Wonderland investigates pack mentality as an inherent and potentially dangerous element of human instinct.
The work was initially inspired by Chinese-born artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s installation Head On, which depicts 99 wolves charging into a glass wall. Four archetypal characters evolve in a universe influenced by the imagery of the American atomic age. Behind the smiles of an Esther Williams dream world, Wonderland reveals psychological and physical episodes of a herd acting as a unit through the uncoordinated behavior of self-serving individuals. Although pack mentality is a natural and ongoing strategy in the animal kingdom, among humans it can indicate a vicious, desensitized brutality and disregard for humanity – a concept that is at the core of Wonderland.
Wonderland has received support from public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew Mellon Foundation. Miller was selected as a Princess Grace Awardee for 2010; support helped fund the creation of Wonderland.
“What is most memorable is the dancers’ fervor and undeviating commitment, especially in the most bizarre passages: which makes Wonderland both stirring and chilling.”
“Miller is brilliant at creating a charged, variegated space and tasks that strike you in the gut.”
“The powerful, grounded movement shifted in mood from absurdist exercise, to vaudeville, to a cutting portrait of a rock star and a groupie.”
2010, The Joyce Theater (Reworked in 2011)
Original Costume Design:
Updated Costume and Set Design:
Jakub Kiupinski & Cristina Spinei of Blind Ear Music
Orchestra Barzizza, Chopin, Black Dice, Tim Hecker, Michel Bokanowski, Joanna Newsom, Sebastien Agneessens and Kyle Fische Remix courtesy of the Alan Lomax Foundation
60 minutes, no intermission