Behind The Blue Door

Statement Dining | April 12, 2016 |

Ballet re-Bourne


Matthew Bourne's SLEEPING BEAUTY_ Ashley Shaw (Aurora) 2_ Photo by Johan Persson

Ballet may have an army of fiercely committed fans but a night at the ballet is hardly a mainstream activity.

At least, it wasn’t. But the tour de force that is Matthew Bourne and his company are changing that, packing them in at regional theatres, as well as the traditional homes of dance.

Bourne, who was knighted in the 2016 New Year honours list, has been described as the ‘world’s most popular living dance maker’ by Time magazine. His popular and accessible productions have opened up ballet to new audiences with their strong visuals and cutting edge approach.

His hauntingly gothic Sleeping Beauty is entering its UK tour swansong this spring, before moving to the Far East, while The Car Man (less ballet, more inventive dance thriller and set to music from Bizet’s opera Carmen) is attracting glowing accolades at Sadler’s Wells.


Image source: Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty/Raw PR

His adaptation of Powell and Pressburger’s film and Hans Christian Andersen’s story The Red Shoes will tour the UK from November. Details are a closely-guarded secret but the score will be based on the music  of golden-age Hollywood composer, Bernard Herrmann (famous for his collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles and Martin Scorsese).

If you’ve been bitten by the ballet bug, there are plenty of other ways to get your fix too. We’ve found three worth clearing your diary for:

1. The Winter’s Tale: Currently at the Royal Opera House


Image source: The Royal Ballet’s The Winter’s Tale/Royal Opera House

Considered ‘a triumph’ by Sarah Crompton, writing for The Telegraph and a ‘ravishing success’ by Luke Jennings for The Guardian, this three-part Shakespeare classic is one to see off the last traces of winter. Choreographed by Christopher Wheelden, The Winter’s Tale might not be new but it’s a keeper – and if you haven’t seen it, this brave, colourful story is thick on plot, drama and technique. Still a hot ticket, in our book.

To book, visit the online box office.


2. Akram Khan’s Giselle: September 2016

Image source: Tamara Rojo and Akram Khan in rehearsal © Laurent Litardo

Akram Khan brings a brand new version of romantic ballet Giselle to the stage in Manchester this September, before touring the UK and finishing up in London. The English National Ballet production promises a richly spectacular set design, courtesy of Academy Award-winning Tim Yip (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and a score performed by English National Ballet Philharmonic Orchestra. This will be dancer and choreographer Khan’s first foray into classical ballet; his more notable performances to date are contemporary and Indian classics.

To book, visit the online box office.


3. Beauty & the Beast: October 2016

Image source: Northern Ballet production images/Beauty and the Beast

This re-telling of an old Northern Ballet favourite is a great one for both novices and those fully acquainted with the genre. As with any proper fairytale, it’s packed full of spells, enchanted mirrors, handsome princes and – true to form – the inevitable happy ending. But don’t let the linear narrative put you off – this is a classic story with an addictive score, couture-style costumes and confident, expert dancing. One for the whole family and touring English theatres from October.

To book, visit the online box office.


Feeling inspired by dramatic performance? Why not add a touch of drama to your table by invoking the essence of extravagant baroque.


*Lead image credit: New Adventures/Johan Persson


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