“The Adventures of Alice” performed by Walla Walla Dance Company

Michelle Foster, Staff Writer

The Walla Walla Dance Company performed an excellent original take on the timeless story “Alice in Wonderland” on Saturday, Feb. 4. The show, titled “The Adventures of Alice,” took place in Cordiner Hall at 7:30 p.m. Showcasing dancers from all different classes in the dance company, the event incorporated genres such as ballet, jazz, hip hop and contemporary.


Photo by Samarah Uribe.

Nancy Wells, who directs the company, wrote and produced “The Adventures of Alice.” She, along with four others, choreographed the show, which served as a way to give the company’s dancers a chance to perform and show off their accomplishments.

The show depicted the story of Alice celebrating her birthday–a story of much fun and adventure. Wynter Doyle performed as Alice, while Sophie Miller portrayed Little Alice.

Both Alices danced well. Doyle showed great stamina and accomplishment in dancing in many styles throughout the entire show, and Miller took over several scenes as a younger Alice, dancing impressively at such a young age.

Many other exceptional dancers performed solo throughout the show, displaying a high level of work ethic and skill. The variety of featured dancers included characters such as the Queen of Hearts, who danced beautifully and powerfully; the Mad Hatter, who performed a highly well-executed hip-hop number; and the White Queens, who danced with much grace. The show certainly did not lack variety; it even featured a tap dancing Jack of Spades.


Photo by Samarah Uribe.

The incorporation of many genres of dancing and music into one continuous show was interesting. Perhaps it would have risked awkwardness had the event not been a showcase, but the crossing of boundaries of styles within the show was, overall, well done. Jazz dancers would follow ballet dancers, and pop music would share the same act as hip hop. A few songs from the 1951 animated film “Alice in Wonderland” were incorporated, including “All in the Golden Afternoon” and “A Very Merry Unbirthday to You.” This was a nice touch that brought together the contemporary show with its classic counterpart.

Elements such as the simple but effective lighting, as well as the elaborate and impressive costumes, helped make the show unique. Additionally, it was evident that the choreographers and dancers observed close attention to detail, as seen by the engaged movements of the tea party guests who sat in the back while the Mad Hatter danced solo. Also very much appreciated were the older dancers in the company, who guided younger castmates through their scenes with patience and good leadership, such as the caterpillar, who notably donned an intricate, multi-armed costume.


Photo by Samarah Uribe.

After much dancing and storytelling, which diverted from more well-known and “Alice” associated themes such as “the cards” and “unbirthday cakes” to “Pokemon” and “Super Mario Bros.” near the end of the show, Alice was declared the winner of the games and adventures encountered throughout. She was crowned, and consequently celebrated with, of course, dancing, concluding the show.

“The Adventures of Alice” was a great opportunity to see what some of the youth of the Walla Walla community have been working on. The audience gave well-deserved applause at the end of the night, capping off a celebration of hard work and excellent dancing.