Fairy tale beginning
Dance dominates the opening show in the 2013-14 KeyBank Broadway Series at Cleveland’s PlayhouseSquare.
“Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty” opens Tuesday for a two-week run at the Palace Theatre. The work completes the British choreographer’s efforts to reimagine the three ballets composed by Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky.
Bourne staged “The Nutcracker” in 1992 and “Swan Lake” in 1995. “Sleeping Beauty” opened last year in London’s West End.
Bourne is regarded as UK’s most popular and successful choreographer / director. He is the creator of the world’s longest running ballet production, a five-time Olivier Award winner and the only British director to have won the Tony Award for both best choreographer and best director of a musical for his production of “Swan Lake.”
Charles 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. Bourne takes this date as his starting point, setting the christening of Aurora, the story’s heroine, at the height of the fin-de-siecle period, when fairies and decadent opulence fed the gothic imagination.
As Aurora grows into a young woman, we move forward 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 tale.
Bourne’s new scenario introduces several characters not seen in the fairy tale or in Petipa’s famous ballet, and the production is billed as a gothic romance for the ages.
It runs through Oct. 13 at the Palace Theatre, 1519 Euclid Ave., Cleveland. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets range from $10 to $75 and are available at www.playhousesquare.org and by calling 216-241-6000.