TORONTO—Dancer Dylan Tedaldi plunges head on into the magical world of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” taking not only wide-eyed Alice but also the audience along with him.
Tedaldi has performed the role several times with the National Ballet of Canada both in Toronto and internationally. It was one of his first lead roles with the company and one that resonated with his own playful and energetic character.
“It’s fun for me to dance because I get to infuse the role with my own movement quality,” he said.
For this run, Tedaldi finds he is bringing a greater maturity to the role of the White Rabbit, which requires the dancer to be both silly and brave, both frantic and lovable.
“I try to keep a nice balance of being contained and sharp, but also a little silly and fun,” said the young dancer.
“I think that when you really connect with a character, that reads to the audience because it feels more natural to you and I think that makes the audience more comfortable watching you. Because it’s not like you’re putting on a show—it’s like you’re just being yourself on stage.”
One of Tedaldi’s most rewarding experiences in the production has been rehearsing with the ballet masters and mistresses from London’s Royal Ballet who came to Toronto to coach the dancers in anticipation of their New York City debut at the Lincoln Center last September.
“They’re very particular about your footwork and making everything very clean and precise, which I think is a very valuable quality to have as a dancer,” he said.
Working with them has given Tedaldi a fresh perspective on his work.
“When we were rehearsing with them, they were focusing on things that I would not have thought of at first, so the fact that they could draw my focus to those aspects of my dancing, I think that helped me grow a lot as a dancer,” he said.
“You become a more well-rounded dancer when you’ve been rehearsed by so many different people.”
Choreographed by British choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” is a co-production between London’s Royal Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada. It first made its debut in 2011 in London, with the North American debut in Toronto later that year.
Tedaldi recalls performing the role with various dancers who played Alice, each of them bringing a different interpretation. In this production, he performs with principal dancer Jillian Vanstone.
“It’s been nice to see their different interpretations of the role and how they interact differently with the White Rabbit,” said Tedaldi, who finds working with different dancers has made performing the ballet more engaging.
The National Ballet of Canada’s production of “Alice in Wonderland” runs March 14–29 at Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. For more information, visit: http://national.ballet.ca