

Author — eightysevenf

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gosh this must be such fun to rehearse.. love all the laughter in the studio!

Author — lynerjy

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Love how they included parallel clips of the dance in sleeping beauty too

Author — T M

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Beautiful Zenaida, I can't believe she's retiring after the end of this season! And I never got to see her live! sighs... :(

Author — Vitoria S.

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I'm going to cry, the costumes are so beautiful

Author — Ana Zelen

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What great fun!  This made me laugh, too.  It must take some doing to dance deliberately badly, yet still in control.  And I love Chris Wheeldon's work: he seems so mild-mannered, but so surprising and imaginative.

Author — SuperSailorSailing

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It is worth the price of admission to see the Red Queen and the Mad Hatter, if nothing else. I'm so glad I have this on DVD.

Author — Linda Harrison

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The queen of hearts wants to be aurora? That’s beautiful and hilarious.

Author — Papyrus

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I would love to go see Alice in Wonderland!!!

Author — Britt T

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I like the acting and comedy of this ballet. This artists are a joy to watch :)

Author — SOLIA

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hands down act three opening was the best xD

Author — Momo Domo

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Zen is such a brilliant actress. She has me in tears in dramatic roles and I saw her in A Soldier's Tale years ago and I was laughing so hard my abs were aching for days afterwards. I hope she continues to cast her magic over audiences for a long time...

Author — tedsler

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Now that Zenaida's retired, I'd love to see Cuthbertson as the queen, I think she'd almost have too much fun with it XD

Author — adina friedman

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yet in rehearsing and in interview she seems like such a nice person, not cold at all.

Author — manga12

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I saw the last Performance in November 2012 in  Toronto - wonderful, lots of humor, the audience raged from 3 years of Age up to 90.Felt like a kid in a candy store - what a treat.

Author — Marina28ish

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I have never laughed harder than when I saw her Queen of Hearts. In fact, most of our row at the ROH were in hysterics for the entirety of the Tart Adage. Absolutely brilliant, and I can't wait to see her again!

Author — Kat203