The Antelope Valley Ballet will bring “Alice in Wonderland” back to the Lancaster Performing Arts Center for the first time in eight years.
The production will hit the stage at 7 p.m., May 11 and 2 p.m., May 12 at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center, 750 West Lancaster Blvd.
“I always like ballets that are based on literature … I just like that there’s something substantial that we’re basing it on, not just an idea in my head,” Kathleen Burnett, artistic director of the Antelope Valley Ballet said.
The ballet’s story comes from Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” about a curious girl who falls down a rabbit hole and finds herself in the fantasy world of Wonderland.
“What I like about Alice is that it incorporates so many different dance styles, not just ballet,” Burnett said. “Because it’s Wonderland you can do anything. It will appeal to a wider variety of people.”
In addition to ballet the dance styles include modern, jazz, tap and hip hop.
AV Ballet first produced an adaptation of the ballet in 2006. This adaptation includes a scene where Alice slides down the rabbit hole and finds herself in the hallway of doors.
‘“I didn’t do that before because I just wasted sure how we could create that kind of magic,” Burnett said.
AV Ballet’s production level has improved thanks to scenery by Seth Gue, who built doors to make it appear Alice is both big and small.
The cast of 140 dancers includes two dancers portraying Alice — Clarissa Wohlers and KD Reilly.
Wohlers, 21, AV Ballet’s assistant ballet mistress, first danced in an AV Ballet production when she was 5 years old. She portrayed a teardrop and a lobster in previous productions of “Alice in Wonderland.”
“I enjoy it very much. It’s one of my dream roles,” she said. “It’s one of the best opportunities I’ve been given.”
Wohlers, who will dance the May 11, evening show, said the production is full of wonder and curiosity.
“It’s wonderful to watch the development of the character of Alice because you see her learn about other characters and adapt that into her life so she can learn who she wants to be,” she said.
Reilly danced Alice in both of AV Ballet’s previous productions.
“I was really excited when (Burnett) announced she that was doing it,” she said.
Reilly, 29, said she wasn’t whether she would be cast in the role.
“She’s my favorite storybook character because I feel like as a person I’m much like her,” Reilly, who also has a 2-year-old daughter, said. “So it’s really natural to me to have to portray it.”
Performing Alice for the third time, she said it is refining her characteristics.
“Character I don’t have to think about so much now I can think about the other stuff,” Reilly said.
She will perform at the May 12 matinée.
“I hope people come see it because I think it’s one of our best productions and it gets better every time we do it,” Reilly said.
Tickets cost $25 for balcony and $30 for orchestra.
For details call 661-723-5950, or visit www.lpac.org