Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty, a Great Performances presentation

(Rochester, New York) – Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty sees the popular choreographer return to the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky to complete the trio of the composer’s ballet masterworks that started in 1992 with Nutcracker! and, most famously, in 1995, with the international hit Swan Lake. The ballet airs Friday, April 25, 2014 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV.

Perrault’s timeless fairy tale, about a young girl cursed to sleep for 100 years, was turned into a legendary ballet by Tchaikovsky and choreographer, Marius Petipa, in 1890.

Bourne takes this date as his 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 (Hannah Vassallo), 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. Years later, awakening from her century long slumber, Aurora finds herself in the modern day; a world more mysterious and wonderful than any Fairy story.

Matthew Bourne’s haunting new scenario is a gothic fairy tale for all ages; the traditional tale of good vs. evil and rebirth is turned upside-down, creating a supernatural love story, across the decades, that even the passage of time itself cannot hinder.

Credit: Courtesy of Leopard Films

 


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