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Dialogue won’t be needed to tell story of Alice in Wonderland

Lauren Bovia is on the lilly pad surrounded by fellow cast members, left to right, Janelle Bougeous, Polanco Jones, Amber English, Kwame Lily, Domonique Terrell and Nina Breeland

NATCHITOCHES – Not a word will be spoken when Northwestern Theatre and Dance presents an original ballet based on the classic Alice in Wonderland April 20-22 at Northwestern State University, but it should be easy to follow the classic story. Barry Stoneking and Kirstin Riehl are the directors and choreographers who developed the original work.

The quality of movement will be important. I will be interacting with all of the other characters through the way I dance,” said Lauren Bovia of Maurepas, who plays Alice. “You convey movement through your body and you can convey every emotion through movement without saying a word. That’s why dance is one of the most beautiful artistries.”

Stoneking and Riehl have been collaborating on their version of Alice in Wonderland since last August.

“It is so exciting to be involved in premiering a work,” said Bovia. “Live performances are so exciting because you never know what will happen. I have never done anything like this. I have performed inoriginal works, but not a full ballet production. I will be on top of my toes the whole show so I have been doing a lot of exercising to be able to do that.”

Being in the debut of an original work is also exciting for Claire Cook of Shreveport, who plays Alice’s nemesis the Queen of Hearts.

“This is like a dream come true for me,” said Cook. “It is exciting to go to rehearsal each day and try to dance in a way that does justice to what the choreographers have created, but it’s also scary because you know they have something particular in mind.”

Cook has appeared in The Wiz and the Three Penny Opera at Northwestern State.

Bovia has been in the cast of The Merry Widow, The Wiz, Chicago, the Christmas Gala and two previous Northwestern Dance concerts.

Alice in Wonderland will be performed April 20-21 at 7:30 p.m. and April 22 at 2 p.m. in the A.A. Fredericks Auditorium. There will also be a performance on April 19 at 10 a.m. for area elementary and secondary schoolstudents. Tickets are $15 and $12 for senior citizens and non-Northwestern State students. NSU and Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts are admitted free with a current student I.D. Tickets can be purchased online at For ticket information, call (318) 357-4483.

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