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“in working mode and so busy and it was less nerve wracking to be creative. Looking at my early work I saw my language and was proud of it. It made me fearless.” It was while visiting Tchaikovsky’s rural retreat at Kiln, outside Moscow, that Bourne was inspired to return to the classic ballet music composer for his own radical version of Sleeping Beauty. And the silver birches seen from Tchaikovsky’s bedroom window are integrated into the woodland set. This new work completes Bourne’s re-working of ballet’s beloved trio of masterworks with Nutcracker, created in 1992 and revived for its 20th anniversary, and Swan Lake, Bourne’s international signature piece.
Sleeping Beauty has more pure dancing than most New Adventures shows with each of the three eras dictating the movement style. A classic love-conquers-all tale, the story is driven by the score. Always a consummate showman, Bourne brings vibrant life and unusual interpretation to Petipa’s classic work – but the variations are highly recognisable. The prince metamorphoses into Leo, the gamekeeper, who loves Aurora before the sleeping curse kicks in. Count Lilac, King of Fairies, is a vampire and his bite keeps Leo and his love alive for eternity so he is there to kiss his beloved awake
Christopher Marney as Count Lilac in Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty © Simon Annand
Dominic North as Leo and Hannah Vassallo as Aurora in Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty © Simon Annand
He draws on Perrault’s timeless fairy tale of the young Aurora cursed to sleep for 100 years and a supernatural love story that inspired the original 1890 ballet. Bourne’s gothic romance follows the
traditional three acts. The first is the Christening, a gothic fantasy of fairies and vampires with a dance and design style reminiscent of the Russian ballet. The coming of age second act bathes in the glory of the Edwardian era with waltz and cake wake inspiration from Bourne’s idol, Fred Astaire. And the ballet concludes in the present day with Bourne’s iconic funky high heels and red dresses.
Published on Jan 15, 2013
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