Celebrating one of Britain’s most successful and award winning choreographers, Matthew Bourne, Imagine…A Beauty is Born: Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty is the series finale and Christmas special of the BBC One arts series Imagine. Alan Yentob looks at the career of one of the world’s most recognisable choreographers as he prepares to take the dance world by storm this Christmas with his new production of Sleeping Beauty.
A virtuoso storyteller, Bourne is world famous for his productions of Cinderella, Swan Lake, and Nutcracker!, his dance theatre adaptions of Dorian Grey, and Edward Scissorhands and his choreography for hit musicals including Mary Poppins, Oliver and My Fair Lady. Bourne is renowned for his radical translations of classical ballet, translating them for a modern audience with his vision of the storyline, themes, and costumes, as he famously did for his acclaimed Swan Lake in which the swans were muscular male ballet dancers. The production was the longest running ballet in London’s West End and on Broadway in New York. Bourne’s skill as a choreographer has been recognised by a multitude of international awards, including a Tony Award and a Lawrence Olivier Award. And in 2001 he was awarded an OBE for Services to Dance.
Imagine…A Beauty is Born: Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty follows the creation of his latest offering, Tchaikovsky’s’ The Sleeping Beauty, which runs at Sadler’s Wells from 4th December 2012 to 26th January 2013. In this Imagine viewers are given exclusive access to the creative process, from first workshops to final rehearsals with set and costumes. Alan Yentob and Imagine revisit Bourne’s many ground-breaking productions, which he created with Adventures in Motion Pictures, the dance company he formed in 1986, and his new company New Adventures.
Alan Yentob leads us through the story of Bourne’s inexorable career, using interviews with Bourne, his biographer Alastair Macauley and theatre producer Cameron Mackintosh and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of the rehearsals for Sleeping Beauty and footage from his most celebrated works to showcase Bourne’s much-acclaimed skills as a choreographer, director.
Fiona Morris, Head of Arts & Performance at Leopard Films, says: “We are delighted to be working with Matthew again after the box office success of Swan Lake 3D and the award-winning The World of Matthew Bourne, and we felt privileged to witness the creative process behind his stunning Sleeping Beauty first hand. This Imagine programme will take viewers behind the curtain and in to the mind of the nation’s most prodigious choreographer and we hope it will act as a lasting testimony to Matthew’s incredible 25 year career.”
Imagine…A Beauty is Born: Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty airs on BBC One on Tuesday 18th December 2012 at 10.35pm