Matthew Bourne: Strictly and Got to Dance are great for UK's dance

Matthew Bourne

Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

MATTHEW Bourne's Sleeping Beauty is selling out across the country and is coming to the Wycombe Swan next week. The British choreographer Matthew Bourne is well known for his re-imaginings of Swan Lake and The Nutcracker and is now bringing the third in the trilogy to the stage.

What sort of reaction have you been getting to the show so far?

Brilliant. We have been selling out, which is incredible in this day and age, before getting to places.

What do you think its appeal is?

They love a good fairy story with a twist. I think it is nice to have a certain amount of familiarity with it- some idea of what it is going to be in their heads. They might like the music. There are elements of it which are beautiful. It is a very innovative take on it- people expect that as well.

Do you feel pressurised to work with such a well known piece?

The only pressure I feel is to give people a good show. When I set out to do anything I have got to think about the audience- that is the only pressure- for it to be as good as it can be. I don't worry too much about myself in that sense or what certain critics are going to say- if they are going to like it- I don't worry about that too much.

How do you choose which pieces to work on?

It gets more difficult as time has gone by. I have done the things I wanted to do. The list gets smaller. You have got to find a take on it- find another way of doing it. Although it is a well known piece I think what is the purpose of me doing it.

What do you like about Sleeping Beauty?

I know the music is amazing. I get on very well with that. I have a great feeling for Tchaikovsky- I knew I was onto a good thing there. That was one of the reasons. The story left me a bit cold in some ways. A girl goes to sleep, is woken up by a complete stranger and they fall in love immediately. It was unbelievable to me- there was no logic and it wasn't a good love story. I wanted to create a story where she was already in love with someone and his dilemma is how to stay awake for her when she wakes up in 100 years time. It is a love story across the century. In fairytale land you can do what you like in some ways. You can make up your own fairytale.

What is your take on it?

It is pretty spectacular. It is really beautiful looking production with a beautiful set and costumes- Lez Brotherston has really outdone himself this time. The piece is quite romantic in some ways. It has also got a gothic feel to it. A lot of fans who like Twilight- a bit of vampire to it. That kind of element comes into the story. It is a fast paced love story with a lot of twists in it. It doesn't resolve itself to the very end.

Do you feel positive for the future of dance in the UK?

There is a lot of great dance things on TV- popularised dance things. On Sky there is Got To Dance- there is incredible talent amongst amateur dancers. They do it as a hobby. Things like Strictly- I don't think anyone in the dance world should get snobby about these things- some people do I have to say. What they do is popularise the idea of dancing and make it something very exciting and moving. It is not just about ballet or contemporary and I am all for that. I think that is wonderful- it certainly helps us. We have seen the audience get bigger and bigger.

Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty is at The Wycombe Swan from February 26 to March 2 at 7.30pm with Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets range from £24.50 to £40. To book call 01494 512000 or go to www.wycombeswan.co.uk

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