Sleeping Beauty is one of the most well known of the classical ballets and therefore is firmly ingrained in me, for better or for worse! Despite the glowing reviews Bourne’s production has received, I still went with an element of trepidation. However, I happily found that from the words ‘Once upon a time’ I was totally gripped by the dark and beautiful gothic setting of Bourne’s reworking of this well told tale. The fresh twists he has introduced add depth to the relationship between Aurora and her Prince and also develop the character of the Wicked Fairy and – in this case – ‘his’ legacy. Bourne has also successfully added an element of fun which the classical version most definitely lacks… after all who can resist a life like baby puppet climbing the curtains! A big hats off to the dancers, ( beautiful sets, lighting, costumes and innovative story telling aside) they move with such energy and conviction so that even if the movement vocabulary feels a little foreign, you are never in any doubt of what each character is thinking, feeling or trying to convey. I will never complain about a quick change again! This fit, talented and compact cast have up to eight costume changes across the two acts, with everyone reappearing in multiple guises. All in all an entrancing theatrical dance production I would highly recommend getting carried away by.
Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty – Touring nationally until June 2013
Image and details from: http://www.new-adventures.net/productions/sleepingbeauty/venuetour