Dunhurst Dancers perform Alice in Wonderland

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I have just been to see the Dunhurst Dancers perform at the annual Bedales Dance platform. They were some of the youngest performers there but they did Dunhurst proud and yet again this year showed the full range of dance styles through an incredible narrative that was captivating. Rosie Nash has been working hard with the group and it was wonderful to see the end result. For those of you who were unable to be there, here is my best attempt to describe what I saw….

BEDALES_DANCEPLATFORM MAR 1ST_LOW RES-136 The Olivier Theatre stage is dark and a small and diminutive figure lies on the stage in the darkness – intriguing. The lights come up and Alice (Boo P) awakes to be greeted by two wonderfully synchronized white rabbits (Emelia B-W and Millie B). The wonderful trio choreograph beautifully the rabbits and Alice’s decent as they tumble down the rabbit hole aided by two very smiley cats (Hannah M and Thomasina R); both girls have the cat moves off to a tee and show incredible agility and gymnastic strength in their choreography. The story continues as the piece moves on to ballet with Anais (clutching a cuddly pig) as the Duchess and Phoebe P as Cook. Again, crisply in time and technically excellent. Next is hip-hop and street style dance with Henry K-P and Evie as Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, fast, fresh and innovatively portraying this arguing stroppy and difficult duo. The costumes now step up a gear as the Mad Hatter (Livvy E) and the Queen of Hearts (Mila N) enter the scene. Both dancers carry the balance of terrifying and comical to great effect – big moves and filling the stage with their presence. In contrast, the terrified Dormouse (Ernie A-T) fidgets and quivers with anxiousness as the fantasy unfolds. Strangely automated and menacingly mechanical, the playing cards (Monty DLG, Jamie B, Georgina V and Tiana B) shunt their way across the stage, accompanied by their Queen. Boo as the ever bewildered Alice portrays her fight for sanity and survival as the characters of wonderland close in on her and hold her within their encircling huddle. Finally, Alice triumphs as the characters fall like dominoes before her – black out –  Wow !

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Monty DLG B1R – 2, 5 and 7

Ernie AT B1S- Dormouse

Tiana B B1S-2,5 and 7

Anais A B2U- The Duchess

Henry KP B1R-Tweedle Dee

Hannah M B2U- Cheshire cat

Emelia BW B1S-White Rabbit

Phoebe P B2S-Cook

Livvy E B1U-Mad Hatter

Mila N B2S-Queen of Hearts

Millie B B1R-White Rabbit

Boo P B1R-Alice

Evie A B1R-Tweedle Dum

Jamie B B2R-2, 5 and 7

Georgina V B1U-2, 5 and 7

Thomasina R B2R-Cheshire cat

View photos of the event here.

By Jane Grubb, Head of Bedales Prep, Dunhurst


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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