I have been obsessed with this ballet ever since I saw it a year ago. It is the perfect combination of classical and modern ballet, and Tchaikovsky classicism with Britten modernism. The composer, Joby Talbot, was commissioned to compose the music for the Royal Ballet’s production, and he did a marvelous job in my opinion. His music is very modern in its language, but still has its roots in his ballet predecessors, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky–this is the key to a successful ballet score. It’s very melodious, but also very rich in strong rhythms, unexpected chromaticism and reoccurring themes. Talbot does a good job of capturing the whimsical, magical insanity that make the story of Alice in Wonderland so memorable. He can seemlessly transition from bitonality to a lovely lyrical adagio, and then pick the pace up with a glorious Nutcracker-esque waltz. The score is a cut above any movie soundtrack I have heard in a very long time. His is not just program music, but could certainly stand alone and be just as entertaining and beautiful, as with incidental music. THAT is what makes him a successful composer, and a very dynamic one at that. Here is a video of the Mad Hatter scenes from the ballet. How fun is this?