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Keshet’s ‘Alice’ takes a few new turns

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — This Alice spirals down the rabbit hole to a journey of self-discovery.

Keshet Dance is staging “Alice, an adventure of wonder and wondering” beginning Friday, Nov. 9, and continuing through the weekend at Keshet Center for the Arts. The show picks up again on Nov. 15-18.

Loosely based on the Lewis Carroll classic, the production features six professional dancers, 45 pre-professional dancers in training and nearly as many community dancers, Carolyn Tobias, Keshet communications director, said.

“The story picks up with Alice falling into Wonderland,” she said. “You get a feel for Wonderland and you see her arrive.”

Alice soon stumbles upon a character named Mima Be, who becomes her guide to all that unfolds inside her magical house.

Along the way, Alice meets Mad Hatters, Mad Hares and a slew of Bohemians, all set to the tunes of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” (as well as music by Patty Griffin, Ben Harper, Cat Stevens, Stevie Nicks and Fiona Apple’s “Pure Imagination”).

Alice also encounters characters representing water, wind, flowers and the Earth.

“She learns about things we’re grateful for and the magic of how flowers grow,” Tobias said. “She also goes through a creepy forest where she learns to face her fears.

“When she discovers how powerful the imagination is, she lifts up and flies through the air.”

The dancers incorporate contemporary and jazz-infused steps into the performance.

Keshet was known for its “Nutcracker On the Rocks,” a show that ran for 20 years. “Alice” debuted last year in a new production with new characters.

Established in 1996, Keshet features disabled dancers in its productions. They are one of the few companies nationally to include pre-professional training tracks for people of all abilities.