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The Company of Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty, © Simon Annand

januar / februar 2013

100 years later. The fairies transmute into Ardor, Fairy of Passion; Hibernia, Fairy of Rebirth; Autumnus, Fairy of Plenty; Feral, the Fairy of Spirit; and Tantrum, Fairy of Temperament. The evil Carabosse now has a sinister son, Caradoc. This is a small cast challenging the dancers with multi-parts and quick changes. The male lead has moments to transpose from puppeteer to dancer and the flouncy fairies have four minutes to get into garden party frocks. New Adventures uniquely survives as a semi-commercial company with some funding and if current economics demand cut-backs in dancers it inspires artistic creativity in Bourne, “We have to be cleverer to make it work,” he says. “And the dancers love being busy!” Unusual on the London dance scene, the company draws primarily on British born or UK trained dancers such as Liam Mower, original child star in Billy Elliott, whose stunning fifth variation, better known as the pointy Finger f-Fairy, with reference to Petipa reveals his Royal Ballet School training. Apart from Twilight, the piece is free of Bourne’s trademark nod to the movies. But there is self ref-

erence with the ravens as the black version of his feathered swans. Classical ballet is honoured, if Bournesized, with Giselle mad scene moment, tragic rose adagio and characteristic Petipa motifs. Stunning period costumes and set design, including a moving Travelator pavement gliding dancers along in a mystical way, are the creation of longtime collaborator Lez Brotherston. Sleeping Beauty: A Gothic Romance has a clear narrative similar to the familiar fairy tale with a unique view and dance language. According to Bourne, “it takes a long time to create a new work (about a year). When it is done I always think it’s my last and all my ideas have been done then a few months later I’ll be browsing bookshops and a new idea will come.” And his audience is ready, waiting and interested in his new ideas as they come to stages around the world. Bourne is in the habit of opening new shows in Plymouth, Devon. And at this premier the audience were on their feet howling for more. “We love our audiences,” Bourne says, “and love to make them happy.”

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