georginabutler

My work as a writer and dance/theatre reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘New Adventures

REVIEW: Matthew Bourne’s production of ‘The Red Shoes’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, February 2017

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Matthew Bourne’s incredible dance production of classic ballet film The Red Shoes is the perfect fit for his New Adventures troupe.

Every female dancer knows the right pair of pointe shoes can change your life but the crimson slippers at the heart of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s seminal 1948 motion picture take this sentiment to the extreme. Those red shoes are symbolic of a devoted young ballerina’s turmoil as she is forced to choose between the career she lives for and the man she loves.

The Academy Award-winning film is the quintessential backstage melodrama. Cinema and dance collide in the most spectacular style to depict an absorbing tale of obsession, ambition and jealousy. The characters are distinctive and dedicated to their art. The screen is ablaze in every scene with their desire to dance, make music and move audiences; as well as their passion for living and loving. The extraordinary extended ballet sequence blurs the line between reality and surreal fantasy…

I love the film. And I love that Bourne’s stage version is clearly his way of showing how much he loves it too.

 

THE RED SHOES by Bourne, , Choreographer and Director - Mathew Bourne, Designer - Lez Brotherstoni, Lighting - Paule Constable, Plymouth, 2016, Credit: Johan Persson/

 

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NEWS: Matthew Bourne’s production of ‘The Red Shoes’ is on its way to Milton Keynes Theatre – February 2017

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Blockbuster choreographer Matthew Bourne’s contemporary ballet version of classic dance film The Red Shoes will enthral audiences at Milton Keynes Theatre next week.

The quintessential backstage melodrama tells an intoxicating story of obsession and possession, chronicling the tragedy of a ballerina whose intense desire to dance conflicts with her need for love.

Following a sold-out Christmas run at Sadler’s Wells, Bourne’s New Adventures company is bringing all the glamour of the 1948 British film to audiences beyond the capital on an extensive UK tour. Predictably, tickets have been selling exceptionally fast and extra dates have already been added.

Celebrated film-making duo Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger combined glorious Technicolor wizardry with emotive and dramatic performances to create their seminal motion picture. An all-consuming love for the arts generally – and dance especially – is at the heart of The Red Shoes. Significantly, Powell and Pressburger devoted plenty of screen time to dancers, ensuring their cinematic ode to the agony and ecstasy of dancing is largely told through the medium of dance itself. No wonder Bourne decided the film was the ideal source material for his latest production.

 

matthew-bournes-production-of-the-red-shoes

 

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INTERVIEW with Dominic North, New Adventures, January 2016

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Dancer Dominic North first appeared with Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures in 2004 as an ensemble swan in Swan Lake. Since making his official début in a principal role as Edward in Edward Sissorhands in 2008 at the Sydney Opera House, he has performed as many of Bourne’s lead characters. Currently touring with Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty, Dominic found time for a quick chat with Georgina Butler to discuss how things have moved on since the “original” Princess Aurora dozed off…

Matthew Bourne is renowned for delving into stories in a bid to reveal characters’ motivations and unearth deeply buried narrative elements. His Sleeping Beauty is devised as a gothic romance full of fairies, supernatural surprises and, of course, true love. Bourne plays around with the time that the story is set so that Princess Aurora is born the year that the classical ballet first premièred and “comes of age” with a 21st birthday during the Edwardian era. This means that she is roused from her slumber in 2012 (which is when Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty was premièred).

He certainly gives the traditional tale enough ingenious twists and turns to keep a contemporary audience intrigued. Just for starters, Aurora falls for the royal gamekeeper; the couple enjoy a sweet romance before the princess visits the land of Nod and a vampiric twist heavily influences who is there to wake her up a century later! Nonetheless, Bourne’s careful attention to detail when coming up with his concept means that he manages to put his own spin on proceedings while simultaneously paying homage to the masterpiece that the classical ballet will forever be.

I am such a balletomane and The Sleeping Beauty may well be my favourite classical ballet (although, admittedly, the top-spot seems to change far too frequently to enable me to have a definitive favourite!). Still, prior to seeing Matthew Bourne’s version, I had never properly considered quite how momentous falling asleep for 100 years would actually be. Maybe it is just because we know the children’s yarn so well but his imaginative approach certainly adds an array of fascinating features that were missing from my bedtime stories!

