In this, its 20th-anniversary year, State Street Ballet (SSB) is celebrating its good fortune in having forged lasting relationships with two outstanding choreographers, William Soleau and Robert Sund, both of whom have set multiple works on the company. This Saturday, February 7, the company brings Sund’s Alice in Wonderland to the Granada Theatre in a new version designed to reflect the changes in the company since the last time they performed it back in 2003. That version, with Alyson Mattoon as the White Rabbit, was a breakthrough for SSB. It was also the piece the company took on their tour of China and Taiwan, where it was a hit with audiences who relished their combination of classical ballet with more modern elements.
Pulling episodes from both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass together into a single exciting narrative, Sund’s Alice features fantastic, cinema-influenced costumes and masks by Mary Etta Lang. Jean Sibelius, with his talent for weaving long lines of unbroken musical development, makes a great match for the fantastical voyages of Alice. This production is sure to be a favorite with families, and SSB is giving a special free presentation for school children on Friday, February 6.
The 20th-anniversary year has proved to be a fruitful one for the organization, as their success as a touring company continues to grow. In November 2014, their residency in Spokane, Washington, which included a large educational-outreach component, concluded with several sold-out performances of The Nutcracker, resulting in more than 6,000 tickets sold. They then repeated this residency and performance program in Durango, Colorado, to similar acclaim before making their triumphant return to the Granada in December. These charismatic and thrillingly athletic dancers are sure to please as they lure a whole new generation of fans down the rabbit hole.