Missouri Contemporary Ballet presents modern take on 'Alice in Wonderland'

Saturday, June 1, 2013 | 10:53 p.m. CDT; updated 10:19 p.m. CDT, Sunday, June 2, 2013
The Missouri Contemporary Ballet is rolling out a contemporary interpretation of the classic story "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." The final performance takes place at 2 p.m. Sunday.

COLUMBIA — The Missouri Contemporary Ballet is presenting a modern adaptation of the story "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." With an original score and choreography, the show gives Columbia a chance to see the classic tale as told by dance.

The show presents new live music written by composer Tom Andes. Rather than a traditional orchestra, the show relies on a band, consisting of piano, keyboard, saxophone, bass, flute, drums and trumpet.

The ballet company has been preparing and rehearsing the show throughout the spring and is finally taking it to the stage this weekend. The performers and dancers are hopeful that the audience will enjoy the experience and come out of the show with a deeper appreciation of how ballet can bring new meaning to old stories.

“During and after I perform, I hope the audience is excited, inspired, and taken away from their everyday grind of work,” said Joel Hathaway, Missouri Contemporary Ballet’s dancer playing the role of Caterpillar.

Under the direction of Karen Grundy, the ballet introduces a new take on a story famous since it was published as a novel by Lewis Carroll in 1865. Opening night was Saturday at Jesse Auditorium, and a second performance will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday.

The show will feature a first for the ballet company: child dancers. While most are from Columbia and Jefferson City, some of the young performers came from as far away as Mexico, Mo., to dance in the show.

“We started this whole ballet from scratch,” said Caroline Millikin, the dancer performing as Alice. “It is brand-new, full-length production. We have brand-new music, brand-new, custom new sets and everything.”

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