Taking the nation by storm, Matthew Bourne’s production of Sleeping Beauty graced its presence at the Marlowe theatre in Canterbury yesterday. Combining classical ballet with contemporary dance the story of sleeping beauty has been taken to a whole new modern level thanks to Bourne’s concise choreography. In true Matthew Bourne style, the fairy-tale was flipped on its head and audiences were left watching a gothic romance that spanned over one hundred years.
With a similar style to his infamous interpretation of Swan Lake, the whole performance was full of power and accuracy. Never one to shy away from a large production, Bourne left nothing unfinished and everything from the set down to the costume and make up was extraordinary.
The story itself touched on a vampire theme and used a thorn from a rose instead of the traditional spinning wheel. Similar to Swan Lake, hierarchy in class and rebelling against conventional behaviour were also evident themes throughout the performance. The epic tale was reborn to share princess Aurora falling in love with a grounds keeper and their quest to find a happily ever after.
I first heard about Matthew Bourne when I was studying GCSE dance; I found his work fascinating and had a particular interest in his production of Swan Lake. Having dreamt about being able to see one of his shows for almost six years, it was too good of an opportunity to miss out on when I saw that his company were coming to Canterbury to perform his latest adventure.
From the moment the curtains opened and the story got underway I was hooked, every motif was poised beautifully and it was an honour to be in the room watching a piece of history. The performance was out of this world and the whole cast should be very proud with what they have achieved. There was no chance to take a breath or blink, the pace was as sharp as the execution from all of the dancers.
I will be keeping an eye on Matthew Bourne’s company, New Adventures to find out when they will be coming back to a city near me!