Matthew Bourne, the Man, the Visionary

(c) New Adventures

Growing up in Hackney, Matthew Bourne was attracted to the bright lights of London’s West End and one of his favourite haunts were the stage doors

Matthew Bourne is one of the world’s most feted choreographers today; his creative vision knows no end and as he continues to thrill audiences across the world with his productions, it is perhaps surprising to note that this brilliant man had no formal dance education until the age of 22!

Growing up in Hackney, Matthew Bourne was attracted to the bright lights of London’s West End and one of his favourite haunts were the stage doors of the theatres there.

After leaving school at 18, he worked in various hum-drum jobs before finally enrolling at the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance aged 22 and three years later he formed the company Adventures in Motion Pictures which was to act as a spring-board for his visionary ideas.

Matthew Bourne is not shy when it comes to rolling out his own versions of classics and why would he be? His fresh take on old tales has contributed much to ballet as a genre and new audiences have come to theatres across the world to be thrilled and surprised by the work of this man and his company.

The first major success enjoyed by Bourne was his Swan Lake; this production was notable due to his replacing the traditional female swans, with male dancers which altered not only the aesthetics of the piece but also to some degree, the story.

Swan Lake pushed Bourne into the spotlight as audiences queued to see the production and this in turn created a buzz around ballet not seen for many years.

It is to Bourne’s credit that despite his many achievements, including that of residency at London’s Sadlers Wells and multiple awards for achievements in dance, that he is known as a warm, friendly and approachable man. His actions attest to this as he shows huge commitment to helping young dancers and choreographers get their break in the world of dance.

His New Adventures company not only produces fresh and ground-breaking work but also manages to support new talent in the form of their Re:Bourne programme which enables schools to experience the magic of New Adventures through special workshops.

If Matthew Bourne continues to surprise and thrill with his ideas and visions it’s because the man behind the work is one who is continually tapping into an extraordinary store of daydreams and visions which he is able to realise in the most magical ways possible.

Wonderful Team

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