Matthew Bourne knows how to make dance-theatre feel good for a mass audience: he takes a classical ballet and adds a touch of camp genius. This is what Edinburgh is about to experience, says Kelly Apter for The Times.
It’s June 2000, and Matthew Bourne is walking through one of Nottingham’s less salubrious neighbourhoods. His Bizet-inspired dance show, The Car Man, has just performed to a capacity crowd in the city’s Playhouse Theatre, but now he’s all alone. Out of the darkness, he sees a group of young boys approaching. “I was pretty nervous,” says Bourne. “And as I got closer, this black guy shouted ‘hey’, and my heart stopped.”
Nobody could have predicted what followed. “He walked up to me in front of all his mates and said, ‘Matthew Bourne — you’re great man, I saw your show and I’m going to Laban next year.’ It was a real eye-opener, it shattered all my preconceptions.”
For the uninitiated, the Laban Centre is one of the world’s finest contemporary dance schools. Bourne is its most famous graduate. click for more
************************************* Cracking the nut
By Michael Church for The Scotsman
It’s every budding ballerina’s dream and everyone’s favourite winter entertainment, and it traditionally comes with everything its producers can muster in terms of theatrical icing on the cake. However, the icing on this Nutcracker is sweeter than anything that has gone before.
This Nutcracker begins, not in an opulent Christmas party at the home of a Central European royal family, but in an orphanage.
"I wanted to get a true sense of moving from darkness into light," says choreographer Matthew Bourne, as his show is readied for take-off. "And my idea gave us the chance to have some very naughty orphans that the kids could identify with. I think the rich Victorian Christmas is already a fantasy world to most of the audience, so when the real fantasy starts, you don’t feel you’ve gone anywhere." click for more