Ballet Stars
Cuthbertson and Federico Bonelli as Alice and Jack/the Knave of Hearts. Photo by Andrej Uspenski, Courtesy ROH.

As told to Laura Cappelle.

I knew before Christopher Wheeldon even started Alice's Adventures in Wonderland that he wanted me to create the title role. We made Alice together. We feel like she is our girl! She's charming, witty, tough, curious. She's got a very big heart. She's also spontaneous, which helps the show, because you don't have to be calculated the whole time. You can bounce off the characters you come across, because everyone plays them slightly differently.

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Views
Lauren Cuthbertson as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Photo by Tristram Kenton courtesy of The Royal Opera House.

What goes into becoming the Sugar Plum Fairy? This Nutcracker season, The Guardian went behind the scenes at The Royal Ballet to find out, zooming in on principal dancer Lauren Cuthbertson as she prepares for the iconic role.

The video opens with Cuthbertson walking down a gray London street and through the Opera House doors for morning warm up. Although it includes the rehearsal footage you might expect, shot in luscious slow motion, the video also reveals some rituals and quirks you might not. “Toe caps" appears to be the British term for toe pads, I learned. I also had no idea what went into achieving the frosted look of the dancers' hair. (Hint: a can of spray paint, not confection—and lots of glitter!)

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News
Lauren Cuthbertson and Edward Watson in Christopher Wheeldon's The Winter's Tale. Photo by Johan Persson, Courtesy ROH.

In June, The Royal Ballet will tour the U.S. for the first time since 2009. The company will present Carlos Acosta's classical Don Quixote in Washington, DC, and Chicago, while New York City audiences will see two all-British mixed bills: one with heritage work by Kenneth MacMillan and Frederick Ashton and another with contemporary choreography by Wayne McGregor, Liam Scarlett and Christopher Wheeldon. Pointe spoke with Edward Watson and Lauren Cuthbertson, both Royal Ballet principals, prior to the tour.

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