Matthew Bourne won’t take credit for revitalising contemporary dance – but he did. The crowning glory to an already glittering career was his all-male ballet of Swan Lake. Playing on nearly every continent, it’s the longest-running ballet in London’s West End and New York’s Broadway, and, when televised, was the most watched arts programme on British television. The maestro choreographer returns to both Tchaikovsky and to Sadler’s Wells, the site of Swan Lake’s debut, for the world premiere of Sleeping Beauty.
Bourne lets his imagination run away with him as fairies and goblins converge in this gothic reverie. Cursed to sleep for a hundred years, we first meet our heroine Aurora at her Christening in 1890, but are soon transported with her to an unsettlingly familiar twenty-first century. Aurora’s story is a dazzling and haunting romance, and a chronicle of the magical, the melancholic, the mysterious and the miraculous. Matthew Bourne is a Svengali of the stage who mesmerises audiences by translating the essence of their most personal and fanciful of dreams. With Sleeping Beauty, we can prepare to feel the rapture of his work once more.
Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty is at Sadler's Wells Theatre until 26 January 2013.