REVIEW: Matthew Bourne’s ‘Swan Lake’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, February 2019

 

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake is back at Milton Keynes Theatre as a revived production that brings astonishing new energy and emotion to a legendary piece of dance theatre.

I delight in Matthew Bourne’s work because he interprets his chosen narratives with intelligence and affection. He scrutinises characters’ motives, questions the situations they find themselves in, and reimagines their stories through drama-led dance in ways that all theatregoers can relate to.

Bourne provoked an immediate reaction from stunned audiences – particularly classical ballet aficionados – with the premiere of his Swan Lake in 1995. Vexed traditionalists and dubious dance fans mourned the absence of female swans in tutus and pointe shoes. Yet, many found themselves simultaneously marvelling at the glistening naked torsos of the menacing male ensemble and moved by earthy, emotive choreography set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless score. Audiences were challenged to reconsider their beliefs about dance, and many young men were inspired to consider dance as a profession.

Twenty-four years later and the current revival, performed by Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures company, is winning standing ovations wowing the next generation of audiences and dancers.

 

Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake. New Adventures production poster image.

 

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REVIEW: English National Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker’ – London Coliseum, December 2013

 

Christmas is a time for magic and nothing is more magical than a trip to the ballet so I seized the opportunity to see English National Ballet’s Nutcracker at the London Coliseum.

 

With a plethora of pantomimes on offer at the moment, those seeking alternative festive fare should pirouette their way to the capital to see English National Ballet’s stylish Nutcracker at the London Coliseum. Currently captivating audience members of all ages, this is the perfect seasonal show for the whole family.

Former Artistic Director Wayne Eagling’s interpretation of the timeless classic is set in a frost-covered Edwardian London winter, on an enchanted Christmas Eve.

Anticipation is in the air as Clara and her brother Freddie prepare for their family’s Christmas party. The Christmassy scene is set with some clever ice skating and the children attending the matinee performance are transfixed from this point on.

 

English National Ballet's Nutcracker at the London Coliseum (photo by Guy Farrow and Patrick Baldwin)

English National Ballet’s Nutcracker at the London Coliseum (photography by Guy Farrow and Patrick Baldwin)

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