Showman who leads a merry dance
LUNCH WITH THE FT: Matthew Bourne says bad-boy comparisons have got him wrong. Julia Llewellyn Smith hears the truth
Financial Times; Dec 8, 2001
By JULIA LLEWELLYN SMITH
The choreographer anddirector Matthew Bourne looks at the elderly clientele of the Mezzanine restaurant at the National Theatre and rolls his eyes.
"OAP matinee day," he giggles.
Bourne, a former filing clerk who did not set foot in a studio until he was 22, has been hailed as the saviour of British dance. His production of Swan Lake, with male swans, was seen by a million people worldwide and brought a young, mainstream audience to a languishing art form.
In person, ballet's enfant terrible is entirely unassuming: stocky, stiff-moving and dressed in a cardigan. "Am I drinking?" he asks in his soft voice, as he sits down. "Better not. Working." After a quick glance at the menu, he orders fish cakes and chips. click for more
Stuart adds: at one point Ms Smith writes, 'He talks fluently about his work, yet there is a sense of being on auto-pilot, his energies reserved for South Pacific.' Not really surprising when Ms Smith talks about his being a bad-boy and enfant terrible, which are comments of mind-boggling fatuity. I wonder if she has ever seen any of his work - it seemed to come as a surprise to her that his work is not considered ballet. I do wish newspapers would use dance critics for interviews. Hats off to the Telegraph who regularly let Ismene Brown do the interviews and it shows.
<small>[ 09 December 2003, 08:40 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>