Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty, the Choreographer’s Latest Re-Imagining of a Ballet Classic, Airs on THIRTEEN’s Great Performances, Friday, April 25 at 9 p.m. on PBS
Award-winning production comes to public television after triumphant premiere in London in 2012 and U.S. tour this past fall
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.)
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-siecle 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.
Carabosse / Caradoc
Daisy May Kemp
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 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.”
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 www.pbs.org/gperf for additional information about this and other programs.
As New York’s flagship public media provider and the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mike Schneider and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore iPad App where users can stream PBS content for free.