EncoreEast Experience Jasmin Vardimon’s Alice

EncoreEast Experience Jasmin Vardimon’s Alice

Lewis Carroll wrote Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 1865 and by 1932 it had become one of the most popular books in the world. Jasmin Vardimon’s Alice takes us on a magical mystery tour of her own making. Using the story and the bizarre characters that Alice meets on her journey Vardimon and her dancers create a piece of work that is both hilarious as well as deeply disturbing.

The set comprises largely of a giant revolving book, the blank pages an invitation for Alice to write her own story as she seeks to explore her identity as an adolescent girl. Who is Alice? This is a question frequently asked and one which is never quite answered. For like her dress, a simple white  frock with drawn pockets and bow she remains a rather two dimensional character.

The passion and skill of the dancers, shadow puppetry, and the whirlwind of the various characters including the Queen of Hearts and the Cheshire Cat keep the show moving rapidly along. We are taken down into the bewildering labyrinth of the rabbit hole and then with some relief out again. But in this breathless moment maybe we too are left with the question Who am I?

Some of EE were given a little taste of Alice in a workshop run by two of Vardimon’s dancers. With great enthusiasm and much patience we were taught a small section of the soldiers repertoire. It was a mere glimpse into the treat that was in store.

By Anna Mortimer