Wonderland is going to Halifax!

Chantry Dance Company is bringing an inventive and exciting new ballet to Victoria Theatre, Halifax, in October.

The piece is written as a sequel to the famous Lewis Carroll stories, putting our favourite classic characters in a new light. Alice is now a grown up aspiring writer working in a tea-shop. Overworked and underpaid, life seemed much more exciting when she was a child. The Looking Glass has remained in Wonderland as a portal to our world, which the Red Queen accidentally crosses when chasing a croquet ball. Entering this new reality, she develops a plan to seize power by opening a casino where she creates an Army of Cards. Hatter and his gang of concerned Wonderland characters pursue the Queen and find Alice. If all that wasn’t enough, there’s a Jabberwocky lurking in the casino’s basement…

The dance is set to a new score written by Tim Mountain. It’s of no surprise the ballet promises amazing costume and staging, too. Part of the challenge of any dance piece is there’s no big dance numbers or script to pin the plot to – so the movement must tell the story. I’ve never been a huge dance fan for this reason but this looks like an incredibly interesting concept.

The piece stars Shannon Parker, one half of Britain’s Got Talent’s ‘Shannon and Pete’. She’s been Principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre and Ballet Du Rhin so she is more than qualified to play a title role in Alice – Wonderland Through the Looking Glass.

Chantry Dance Company’s co-Artistic Director, Paul Chantry, says, “Her experience and professionalism add such a great depth to the company and she hugely inspires the other dancers as well as the creative team. As a choreographer, to work with such a brilliant dancer is a gift. Shannon is an exceptional talent, and she brings a unique dimension to the choreography through her interpretation of the work.”

Paul is probably best known for choreographing Birmingham Stage Company’s Olivier nominated production of David Walliam’s Gangsta Granny and Billionaire Boy.  He is also the co-artistic director of CDC. CDC believes in creating opportunities for younger dancers. Following an audition, some of the students of Chantry School of Contemporary & Balletic Arts (the official school of CDC) have been given the chance to tour this year which is a beautiful opportunity for young people.

Catch the production at The Victoria Theatre, Halifax, on Thursday 3rd October.

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