This is visceral dance theatre at its best. Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, Polish Aleksandra Borys’s piece is steeped in Lewis Carroll but it is not a literal retelling of the story – there is no need since the story is so well known. Alice’s red bow of her sash is the only ordered aspect of her appearance. In contrast, she wears black trainers, her hair is straggly, her nails, though painted red are bitten: a gawky teenager no longer at ease in a child’s white lace-fronted dress.
There are references to growing taller or shrinking which evoke Alice’s tale but this dance concentrates on the psychic journey and evokes the angst, confusion, misery and despair of a teenager. This is the disorientating journey from innocence to experience, entering a frightening new terrain. There is no sound at first, except for the dancer’s footsteps and her breathing which becomes laboured as her body goes into spasm, at times robotic, her hands whirling out of control. As Alice shuffles crab-like across the floor the music becomes distorted and cacophonic. There is no ‘happy ending’. This is a dancer and choreographer who will devastate you with the uncompromising force of her vision.
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