Great Performances - Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty

Updated Wed, Apr 16, 2014 10:56 am

Friday, April 25 • 9 p.m.

Matthew Bourne’s “Sleeping Beauty” sees the popular choreographer return to the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky to complete the trio of the composer’s ballet masterworks that started in 1992 with “Nutcracker!” and, most famously, in 1995, with the international hit “Swan Lake.” The ballet airs as a feature of THIRTEEN’s “Great Performances” on Friday, April 25 at 9 p.m.

Tchaikovsky and choreographer Marius Petipa turned Perrault’s timeless fairy tale into a legendary ballet in 1890.

Bourne takes this date as his starting point, setting the christening of Aurora, the story’s heroine, in the year of the ballet’s first performance; the height of the fin de siècle period when fairies, vampires and decadent opulence fed the gothic imagination. As Aurora grows into a young woman, we move forward in time to the more rigid, uptight Edwardian era; a mythical golden age of long summer afternoons, croquet on the lawn and new dance crazes. Years later, awakening from her century long slumber, Aurora finds herself in the modern day; a world more mysterious and wonderful than any Fairy story.

Matthew Bourne’s haunting new scenario is a gothic fairy tale for all ages; the traditional tale of good vs. evil and rebirth is turned upside-down, creating a supernatural love story, across the decades that even the passage of time itself cannot hinder.


Princess Aurora: Hannah Vassallo

Leo: Dominic North

Count Lilac: Christopher Marney

Carabosse / Caradoc: Adam Maskell

King Benedict: Edwin Ray

Queen Eleanor: Kerry Biggin

Miss Maddox: Daisy May Kemp

The Fairies: Sophia Hurdley, Mari Kamata, Katy Lowenhoff, Liam Mower and Joe Walkling

Bourne – dubbed “the most popular choreographer of theatrical dance in the Western World” by The New Yorker – works again with three of his regular collaborators, and New Adventures Associate Artists: the Tony and Olivier award-winning designers, Lez Brotherston (set and costumes), Paule Constable (lighting) and Paul Groothuis (sound).

The production was honored with multiple nominations in various awards competitions, winning Best Dance Production at the Manchester Theater Awards last year, Bourne taking the De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement at the National Dance Awards in 2012. In covering the U.S. tour, The Wall Street Journal enthused, “Bourne’s vivid update is a prime example of the imagination and originality that have marked the choreographer’s dance productions,” while The New York Times declared, “This is Bourne at his best – a masterful storyteller.”