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"Down the Rabbit Hole" Dances at Marigny Opera House
If you’ve lost a nervous white rabbit and his timepiece follow St. Ferdinand street down to the old Marigny Opera House for a trip down the rabbit hole. This weekend the Chard Gonzalez Dance Theatre presents their rendition of Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice in Wonderland, Down the Rabbit Hole.
“It’s a one hour avant-garde dance theater performance,” said the company’s artistic director Chard Gonzalez. “A lot of people don’t really know that style, but it’s a hybrid between contemporary dance and theater.”
All of Carroll’s legendary characters make an appearance on the stage except for the doe-eyed Alice herself. The Red Queen screams off with her head, while the ever-grinning Cheshire Cat barely has a head as appears and disappears, and the sage caterpillar swirls smoke from his hookah. Even if Alice wasn’t invited to the party after all, the audience can have a spot of tea with a narcoleptic dormouse, Mad Hatter and March Hair.
“It’s based on seven different parts. [In the beginning] Sleepwalkers dancing gives you the idea that this is really a dream and then the rabbit comes out,” said Gonzalez. “There are some random character moments, so it’s not all chronological like the story.”
According to Gonzalez, he has created a very “rabbit heavy” performance to showcase one of his top dancers, NOCCA graduate Madison Alfred. She will put on the madness mask of the March hair.
“The March Hair is really one of the stars,” said Gonzalez. “I believe she’s an amazing performer. All of my main company are strong performers.”
When the audience walks into the performance space they are immediately catapulted into the world of Wonderland.
“There’s a set piece where [the audience is] walking down the rabbit hole. With this idea they experience what Alice would experience,” said Gonzalez.
For Gonzalez, the peculiar, fanciful characters of Wonderland create a perfect mix of dance and theatrics.
“A lot of the narrative is mimicked in the performance. The focus is on the image and not the story. I think Alice renders itself to really strong images and not necessary a story,” said Gonzalez.
This performance marks Chard Gonzalez Dance Theatre’s forth anniversary as a company, and if they’re anything like Alice they don’t want to grow up. They have toured throughout Louisiana and outside of the state.
Look out for performances this weekend on March 8th and 9th at 8 pm, and March 10th at 2 pm. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $10 for students and seniors. Don’t be late for this very important date!
This article was written by Emma Boyce.
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