Siskiyou Dance Company's 'Alice' is full of surprises

Skye Kinkade
Siskiyou Dance Company’s 28th annual performance, “Alice’s Wacky Wonderland – Down the Rabbit Hole” promises to be full of whimsical dancing and plenty of laughs. The nearly two hour performance will feature Tana Macy as the Queen of Hearts, Ellie DeRoss as the White Rabbit, Taylor Nichols as Alice, Christian DeLeon as the Mad Hatter and Rose Spagnolo as the March Hare, as well as more than 100 other dancers of all ages.

Expect surprises, extravagant costumes and plenty of fun at the Siskiyou Dance Company’s upcoming performance, “Alice’s Wacky Wonderland – Down the Rabbit Hole.”

Featuring more than 100 ballet, tap, jazz, swing, hip-hop and latin dancers from ages two to adult, director Tana Macy said she’s excited to see her grand vision come to life on May 21 and 22.

This is the second time Macy has used the Alice in Wonderland theme for one of her annual performances, which she has put on for the past 27 years.

“I did Alice about 20 years ago, and I always wanted to do it again,” she admitted. “Taylor Nichols has been dancing with me since she was a little teeny thing, and I’ve always envisioned her as Alice in the back of my mind. She’s in high school now, so I figured I better do this now, while I still have the chance.”

Gleaning ideas from the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll’s original book Through the Looking Glass and the recent Tim Burton film, Macy said this version features a modern surprise ending that will leave everyone laughing.

Dancers from across Siskiyou County will be involved in the performance, she said, including Ellie DeRoss as the White Rabbit, Christian DeLeon as the Mad Hatter, Rose Spagnolo as the March Hare, Mitsi MacIvor as the Cheshire Cat, Sequoia Wagner as the caterpillar, Aimee Langston as the butterfly, Emylee and Collin Cool, Robert Bullerwell and Kim Harper as cards, Meagan and Marisa Melo as painters, and Patc Dawson and Leanne Jopson as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

Other whimsical characters include spiders, ladybugs, jitterbugs, bread and butter flies, tulips, lilies, roses, mushrooms, dragonflies and mome raths.

Macy herself will portray the tyrannical Queen of Hearts.

“We’re going to keep props to a minimum and let the audience use their imagination,” Macy said, “but the props we do have are high quality and special effect.”

Music was mixed professionally by Fernando Flores of Radio Star Studios. A wide range of musical styles, including classical, jazz, hip-hop, rock and oldies will be used during the course of the performance, Macy said.

She promised the costumes will be bright, colorful, fun  and outrageous.

Her students have been rehearsing for since January, she said.  The performance represents the culmination of a year in dance.

While Macy is responsible for a large majority of the choreography, everyone pitches in their ideas, and the final product is something everyone has a hand in, she said.

“This is a chance for everyone to get experience on stage,” she said, no matter their age. “It teaches responsibility and how to be on a team, plus gives children stage presence and confidence.”

Performances will be held on Saturday, May 21 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 22 at 5 p.m. at the College of the Siskiyous’ Ford Theater in Weed.

Tickets are $10, and can be purchased at The Weed Store in Weed and at Village Books in Mount Shasta.