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The contrast could not be greater: a voice, a few chords on the guitar. With a simple, beautiful song, Eric Gauthier collects the public in the theatre from the intermission, and with gentle Britpop leads them back into the magical wonderland of Alice. This was unfolded by choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti and his team in the first half of the evening in great profusion – so glamorous, that there were even two Alices. Fitting to this, Carlo Cerri’s projected animations in the background, which carry us off into the seductively shining pomp, with which the rulers of Europe once decorated their halls of mirrors, libraries, galleries and staircases.
Equally lavish are the costumes by Helena de Medeiros, red velvet, grey taffeta – there seem no limits to her ingenuity in bringing the characters from Lewis Carroll’s children’s classic “Alice in Wonderland” to the stage. The Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Dormouse, the Queen of Hearts: the beings that Alice meets are not intrusive, but always striking. Luxury wherever the eye wanders. Musically however, the evening – visually stunning for the whole two hours – is wonderfully grounded.

“Turning you into two, that’s what Lewis Carroll will do,” sings the multi-talented Eric Gauthier on his guitar after the intermission about this collapse into two identities, which Mauro Bigonzetti captures in the doubling of Alice. The tall, red-haired Anna Süheyla Harms and the small, blonde Garazi Perez Oloriz share the role of Alice, who in the book is sometimes strong and reasonable, sometimes child-like and instinctive.

Mauro Bigonzetti perfectly plays with moods: and makes “Alice” into a festival of dance that despite its depth ends in party mood.
Andrea Kachelriess, Stuttgarter Nachrichten 27.6.2014

“Alice” is a great narrative ballet of nearly three hours. And the time flies by. Mauro Bigonzetti has chosen his protagonists with much expertise and tact, because the members of Gauthier Dance are really fabulous in “Alice.” With their personal qualities always present on stage, in “Alice” they add substance to the focus and rigour of the work. Above all Anna Süheyla Harms and Garazi Perez Oloriz, who bring to life Alice in all her diversity: her curiosity, her courageousness, her passion, her temper, her fear, her lack of willpower.

It is simply delightful how Rosario Guerra directs all the characters and watches over Alice with an irresistible mixture of craziness and intuitive strategy as the White Rabbit – a perfect role for the very spirited Italian. More measured is Florian Lochner as the Mad Hatter, partly because of the big top hat under his feet, which makes walking difficult and at the same time serves as a platform for astounding balancing-acts. Again and again he casts this attribute aside, in order to dance with Anna Süheyla Harms: Pas de Deux which one can’t see enough of. They implement the remarkable, at times acrobatic creativeness of Bigonzetti with a sensual, almost erotic intensity that is unrivalled.
Another magnificent performance is Annaleen Dedroog’s bald queen. Trapped in her bleakness and her hunger for power, she is the antithesis to the thoroughly lively, very womanly Alice.

The contrast, which Bigonzetti hopes to achieve through the merging of the bizarrely-English characters and the down-to-earth music from Southern Italy, is huge. But as always, when strong antipodes coincide, tension emerges, and energy. With “Alice”, it is as if the very emotional music injects hot blood into the veins of the weird characters, as though it brings something deeply human to the joy of playing with the bizarre.
Gabriele Metsker, Stuttgarter Zeitung 27.6.2014

The ensembles are thrilling in their edgy uncontrived dynamic above all. One meets in a circle for a symbolic cup of tea, and behind the dancers a video projection makes the teacups dance too (Stage design and lighting: Carlo Cerri). The lifts are intricate; the hand gestures extraordinarily diverse, the main characters have characteristic motion sequences.
And in Stuttgart, an always-knowledgeable dance public, the people didn’t want to stop applauding.
Sylvia Staude, Frankfurter Rundschau 26.6.2014

It is the biggest production that Gauthier Dance has staged since its formation. But there are a whole lot of other superlatives that make this “Alice in Wonderland” premiere with Mauro Bigonzetti’s choreography a fascinating evening.
There is the already fifteen dancer strong company, which presents the artistic and circus ideas of the Italian choreographer with an infectious enthusiasm on the big stage of the theatre. There are the stunning and eye pleasing costumes by the Portuguese Helena de Medeiros, who has already worked for many important international ballet companies. The enchanting illusionistic and sophisticated video projections by Carlo Cerri form a stage design full of movement and surprises.
And especially the live music by the Italian folk group Assurd together with the accordionist Antongiulio Galeandro and the singer Enza Pagliara creates a tremendously feisty atmosphere.
It is all the brilliant idea of the maverick Roman Bigonzetti, who has already worked for practically all the important ballet companies on both sides of the Atlantic: he relocates the bizarre fairy tale by Lewis Carroll from stiff Victorian England to the Mediterranean, the cheerful south of Italy.
And all is danced by Eric Gauthier’s Company with such passion and class that it excites ovations from the audience.
Dietholf Zerweck, Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung 27.6.2014

The message of the original, the paving of the way to adulthood with ever new extraordinary experiences and hurdles in the form of abstruse visions and encounters, came completely through in this secular or Mediterranean illustration, even visually impressive and acoustically powerful – and triggered at the end, after both parts of Alice have gone their separate ways, long lasting cheers and trampling, which has almost become standard for Gauthier Dance.
Udo Klebes, online Merker 29.6.2014

One should forget about Walt Disney’s gaudy animations from childhood days and Tim Burton’s spectacular 3D adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland with Johnny Depp in the role of the Mad Hatter. What the Italian choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti has thought out for the fifteen excellent dancers of Gauthier Dance in the Stuttgart Theatre with Alice is no story for minors, but for adults, who for two hours may feel like children in a wonderland. With magical images, thrilling music and absolutely perfectly timed dance, Bigonzetti shows playfully and nonchalantly how Alice – two souls, oh, live inside her breast – over the course of the adventures in “Wonderland” and their continuation in “Though the Looking Glass” evolves, grows up, and becomes emancipated. For that he even puts two attractive Alices on the stage, who couldn’t be more different.
Enthusiastic cheers after a dreamily sensual dance journey in wonderland.
Hanns-Horst Bauer, Opera Lounge July 2014

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