Matthew Bourne Stages Sleeping Beauty Mar29


Related Posts

Share This

Matthew Bourne Stages Sleeping Beauty

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, on THIRTEEN’s Great Performances, airs Friday, April 25 at 9 p.m. on PBS. (Check local listings.)

Left to right: Caradoc and Princess Aurora (Ben Bunce & Hannah Vassallo). Photo Credit: Simon Annand

Left to right: Caradoc and Princess Aurora (Ben Bunce & Hannah Vassallo).
Photo Credit: Simon Annand

Perrault’s timeless fairy tale, about a young girl cursed to sleep for 100 years, was turned into a legendary ballet by Tchaikovsky and choreographer, Marius Petipa, 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 (Hannah Vassallo), we move forwards 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

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
Joe Walkling


Danny Collins, Pia Driver, Phil Jack Gardner, Tom Jackson Greaves, Nicole Kabera, Kate Lyons, Leon Moran, Luke Murphy, Ashley Shaw, Danny Reubens, Chris Trenfield

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 the Associate Artists of his company New Adventures: the Tony and Olivier award winning designers, Lez Brotherston (set and costumes), Paule Constable (lighting) and Paul Groothuis (sound). New Adventures, the resident contemporary dance/theater company of the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London, annually undertakes extensive country-wide touring, appearing at more venues and giving more performances each year than any other UK dance company. Bourne has been its Artistic Director for 25 years.

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.”

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty is a Leopard Films/Argonon Production for BBC and THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET with the assistance of The Australian Broadcasting Corporation. It was directed for television by Ross MacGibbon. Conductor: Brett Morris. Managing Director of New Adventures: Robert Noble. Executive Producer for BBC: Greg Sanderson. Executive Producer for Leopard Films: Todd Austin. Producer: Fiona Morris. For Great Performances, Joan Hershey and John Walker are producers; Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.

Great Performances is funded by the Anne Ray Charitable Trust, the Irene Diamond Fund, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Rosalind P. Walter, The Agnes Varis Trust, The Starr Foundation, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, The Lewis “Sonny” Turner Fund for Dance, and PBS.

Visit Great Performances Online at for additional information about this and other programs.