What better way to learn more about Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty than by chatting to New Adventures‘ principal dancer Dominic North all about the role that has made him wake up and see this fairy tale differently…

 

North, Dominic Mikah_Smillie_copyright_Mikah_Smillie_copyright_DSC_7920 (1) (3)

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Written by Georgina Butler

January 18, 2016 at 10:38 am

REVIEW: Matthew Bourne’s ‘Edward Scissorhands’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, February 2015

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We all endeavour to carve out a place for ourselves in the world. Choreographer Matthew Bourne has found his as a dance-maker and is proving how sharply attuned he is to audiences’ tastes with Edward Scissorhands at Milton Keynes Theatre this week.

Matthew Bourne is renowned for his bold adaptations of classical ballets including Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. The clever re-writes unearth previously unexplored elements of these well-loved stories and his company, New Adventures, impressively engages audiences through innovative contemporary dance. As a dedicated balletomane, I have found Bourne’s inventive interpretations deliciously refreshing so I expected Edward Scissorhands (a work that does not exist in the classical ballet repertoire) to be similarly “cutting-edge”.

Happily, opening night was a “shear” delight. Based on Tim Burton’s 1990 fantasy film, Edward Scissorhands is the touching tale of a boy created by a bereaved father. In Bourne’s dark prologue, we learn that the late Edward was a young boy who was struck dead by lightning while playing with scissors. His grieving father becomes determined to bring his son back to life and sets to work producing an artificial being. Unfortunately, the eccentric creator is frightened to death by Halloween trick-or-treaters, leaving Edward alone and unfinished – with scissor blades for hands.

The simple – admittedly, surreal – narrative follows isolated Edward’s attempts to fit into 1950s suburban America. Bourne excels at creating characters and the production certainly delivers razor-sharp character-driven dance-drama.

 

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Written by Georgina Butler

February 18, 2015 at 3:10 pm

NEWS: Cutting-edge entertainment as Matthew Bourne’s ‘Edward Scissorhands’ visits Milton Keynes Theatre, February 2015

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Choreographer Matthew Bourne is renowned for his cutting-edge productions and sharp wit so his adaptation of Edward Scissorhands is sure to pierce hearts when it visits Milton Keynes Theatre from Tuesday.

 

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Written by Georgina Butler

February 13, 2015 at 7:54 pm

INTERVIEW with Tim Hodges, New Adventures, January 2015

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Dancer Tim Hodges has featured in pop videos, performed in the West End and toured the UK and beyond in hit musicals. Currently cast in Matthew Bourne’s production of Edward Scissorhands, Tim found time between rehearsals to talk to Georgina Butler about how this witty, modern fairytale carves a place in audiences’ hearts.

Inspired to pursue dance professionally after seeing videos of Mikhail Baryshnikov, Timothy Hodges began dancing as a youngster in Milton Keynes at the Woollard Tiffin School of Performing Arts before winning a place at Tring Park.

Now, aged 29 and starting to inspire the next generation of dancers through his own teaching, Tim is thrilled to be touring the United Kingdom as part of Matthew Bourne’s company, New Adventures, in Edward Scissorhands.

I spoke to Tim before he attended today’s class and afternoon rehearsals to learn more about his life as a dancer and quiz him on what makes this Bourne show “a cut above” the rest.

 

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Written by Georgina Butler

January 30, 2015 at 5:35 pm

REVIEW: Matthew Bourne’s ‘Swan Lake’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, January 2014

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A flock of muscular, lyrical, completely masculine creatures took to the stage at Milton Keynes Theatre last night in a contemporary re-imagining of an iconic ballet.

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake is an original take on an age-old favourite. His cheeky re-write ruffled a few feathers among balletomanes when first performed in 1995 but has since collected over thirty international theatre awards and is now regarded as a modern classic.

Traditionally, the ballet is associated with tutu-clad female corps de ballet dancers gliding gracefully en pointe in carefully coordinated formations. Bourne replaces these bourréeing beauties with an ensemble of powerful, bare-chested, male dancers decked out in baggy, feathered, knee-length trousers and shuns the standard prince/princess pas de deux for a duet between two male performers.

 

The Company in Matthew Bourne's 'Swan Lake'

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Written by Georgina Butler

January 29, 2014 at 9:30 am