Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty Telecasts Friday on PBS Great Performances
By: Ellis Nas
Popular and innovative choreographer of stage and screen Matthew Bourne sets Perrault’s timeless fairy tale Sleeping Beauty to music by Tchaikovsky on PBS Great Performances Friday at 9 P.M. to complete the trio of the composer’s ballet masterworks he began in 1992 with Nutcracker! and, most famously, in 1995, with Swan Lake. It was first staged, with music by Tchaikovsky and choreography by Marius Petipa, in 1890.
Bourne, artistic director for New Adventures, London’s Sadler’s Wells resident contemporary dance/theater company, is considered the world’s most popular theatrical dance choreographer. His imagination and unique choreography have also won him acclaim as a masterful storyteller.
His scenario for Sleeping Beauty is a haunting gothic fairy tale for all ages "as he takes this tale of good vs. evil and rebirth and turns it upside-down, creating a supernatural love story, across the decades, that even the passage of time itself cannot hinder."
The production has been honored with multiple nominations in various awards competitions. It won Best Dance Production at the U.K.’s 2013 Manchester Theater Awards. Bourne won the 2012 National Dance Awards’ De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement at the National Dance Awards in 2012.
Sleeping Beauty‘s cast of seven principals and an ensemble of 16 is headlined by Hannah Vassallo as Princess Aurora who’s cursed to sleep for 100 years, Dominic North as Leo, Christopher Marney at Count Lilac, and Adam Maskell as Carabosse/Caradoc.
Aurora grows into a young woman in rigid, uptight Edwardian England, "a mythical golden age of long summer afternoons, croquet on the lawn and new dance crazes." When she awakes years later, she finds herself in the modern day – "a world more mysterious and wonderful than any fairy tale."
Bourne was a hit on Broadway in 1998 with his Swan Lake at the Neil Simon. He also co-directed [with Richard Eyre] and choreographed [with Stephen Mear] Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s 2006 Tony and Drama Desk-nominated Mary Poppins, which played the New Amsterdam for 2,619 performances. For TV, he choreographed 2005’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; and directed/choreographed his stage production of Nutcracker in 2003.
The telecast is a Leopard Films/Argonon Production for BBC and THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET with the assistance of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Ross MacGibbon directs with music direction by Brett Morris. Sets and costumes are by Tony and Olivier-winner Lez Brotherston . Joan Hershey and John Walker are producers for Great Performances, with Bill O’Donnell as series 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, PBS, and viewers like you.
Visit Great Performances Online at www.pbs.org/gperf for additional information.
Click Here to View Preview of Mathew Bournes Sleeping Beauty