Matthew Bourne's New Adventures Company to Celebrate 25th Anniversary with Sleeping Beauty and More

News   Matthew Bourne's New Adventures Company to Celebrate 25th Anniversary with Sleeping Beauty and More
Matthew Bourne's New Adventures will mark the 25th anniversary of the company's first performance in 1987 (when it was known as Adventures in Motion Pictures) with a year-long celebration of work, including the world premiere of a production of Sleeping Beauty that will premiere at London's Sadler's Wells for Christmas 2012.

Other events in the celebration will include revivals of Nutracker! and Play without Words, plus Early Adventures, a triple bill of the works that launched Bourne's choreographic career, Spitfire, Town and Country and The Infernal Galop.

Throughout the anniversary year, New Adventures will play over 300 performances at a record 32 U.K. venues, several of them more than once. This will include 20 weeks (over the 4 productions) at the company's resident London home at Sadler's Wells. The productions will feature over 80 dancers and 30 musicians.

In a press statement, Bourne commented, "When a group of friends and graduates from the Laban Centre decided to create a new dance company together in 1987, none of them would have dared to dream what lay ahead. From those unpaid early days of small scale touring in a minibus, equipped with a dance floor, an iron and a dodgy sound system, grew a company that eventually conquered the West End, Broadway and turned a whole new audience of theatre goers into dance lovers. Of this, I am both grateful and incredibly proud. After 25 years, it really does seem like something worth celebrating!"

The celebrations kick off with a revival of Bourne's production of Nutcracker! that tours to 20 U.K. venues in the company's largest to date, running from November 2011 through May 2012, including a London season at Sadler's Wells from Dec. 6 to Jan. 22 that marks the company's tenth consecutive festive season there.

Early Adventures will be presented on tour beginning at Bath's Theatre Royal May 9, then continuing to Poole, Brighton, Sadlers' Wells (where it will play May 21 through May 26), Northampton, Richmond, Cardiff, Truro, Oxford, Cambridge, Coventry, Bromley and Nottingham, ending June 25. Play without Words, devised by Bourne and inspired by Joseph Losey's film version of Robin Maugham's "The Servant," will be presented on tour beginning at Leicester's Curve June 29, then continuing to visit London's Sadler's Wells (running July 12 through Aug. 15) and Norwich.

The world premiere of Seeping Beauty, with a new scenario by Bourne after Perrault and Petipa and set to music by Tchaikovsky, will see Bourne complete the trio of the composer's ballet masterworks that started in 1992 with Nutcracker! and continued with Swan Lake in 1995, for which he won the 1999 Tony Awards for Best Choreography and Best Direction of a Musical when it played on Broadway. Perrault's timeless fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, about a young girl cursed to sleep for one hundred 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, 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.

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