News: 2012 - the year of New Adventures

Thursday 27 October 2011

Matthew Bourne's 'Nutcracker!'
Photo: Bill Cooper

A year long celebration of the work of Matthew Bourne, the UK’s most popular choreographer, is planned to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his company New Adventures (formerly Adventures in Motion Pictures)

“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!” he said yesterday.

Throughout 2012, New Adventures will present over 300 performances at a record 32 UK venues, featuring over 80 dancers and 30 musicians. In London the company will be performing at their home base, Sadler’s Wells, for 20 weeks.

The year culminates with a new Bourne production. Sleeping Beauty is the third and final of Tchaikovsky’s ballets to receive the Bourne treatment (after *Nutcracker! and *Cinderella) – and of course he promises a new twist. “Perrault’s timeless fairy tale, 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. I have taken this as a 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” Her 100 year sleep will be conveniently timed for the interval, before an awakening in the present day, and a 2012 marriage.

The season starts with a seven week Christmas run of Nutcracker! at Sadler’s Wells. The production has been seen by over 218,000 people in London alone since its creation in 1992, and will be followed by an extensive UK tour.

In May, Sadler’s Wells presents Early Adventures; a mixed bill of works by Matthew Bourne and New Adventures, featuring *Town and Country* _(1991) alongside Bourne’s first hit from 1988, _Spitfire and The Infernal Galop (1989). These early works are on a small scale – and date back to when Bourne danced himself – a time he says he is looking forward to reexploring.

July sees a revival of the Olivier Award winning Play Without Words, made at the National Theatre in 2002 – and a four week run at Sadler’s Wells.

Summer Adventure will a summer school by invitation only and will be mostly made up from dancers who New Adventures Associates have identified at auditions for further consideration.

And in print…

Before the celebratory year starts, an updated biography of Bourne by New York Times critic Alistair Macauley is published in November. This is a revised edition of the book first published by Faber in 2000 and includes new chapters on The Car Man, Play Without Words, Edward Scissorhands and Dorian Gray as well as major revivals and Matthew’s work on the Olivier award winning musicals *My Fair Lady* _and _*Mary Poppins*.

And on screen…

Channel 4 will be screening Matthew Bourne Christmas Special (w/t) – conceived by Bourne himself and directed by his long standing film collaborator and award-winning dance film director Ross MacGibbon, the piece will bring together graphics, animation, and 360 studio shooting to realise a distinctive new way of presenting dance on screen.

And Sky Arts will be screening Swan Lake recently filmed at Sadler’s Wells in 3D, with the 2010 cast, on 22 December at 8.00pm on Sky Arts 2 and on Sky 3D.

More details of dates & touring**

Nutcracker! at Sadler’s Wells, 2011/12 **”“:

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